Like a middle-school dance

That’s how my father described the atmosphere of Wrigley Field the first time he was there, astounded by the fact that seemingly no one ever sits down for more than a couple pitches before wandering off again hither and yon.

Ordinarily, because my season ticket seat is high up in the upper deck, where the slope allows me to see over the heads of the perambulators, that’s just a minor source of annoyance for me. Kind of along the lines of that caused by people who don’t understand that you let the passengers off the train first before attempting to board.

But Sunday, we were in the lower deck, section 108, where to see the game we had to see over or through anyone in the aisle. And everyone was always in the aisle. Which led me to a couple of possible solutions.

The first idea is for true baseball fans to work up an advertising and media campaign to make wandering fans realize that, come the Day of Judgment, their behavior at baseball games–like all bad behavior–will be held against them. Just as a good fan might get extra credit for, say, knocking the glove off an opposing fielder reaching into the stands to attempt a catch, a drunken lout will find his balance sheet slipping more into the red for every time he staggered back from the concession stand and unwittingly left most of his new beer down the back of, say, a nearby nun. The calculation that determines eternal damnation is a complex algorithm, of course, making Fermat’s Last Theorem look like the formula for figuring E.R.A., but I have faith that trips up and down the aisle while yammering into two cell phones have their part in it. We just have to make the drunks realize it.

The second option is to have Pedometer Day at Wrigley Field every day. Each fan, upon entering, would get a pedometer, which he would be forced to wear during the entire game. At the conclusion of the game, everyone’s pedometer would be checked, and anyone who walked more than the average beer vendor would have to stay and clean the park with a toothbrush. His own. This plan has the virtue of simplicity and a very American attempt to encourage good behavior through imprisonment and hard work.

Anyone have better ideas?

Original comments…

Steve: Maybe make a 3rd inning, 5th inning and 7th inning stretch where people can go to a designated area and exchange phone numbers.

At Wrigley only of course….

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