Each spring, a feeling of optimism sweeps over me. As the snow melts and the ground below thaws, new life steps forward. The days get longer, the air warmer. A buzz begins about the oncoming sporting season.
It is with a drive by the stadium that reality begins to sink in. It starts in the East parking lot. The line of blue and white tents reaching up to the sky, ready to shelter the drunken masses that will huddle underneath, drinking beer and eating brats. Guy and girls will be shedding the winter clothing for something lighter and of course, eyeing each other up. Good times will be had by all.
I smile when I see those tents each year. There are many memories of Opening Day in my head. But later today, when the first pitch of the 2007 Milwaukee Brewers baseball season will be thrown, I won't be among the 40k there to witness it.
I like Opening Day as much as the next person. I like drinking as much as the next person, but I don't necessarily like the two together. I would be one of those that would actually like to watch the game. I don't go there because it is the thing to do, or the place to be, or to be able to say I went to Opening Day. I go for the sport itself.
I will probably end up attending 10-20 games this year. Just not today's game.
My own Opening Day will probably be in a week or two. If could be Friday or Saturday as last minute plans may arise. I await my magical moment of seeing the playing field for the first time once again.
This year, the pundits say the Brewers have a chance to make the playoffs, even with their division. Having seen many a losing season, I have my own internal doubts. But it is spring time. And hope springs eternal.
For once, the Brewers have added talent from outside. Not some schlub that is at the end of their career either. They added starting pitching and a catcher that can hit. They have a young core of players that is one more year wiser and with some hunger.
It would be amazing to be in the hunt in September, but I am going to keep it simple. A winning record will make me happy. But like other fans across the country, I cannot help but think that if they catch a couple of breaks along the way, that yes, the Milwaukee Brewers can win some games and maybe, just maybe, win a pennant.