Friday, June 11, 2004

The strawberries-and-cream-joke was already made: Wimby is widening its 22-inch seats, effective 2009, to accomodate either its patrons' expanding waistlines, or their expanding demands. While every government official, doctor and periodical is telling us we're all getting fatter, there is no question we are also a more comfort-attuned populace, that expects service above-and-beyond mere utility.

Go to your "average" baseball stadium nowadays. We can't just have seats and a view. You have to have 14 different restaurants (each with distinct theme), wireless networks, playgrounds, ferris wheels, and booming rock music acknowledging the entrance of every closer. Steve Rushin wrote a good piece in this week's SI titled "Take me out to the...whatever" about just this issue. You need to subscribe to SI (and not for free) to read it, but I'll give you just a snippet:
But never before have so many paid so much to watch so little. You can now go to a raffle and see a baseball game break out: The Blue Jays run a lottery at the stadium for weekend games, in which a $2 ticket buys you a chance at 50% of the day's total pool. (The other half goes to charity.) Baseball's most famous pool is 385 feet square and shares space with a hot tub in Bank One Ballpark in Phoenix. Detroit's Comerica Park has a Ferris wheel (behind third base), a carousel (behind first) and a tavern with a 70-foot bar, so that Tigers fans can spend afternoons a) twirling or b) hurling.

And so, with its raffle tickets and merry-go-rounds and bikini-topped bleacherites glazed in cocoa butter, baseball is one part carnival, one part Carnaval. Carney Lansford is a distant memory.
Carney who?

Now tennis is still pretty far removed from those monstrosities, but it's only a matter of time before we have neon lines, electrified nets, and robot umpires (insert joke here).

1 comment:

enobarbus said...

Minor-league ball is now what major-league ball used to be. Major-league ball is now what P.T. Barnum used to hawk to suckers, only with more-highly-paid freaks.

As for tennis, the U.S. Open is getting pretty close to being that stupid. Wimby will abide, though.