The sporting world has always been a mysterious and somewhat terrifying world for me. I would love to say it’s because I was always a bookworm or a video game geek or a theatre geek…but then I don’t really live in a 1990’s sitcom. In reality I have many video game geek, theatre geek and bookworm friends who love to go to a huge stadium to scream in excitement and rage at whatever local team happens to be popular at the time.
For myself, this excitement has evaded me. This is despite having a family full of sports lovers. Six hour long trips to our cottage were largely filled with my mom fiddling with the radio trying to get the ball game admist mounds of static.
I don’t know what it is about sports that frightens me so. The loud, noisy crowds. The competitive nature of rabid fans. The tension of knowing that one poor team is going to leave absolutely devastated. Of course I can’t forget the sheer dullness of the game itself.
But the other day, family duty called. My brother-in-law is a huge fan of the Toronto Blue Jays and he was going to be missing the game happening this past Sunday. Not a big deal upon first hearing it, but you see once a month it’s bobblehead day. On this most crazy of a days a collectible bobblehead of a baseball player is given out to the first 20,000 attendees of the ball game.
My brother-in-law is a very passionate collector of these bobbleheads and was most miffed to learn that he might miss out on one. This one was a rare three-headed bobblehead of some famous players from the past…of some sort. He wasn’t the only one to be excited either. Hundreds of Jays fans every month go nuts for bobblehead day. There was only one option: have someone else go to the game to pick up the coveted bobblehead.
Enter Manda. Aka me. My mission was clear: venture to the Rogers Centre/Sky Dome and brave the legions of fans for the Bobblehead. Not only was this a rare bobblehead, but for the first time since the early 90’s it seemed the Jays were finally winning and their fans were coming back in droves. Oh, and they were playing the Yankees. Which I am told is a Big Deal. This would be no easy task. But I would take it on. And I would record every moment…
Manda’s field journal entry #1: 8:30am I have successfully infiltrated the Rogers centre, the natural habitat of the jays fan. Though I am relieved to have made it, I fear that I am I’ll prepared for the mission. My ability to blend in with the blue clad natives are greatly betrayed by my black aperture science T-shirt and hobo hair. To avoid being discovered as “the one just here for the bobblehead” I have chosen to remain silent and smile encouragingly whenever I hear the words “they said they couldn’t do it but we proved them wrong”. There are approximately two more hours of waiting. Perhaps bringing out my 3ds will give me away but I see little other option.
Manda’s field journal #2. It has been an hour since I arrived at this large and imposing building. The size of the lineup has quadrupled since that time. Topics of conversation from the natives are relegated to “how old were you when the jays last won” and the excitement of who the bobblehead is this time, neither of which I can answer with accuracy. I DID beat a difficult level in Zelda but supress my urge to scream out in victory for fear I make a mental note to bring this mission up every time my sports friends make fun of me for being overly obsessed with video games. My knees are starting to hurt.
Manda’s field journal #3: 10:35am With less than twenty five minutes until the next phase of my mission, a small child has excitedly pointed at my 3DS, threatening to blow whatever tenuous cover I had. Luckily the chaos is great enough that no one has noticed. I know no colour other than blue now. This line is my home now. I found myself verbally agreeing at how awesome the Jays are. Am I going native? I cannot entertain such possibilities… I fear I will not be ready when the time comes to move, especially since it involves a metal detector. Though I was briefed on the detector I grow uneasy at the complications that may arise. The wrath of a jays fan seems to be one to avoid…
Manda’s field journal #4: 11:04am after two hours of waiting and approximately thirty seconds of metal detector and ticket scanning, I have succeeded in my mission to acquire the coveted bobble head of the legendary mustachioed jays players of old! All that remained was to escape the labyrinth of tunnels in which even the most faithful of natives get lost. I have emerged unscathed save for the occasional fan in withdrawal begging for a bobblehead. After such a harrowing mission, I feel it is time for the bubbly promised to me.