It is far from true that America loves sports. The Super Bowl attracts barely a third of the nation’s population, even with all the improved viewing technologies and methods of simulating audience accuracy. A lot of people don’t care as much as we do, and we’re here for them.
But we don’t care, and then we care about something so different that it almost feels like a weird protest vote against sheep farming. The Bay Area is said to be in turmoil over the Warriors as they approach their fourth NBA championship in eight years, but four blocks away the Giants announced a total attendance of 22,185 for their game against the Royals Kansas City, whose only current claim to fame is having the worst record in baseball.
Taking into account that the attendance figures are actually just tickets given out and that the actual collection of humans in the ball court looked much more like 12,000 years ago than 22,000 years ago, it’s still of 12,000 people who had so little interest in the local basketball team. quest for glory that they would rather watch their own favorite team play against a nondescript monumental royal team. Such a decision can only be considered as one of two statements.
1. A tunnel tribute to the 2014 World Series
2. A statement about basketball, and in particular that bizarre series in which every game seems close, then comes to an end for someone. It’s the first NBA Finals since 1988 in which every game has finished by a double-digit five-game margin, and only the third all-time after the unforgettable Celtics-St. Louis Hawks series from 1960. The production barometer, the already too dumb to bear “Who’s The MVP Through Game X?” The debate has already swung from Robert Williams to Stephen Curry to Jaylen Brown/Jayson Tatum to Curry to now Andrew Wiggins, and no one knows if these are historically great teams or just what’s available at the beginning of the nation’s collapse.
But none of those things play into a choice to head into the teeth of horrible traffic (like we said, the arena is four blocks from the stadium) to watch what had to be, and in fact turned out to be, a very scrappy baseball game of 10 walks, 14 strikeouts and no home run. The world is talking about a Finals game where the two teams combined to shoot 20-72 from three, and Giants-Royals didn’t even make it to MLB.com.
Going to this over Warriors-Celtics is not a statement because the tickets are so overpriced. Going to this rather than going to what they call Thrive Park outside the arena to spread your cheer is also not a statement, as these are people who clearly hate crowds. Going to that rather than staying home and going back and forth between the two games, however, is a statement, and while we don’t really want to speculate what that statement is, it has something to do with the rejection of the Warrior fan’s hive mind, especially now. They are radical sportsmen who must take to the streets, but leave them immediately for the comfort of their own section in a largely abandoned ballpark offering the bare minimum of professional sports entertainment.
There’s another possibility: they have subscriptions and couldn’t find anyone else to take them and couldn’t bear to let them die in their phone apps. This, of course, is economy gone crazy, but the secondary market wouldn’t offer any help for something so lukewarm; Buying a seat for tonight’s game would only cost you $13, not including the $73 handling and processing fee. Again, the Pittsburgh-St. Louis doubleheader today is priced at $7 for two games, not including the $79 processing, processing, and stupidity fee.
The point here is, insofar as there is one, it’s that some people – about 12,000 of them, more or less – will never be charmed enough by Stephen Curry or Draymond Green or even Otto Porter The Younger, no matter how hard they try to do so. They left their own house to avoid basketball even though they have home remotes that could do the job for them. They could have had free beer in their own coolers instead of domestic $18 in a plastic cup. They could have bought tickets to see the Dodgers over the weekend, but decided to wait for the Royals instead. They had a myriad of choices, and they picked this one. They have gone where all their neighbors are not, because they are iconoclasts.
Or because they are as crazy as barn owls and should be avoided at all costs.