Longtime MCC readers know I’m not the world’s biggest sports fan. I probably wouldn’t rank among the top 2 billion sports fans alive. I know more about baseball than any other sport by a slim margin because in third grade I read a book about baseball that contained a thorough glossary. I learned; I tried to stick with it; I fell away quickly. The passion never developed, but the vocabulary remained.
From time to time I’ll find opportunities to attend ballgames anyway. Our hometown minor league team, the Indianapolis Indians, provide occasional diversions, free tickets, and/or reasons to get out of the house. For tonight’s feature presentation, the primary objective was to get my mom some fresh air and holiday spirit. She hasn’t been out of the house much since her retirement at the end of May, but she does love some good old-fashioned fireworks displays. Anne and I could take or leave ’em. Nevertheless, we figured the outing would do her some good.
Occasionally, though, I got bored. Or in a mood. Some light phone usage may have occurred.
Tonight’s big game: the Indianapolis Indians versus the Louisville Bats, whom we’ve seen sparring with them before. It was not the home team’s best night. The ball teams were nearly beside the point — after the game, fans were welcome to stay afterward and watch downtown Indianapolis’ annual fireworks display, this year christened the Donato’s Downtown Fireworks Blast. This, we knew, would be the star of Mom’s evening.
Until then, there was food…
…and whatever entertainment we derived from the game, one way or another.
The Indians had an early 3-point lead at the end of the second inning, but we had no idea those three points would be all they’d score for the whole night. Other than an impressive double play at first and second bases in the ninth, not much happened in their favor after the third inning worth keeping. My patience dissipated as the losing streak tore onward…
Eventually we got the baseball over with and moved on to fireworks. We didn’t know Victory Field brought their own to set off, right there from the field, so that was a nice surprise.
…and so on. As 10 p.m. approached and the time for professional explosions was nigh, the local weather forecast of “slight rain chance” proved optimistic and wrong. The show went on anyway. Only problem was, most of the explosions and sparkles, and scintillating pulses and blips and burns and streaks and flowers were all happening on the northeast side of Chase Tower, the tallest building in Indianapolis. Victory Field is southwest of Chase Tower. The resulting light show looked less like a patriotic holiday light show and more like God was using colored pens to draw funny hairdos on Chase Tower and couldn’t make up His mind which one looked most fabulous.
A lot of fans left the stadium disappointed before the obstructed show was over. We held out for Mom’s sake. They weren’t the best fireworks ever, but they were the ones we’d gone to all the trouble of seeing. Honestly, Victory Field’s own fireworks assortment beat downtown’s on proximity, visibility, variety, and sound volume. If we pretend the last twenty minutes’ worth of failed July 4th celebration never happened, if we ignore the long walk back to my car through the crowds and the soaking rain, and if we focus on how Mom needed the exercise too, then our American birthday celebration and sportsball outing was a successful mission in all the ways that counted. Sorry our home team couldn’t say the same.