Woo hoo hoo! My first opening day ever! I work in the green industry, so spring is crazy busy and no one gets time off ever. But this year, I managed to use a vacation day so I could partake in the local holiday in Detroit known as Opening Day. I must say, from here on out, I'm never working another Opening Day as long as I live - my boss can pencil it in now. I wont be at my desk.
The camaraderie and love fest for my Kitties in Detroit was breathtaking. Everyone was in good spirits and the party was rockin'. Pregame festivities were based in Grand Circus Park and there was food, food, food, live bands, vendors and just cool people to talk to. It was great! Everyone was social, helpful and all talk was baseball - my own personal heaven. Ain't no party like a Detroit party...
The Tigers didn't disappoint either, due to a wonderful throwing error by Jhonny Peralta at 3rd the tigers went on to beat the Tribe 5-2. My seats were fabulous (ah extra foot room and little table go a long way to helping you manage your items while keeping score on a scorecard - its the little luxuries I guess). Porcello was OK, not stellar, Zumaya was good, Maggs was FABULOUS! 2-4 with an RBI but it was his hit that caused the error so I think he should have gotten a hit for it and be 3-5 with 4 RBI but I digress... It was the largest Tigers home opener ever and second largest attendance record to date.
There was one thing that I couldn't help but notice, and I know many others did too. The party atmosphere was warm (despite the freezing windchill) before and during the game. But after the game it was a whole different story. Alcohol seemed to be the name of the game post game. Now I'm all for drinking and having a good time (yes I went to MSU - I know how to party) and I have done some pretty stupid things when being intoxicated, but post game the town went from happy buzzed social drunk to crazy stupid dangerous drunk. I'm not a fan of dangerous drunk. I actually saw a man running across the street in front of the stadium at full speed, he missed the curb and slid across the sidewalk on his face - skin on cement road rash grossness... it sounded like he broke his arm. He just laid there for a sec and got up and hobbled away... that was my cue to go home. I, as many others, love to laugh and point at the drunk people doing funny things. But when funny turns into possible bodily harm to themselves and others - I'm not laughing anymore.
Which leads me to the question - is opening day about baseball or is it about drinking? I don't want to turn this into a PSA statement but as I walked back to my car (which had acquired $40 worth of parking tickets during the game) I saw more than 5 fights, 3 people puking in trash cans, multiple bush wizzers, 3 people almost hit by cars and more people being propped up by friends than I can remember. I only parked 2 blocks from the stadium! It's not like I hiked out to Highland Park to get my car!
Somehow I managed to go down to Opening Day and have a good time without getting myself totally obliterated (yes I did have a beer at the game = 1 beer, at $8 that was more than enough thank you). How many others did -I think I was in the minority. I'm all for having a few beers, BBQ, chatting with fans and having a good time... but when has the party gone too far and who's responsibility is it to stop it when it turns dangerous?
My only regret to Opening Day is that I didn't get down town earlier in the morning when the party was fun. I only had about an hour and a half to take it all in before I went into the park. Mental note for next season - go down early, and leave right after the game before the fun drunks turn into dangerous drunks.
So, party on Detroit - I'll continue to make a grand appearance and rock the pre-party but don't expect me to stay for the after party... I'm out...