Hooray for Opening Day! What a fight on Opening Night!
There was a lot of talk about the absurdity of having the Sox and Yankees open the season, especially on a Sunday night. Some of the reasons that I heard arguing against it were as follows;
- They ruined the “holiday” factor of opening day. People would no longer take off of work/school to spend the day in Boston and see the game. The idea of Opening Night would kill the special feel associated with an opening day game. Especially with Easter being on this particular Sunday, there was a concern that the game would lose some attention.
- ESPN was the reason the game was moved. Originally scheduled as a Monday day game, this game was moved to Sunday night as part of ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. Under contract, they reserved the right to move one game to Sunday to start the season, and being Sox/Yanks, it was the big ticket game. Naturally, they chose it. I’m not exactly sure of all the details, but as I understand it, due to the NCAA Women’s tournament having priority to the ESPN broadcast, Sunday Night Baseball was moved to ESPN 2, losing its broadcast rights in the Boston and NY markets. This then seemed silly as ESPN would lose the majority of their viewership.
- Red Sox vs. Yankees? Really? These teams play about 19 times a year, why do they need to start off the season facing each other. The game means very little, and it would make more sense for the teams to meet first in May when they are both a little bit more into the flow of the season.
I was almost on board with these arguments. Then I watched last night’s game, and now I am completely okay with the move. My counter arguments;
- Even with Easter, this was still a holiday for me. I agree, it may have detracted from the day if I was going to the game, but I wasn’t that lucky. Instead, I woke up, put on my lucky Red Sox undergarments, (what else says fandom like a nice pair of Red Sox boxers), and went to church. After church, I changed into my full Sox outfit. Red Sox t-shirt, White Home Jersey (#3), and Red baseball cap with traditional B logo. Blue brim. Appropriately faded with about 10 years of wear on it. I still had an Easter dinner, and I don’t think the game interfered with that at all. I was excited all day, and by the time the game started I was ecstatic. The buildup was great. I watched the whole game, stayed up to late, and was tired at work. It was totally worth it.
- ESPN would have had this issue no matter what game was selected. I don’t get the argument. The fact is ESPN was taken. ESPN 2 had issues no matter what team/network they had to deal with. Why not select the game with the best chance of viewership out of market? Aside from that, I, along with much of the working world, would not be watching the game if it was this afternoon.
- I use your point against you. These teams play 19 times a year! Who cares if three of them are right out of the gate? The two teams can still meet several times in August and September. Last night’s game was a back and forth fantastic game. I could not be more amped up for the season.
As for the event itself, wow. It left me in a euphoric daze, at a loss for words combined with the excitement of a thrilling comeback. The opening ceremonies were very well done, and not overly drawn out. Bringing Pedro out from behind the green monster was great, though the song choice was a bit strange. They probably could have done something with a little more pump-up factor. Joshua Sacco delivering the miracle speech was quite possibly the funniest thing I have ever seen. It was not tasteless, only because he is a kid, and he delivered it so well. I didn’t see any clips of the Yankee dugout, but I have to believe even they were smiling. It was classic.
And now to applaud you, the fan. I could not have been prouder of Red Sox Nation than when Mike Lowell got a standing ovation that delayed the reading of the roster. Mike, I hope you felt appreciated last night, because we still love you. Give us your all and we will support you, even if it is a limited role.
Neil Diamond, what was with that jacket? You were 17 when the Dodgers moved. Still holding a grudge? Regardless, it was great. I’m very happy NESN showed that and didn’t just cut to commercial. Stephen Tyler on the other hand, I could have done without. You really were not that good, and then you creepily almost went full bore into a lip locked kiss with your daughter. It looked like she had to pull away just to avoid that from happening.
Well that’s enough for now. This post is long enough. I will analyze play more down the road, especially after Tuesday’s game as I have tickets!