The ability to grow up but never become a full fledged adult can be both a blessing and a curse. Children can have a lot of energy and enthusiasm without being weighed down by the responsibilities of adulthood. The perspective kids have, particularly about sports, is refreshing. As adults, we can be kids once and a while too.
As a kid you can play baseball for hours, beg your dad for a new mitt, ask your brother to throw BP, and expect your mom will wash your uniform and feed you meals. When you get to go to a big league game everything is exciting. The hotdog tastes better at the ballpark, the grass is greener, the players look like they are straight out of the movies. As an adult the food is awfully expensive, the perfectly manicured infield looks like a lot of hard work to maintain, and the athletes are over-paid egomaniacs.
While age can turn us into realists, going to a sporting event is a lot of fun. Maybe you don't want to go to every game, or your standard for where you want to sit has changed, but the idea of watching the most talented athletes in the world play a children's game at an incredibly high level is tons of fun.
Over the last few years I have picked my spots and refocused my energy on attending events that are once in a lifetime experiences. It might be fun to be a season ticket holder to my favorite team, but I'd rather go to the Kentucky Derby one time, or the British Open than 20 or 30 baseball games. Over the next week I am taking my dad on a trip that we will remember for the rest of our lives.
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I am meeting my dad tonight at the airport in Atlanta. We will attend the Final Four this weekend and enjoy not only the games, but the cheerleaders, bands, student bodies, alumni bases, and joy that comes with not just a team, but an entire community celebrating as one cohesive unit. After One Shining Moment concludes the college basketball season we will descend on Augusta National.
Seeing Tiger Woods is great, but it is the lore, tradition, and familiarity with every shot on the course that makes attending the Masters a lifelong dream. In Augusta there is no back-nine, they play the second-nine. There is no rough, they have a second cut. Galleries do not storm their way from hole to hole chasing their favorite golfers, the patrons respect and admire great golf, picture perfect azaleas, and a pimiento cheese sandwiches.
I fell in love with baseball as a little kid. Freshly cut grass and the crack of the bat are still a thrill from time-to-time. But once a year I try to experience sports in the same way I did the first time I walked into a big league park. With excitement and awe over every detail. Growing up is overrated.