I put on the face of a baseball fan – charged and reeling in the blind optimism that goes along with wholeheartedly cheering on a team that just isn’t that good. I grabbed a beer, some cotton candy, the hand of my favorite 4-year old as his dad and I helped him down the steps toward our seats along the third base line at Minute Maid Park.
I hushed the stat-studying sports nut that lives in my head and I became that fan – but just for a game. Batting averages didn’t matter, and neither did their record. Pitch counts, runners left in scoring position, ERAs, pathetic fan attendance, post-game quotes – none of it mattered. I was a fan.
After attending an Astros-Cardinals game and assuming the role of a diehard fan – as opposed to being a credential-wearing body in the press box – my views on this team, this season, this sport have changed. Sort of.
I had a blast. We screamed at the Cardinals players, cheered on my favorite player – little Jose Altuve, tried to catch foul balls and made a valiant attempt to appear on the fan cam. We made friends with other high-spirited Astros fans and made friendly-type-enemies with Cardinals fans. I stuffed my face on pizza and peanuts and got peanut shells all over my shirt and somehow in my purse.