An estimated crowd of 500,000 jammed into a postage-stamp size section of Arlington surrounding the Rangers ballpark yesterday to celebrate the Rangers winning their first-ever World Series championship.
It became painfully obvious this was the Rangers first-ever victory parade.
Whoever organized this parade has also never done, seen, or heard of a parade in their life. To begin with, it began late. It’s not a good idea to keep a half-million people crammed into a small area waiting.
Oh, then there was that. Many times with parades, a town will put up bleachers circling the parade route for comfort and ease of viewing. Did Arlington? Nope. Which meant, unless you were lucky enough (or crazy enough) to have gotten there hours ahead, or even the night before, you were not going to see a thing. Because the Rangers paraded everyone out in cars or Toyota Tundras, the official parter of the Texas Rangers, a vehicle too low to the ground for a crowd of parade goers to see, when the point of a parade is to let the objects you are parading be seen.
But all those thing could be overlooked (which, they, literally, were). What couldn’t be forgiven was the actual parade itself.
Look, I am no parade expert. But I’ve been to my fair share of parades and I know in a parade, you parade objects or vehicles filled with the people you are celebrating one by one past a crowd who is there to celebrate you. And one by one means, one right after another, right meaning directly after. Not long, painful minutes after.
Instead, this happened, and this is no exaggeration. A truck with Rangers Caption, the silly horse mascot drove by. The crowd got excited, anticipating the start of the parade. About twenty minutes later, a marching band walked by, playing, unorganized, as if someone had just thought, “Hey, we need a marching band, call down to the local high school and see if you can get them over here.”
About ten minutes later an Arlington fire truck drove by with firefighters waving to a crowd of half a million who didn’t come to celebrate firefighting. But, you’re thinking, finally, the parade is starting, and finally, a vehicle high enough for people to see.
The parade didn’t start, it never really started. It sort of just rolled out, on a leisurely pace, with no rhyme or reason. All that started was, in fact, misery. Five minutes later, a car with the mayor drove by. Five minutes later, a car with local dignitaries. Then, three minutes later, a car with one owner (and his family) and three minutes after that, another car with the owner and his family. Hardly anyone knows who they are. By being in low-to-the-ground cars, hardly anyone will still know who they are, or what they look like.
About ten minutes later, a truck with the on-field personnel drives by. Five minutes after that, the front office. Then every four or five minutes, a truck holding a coach. It was twenty minutes later, yes twenty minutes, before a truck holding Matt Bush and Grant Anderson drove by. The crowd could barely contain their joy in thanking them for all their World Series contributions. Then in four- or five-minute intervals, pickup trucks with individual players and their families drove by. It was like going to a horse race. They run a race, there’s a quick jolt of energy for a few seconds, then twenty minutes later, they run another one. Worse, it was like going to an NFL game. They run a play, nothing happens for while, they run another play, nothing happens. On TV, they are showing endless replays of that play, which masks the fact that in person, fans are sitting there waiting and waiting and waiting for the next one.
Only once did two pickup trucks pass back to back, in, you know, parade-like fashion. The second one held Max Scherzer. He got the biggest ovation. Not because it was Max Scherzer but because, finally, no interval. It went that way the rest of the parade. One small, too-close-to-the-ground truck with a player waving. Four minutes later, another. It was the lamest parade ever. So many people got bored and left.
It was as if they the local Toyota dealership could spare only three or four Tundras and then the parade organizer realized, oh, we don’t have enough vehicles, so they had to drive them around, swap out players, and then drive the new players around. Imagine when you sit down to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in a few weeks, you see a Goofy balloon, then, four minutes later, another float, then five minutes later, look, a marching band.
It was rumored the vehicle holding Aroldis Chapman veered out of control and hit a light pole going 104-miles per hour.
When the parade was finally over, the half-a-million parade goers cheered. “Yay, no more of this.” Authorities sort of took down a barrier here and there to allow people to congregate in the parking lot near the entrance to Texas Live, where the Rangers set up a podium and gave speeches. This, in contrast to the more-than-two-hour parade—most of which was spent staring at an empty street, waiting—was enjoyable.
Yesterday was a microcosm of being a Rangers fan: you had to suffer through what felt like years and years of parade misery until you finally got to the good part.
Oh, one more thing. Someone forgot to tell the Arlington police there was a parade. Because there was no traffic regulation. Half a million people shoved into a few-block area, having to fend for themselves, fighting to find parking, and having to wait up to thirty minutes to make a lefthand turn.
We all hope the Rangers win many more championships. Here’s hoping they never ever put on another parade. It was wonderful to see so many—a half a million!—fans gather to celebrate. Baseball is alive and well in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. We love the Rangers.
Walking away, I couldn’t help wonder, “What would this place be like if the Cowboys ever won?” Luckily, we will never have to find out