...to those who wait.
Sometimes it just pays to stick it out. Think about it. You've bought your ticket, you've committed your day, or night, what's the worst thing that can happen? Maybe you get a little cold, or wet. Or maybe you have to pour an extra cup of coffee in the morning to get going. But think about what might happen if you call it quits! Would you risk missing out?
To date, my go-to example was the 2004 Michigan-Michigan State football game. Losing by 17, about 6 minutes to go and hope appeared lost. The warm, sunny day had started to cool. One of my housemates headed home. Braylon and Braylon, the couple that stood in front of us throughout the season and wore matching Braylon Edwards jerseys, called it quits. And a good chunk of the 111,000+ crowd had headed home. Enter: the Braylon Edwards show, triple overtime and the most electric, exciting game that I've ever been a part of, freezing cold--jumping and yelling to stay warm. Of course, all 111,000 will claim to have been there, but only a fraction of that number actually made it through. For the rest of you, here's a recap.
So why all of this? Last night, with cream-of-the-crop company tickets in hand, I went down to Camden Yards with my wife, a co-worker and his girlfriend. I was excited to see John Smoltz, who I had never seen pitch before (it turns out, that I actually had, in the 2005 All Star Game, when he took the loss), who looked stellar in the first few innings. Meanwhile, U-M alumni Rich Hill was getting destroyed on the mound and before you knew it, the game was a 9-1 laugher.
Then the rains came.
My wife saw it coming in the concession line--an enormous black mass of clouds heading in from the direction of the football stadium. By all accounts it wasn't really supposed to rain, but it did--hard. My first thought was, "ooh, this game isn't official yet, so maybe it will get rained out and we'll have these great seats again." It was certainly raining too hard to walk to my car to go home, so the concourse it was.
Rain Delays are exceedingly dull, by the way. Step 1: find something to do.
"Ok, let's come up with all the words that rhyme with Oriole"
(hilariously wide eyes as we realize how hard that was). We came up with three: (in order) Arboreal, Memorial, Sartorial
More delay. Fewer things to do. No word when the game would start. It started to lighten up after about 35 minutes, and I was cold and wet again, debating whether to stick it out. We decided to stay--we had great seats, we were already there and we only saw 4 1/2 innings of the game, we'll still have plenty of time to leave early if we want. So we stayed.
Witness: The greatest comeback in Baltimore Orioles history and the greatest comeback by a last place team over a first place team in Major League History. I wish I had brought a camera, although I was able to take some halfway decent pictures with my 5 year old cellphone (it was state-of-the art at the time). Here's Nick Markakis studying Jonathan Papelbon's warmups as Felix Pie prepares to march to his ugly, swinging death. Markakis will drive in the winning run, via a double and play at the plate in approximately 3 minutes.
99% of the time it won't be worth it, but that other 1% you'll never forget. Also, never, EVER, take good seats for granted.