Field Trip

Where Rich works they have 3 giant screen televisions hanging from the ceiling in the reception area, all tuned to sports. Then all throughout the inner offices there are more video screens hanging from the ceiling showing sports programs. Do you have any idea how many stations are all sports, all the time? Curiously, the people who work there don’t even really notice the screens; they are a bunch of serious, hardworking business people. 

Rich knows sports. There isn’t a team, a score, a standing that he doesn’t know. He knows players, fans, management, contracts and who’s being drafted or traded where and when. This information comes to him in the form of statistics, e-mails and news that streams across his computer continuously and he needs it all to be good at what he does. With a joint PhD in psychology and communications, he has made his life work sports and leisure intelligence. He is a demographer, a social psychologist, a statistician. And yet, I don’t really understand what it is he does and when people ask me, I usually resort to examples. I explain that he does player health compliance studies for the NFL. He researches the use of steroids and compares that to public perceptions for MLB. He tells marketing people what they need to know about their target audiences. As long as people engage in or have interest in sports, Rich has a job.

For all of that, he’s not a sports nut and neither am I. (My main interest in sports is tied to a friendly rivalry with Ms. B and that cow college team she cheers on.) He’s not a hard core hunker-down-on-the-couch sports watching kind of guy. He watches golf (yawn). He golfs. We watch a little college football. We do catch and release fly fishing. We bicycle. I wish I knew how to curl.

Still, the nature of Rich’s business also means that he gets tickets to sporting events- all kinds of sporting events: basketball, football, hockey, tennis, triathlons and yes, baseball. While he is the envy of many of our friends, mostly our guy friends, he usually isn’t all that interested in going to these events. We like the triathlon on Maui. I like the U.S. Tennis Open. He’s done the Super Bowl routine and the Rose Bowl and the Orange Bowl and every other kind of bowl. If the Olympics come to Chicago, we will certainly be there but, by and large, Rich passes on really good seats in favor of staying home when he can.

Why do I have time to tell you all this, in such detail? Because we’re stuck at the airport, waiting to fly to game 4 of the World Series. I expressed some interest and next thing I knew Rich had tickets. So he flew in from business this morning at 5 am, came home from O’Hare, slept for an hour and we got in a cab and headed to O’Hare. And here we sit. The plane from Denver going on to St. Louis was delayed by weather. Then it got fogged out of here and went to Milwaukee. Now we’re waiting to see if it will leave Milwaukee. There’s another flight due to leave about the same time but that one is waiting for delayed flight attendants who are supposed to arrive in an hour or so. Then there’s one last flight out of here at 4 pm. We are booked on two and wait listed on one.

The weather? Foggy here in Chicago, raining in St. Louis. It’s supposed to keep on raining. Did you watch all those sad drippy people sitting in the rain waiting for the start of the game on TV last night? The game that never started? The odds are good that we’ll be in that same quagmire tonight. Rich just asked why I had the biggest possible carry on for 24 hours and I said I packed my down jacket, my rain shell, my rain pants, my hand knit wool sweater, my mittens, my wool socks and my hat and my umbrella. Because no matter what, I’m going to be sitting at Busch Stadium in St. Louis tonight, thinking about how Ms. B is a Cardinal fan. I’ll be eating hot dogs, drinking my Bud and screaming for the TIGERS. GO TIGERS!!!


(it’s overcast and drizzling here in St. Louis, with three hours to game time. To be continued…)

14 responses to “Field Trip

  1. Wow, from a formal evening in black dress and heels, to the World Series, all in a few days, that’s a wide-ranging social life. But, having to sit through all nine innings, yikes, what will you do for diversion? Is the stadium wi-fi? Hope you have a grand time.

  2. I can’t even put into words how jealous I am. Seriously. I’d sit in the rain. I’d sit in the snow. All for the opportunity to cheer on our Detroit Tigers. 🙂 You ROCK!

    GO TIGERS!!!!!!

  3. Have an $8 beer for me Vicki while cheering on our Tigers.

    And if Rich ever has access to Chicago Fire soccer tickets, I’d be happy to take them off his hands. 🙂

  4. Well now I have a reason to watch.

    Go Tigers!!! And let’s hope there’s no rain.

    Woudl you be one of those die-hards that sits through a rained out game?

  5. I would have to say that I’m with Rich on this one… I’d rather be home watching in comfort, where the screen shows their faces so large you can see the sweat trickle down their noses (OK that was the old TV) and where the kitchen and coffee or tea or SNACKS are right at your fingertips.

    I heard that the rain was to continue….. maybe the ducks will be at home. Did you take your camera?

  6. My girl is so jealous. She’s a HUGE baseball fan, AND she picked the Tigers as one of her teams at the beginning of the season. I’m taking her to buy lottery tickets next.

    Have fun! Go TIGERS!

  7. I hope the weather breaks and you have a fabulous time!

  8. We Pacific Northwesterners don’t let rain ruin our plans. The Seattle Mariner’s stadium has a retractable roof. Perhaps Rich could use his influence to secure one for New Busch Stadium.

    Rain means more rest for the pitchers, so more bad news for your Tigers. We CARDS fans shall weather the weather gracefully.

    Thanks so much
    for dropping by.
    So sorry you’re wet
    While I am dry.

    Cardinals are red;
    Tigers are blue.
    I’ll crack open a Bud
    And think of you.


  9. UPDATE! !!! I spoke with Dear Vicki less than 30 minutes ago… as she was heading to the hospitality tent before taking her seat. Her SEAT, a mere 20 rows behind HOME PLATE! I am beside myself and thrilled for her. She’s wearing a gray vest with a navy hand knit sweater. White knit cap with black stripes- unless she gets her hands on a Tiger cap. (I bet they’re already sold out.) Shall we have a contest for who spots her first? I know she still has some Potlatch gifts that never got sent. 🙂

    GO TIGERS!!!! Wahoo for Vicki!!!!

  10. Vicki is under ***WAHOO!!!!!! GO CASEY!!!!!!!******* ok.. she’s under a banner for St. Louis College or something like that. (Hard to understand her through her obvious excitement….) She has great box seats a bit under the shelter. Despite the funny looks, she’s cheering loud for our boys. She’ll have to tell you what she’s waving. I’m not giving up her secrets.

  11. Oh, I would love to be sitting where you are. I’m hoping that the Tigers win too. I’m certainly not from Detroit, but I really like Jimmy Leyland from the years that he coached the Pittsburgh Pirates, who spring train in Bradenton.

    Ms. B. is really waxing poetic these days, isn’t she.

  12. It sounds like, overall, this Rich person you speak of is actually quite wonderful.

    I hope your flight(s) work out and you get to have some fun, and I can’t wait to hear all about it 😀

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