At this time of year, in the thick of a pennant race, with the Rangers nipping at the Astros’ heels for first in the West, and the Twins nipping at the Rangers’ heels for that second wild card spot, games like last night’s are all about scoreboard watching.
Last night at the Ballpark, all eyes were on Sony’s mammoth 5,040 square feet of pristine LED resolution conveniently located over the home run porch in right, or at least convenient to those on the home plate side of the field. If you happen to sit anywhere in the outfield side of the stands that face toward home, sorry, you get to look at nothing. Its one of the two major design flaws at the Ballpark, the other being, they forgot the air conditioning.
But from where I was sitting, on the third base side, was a perfect angle for scoreboard watching. What an exciting night as the events unfolded.
The ever-popular Kiss Cam played, which scours the Ballpark for unsuspecting couples and coaxes them into public displays of affection on command. That’s always good for a laugh. Especially when the really old couple looks like they are trying to extract every last ounce of air out of a spare tire out of one another.
The scoreboard also allows you to see the Dot race in all its glory, probably the lamest thing in all of sports. Three foam circles pretend to race one another in a pre-staged competition. It has all the spontaneity of professional wrestling, but without sweaty men in tights. So I guess it’s the second lamest thing in all of sports, I stand corrected.
Another joy of scoreboard watching is getting to see scenes from the movie Footloose, edited together with shots of Rangers’ fans swaying in the stands like they are shaking off a bad case of prickly heat.
Then there’s the hilarious scene from Wayne’s World where Wayne and Garth jam out to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” It’s comically interspersed with Rangers’ fans violently bobbing their heads up and down, nearly dislodging them from their spines to the beat of the song. It’s sponsored by the Arlington Chiropractic Clinic.
And finally, there’s the always favorite Camera Lingering Far Too Long On Fans Who Have To Do The Awkwardly Long Wave. Hi, look, I am on camera, I will wave hello, hi, hello, hi, I’m still waiving, wait, is the camera still on me? Yes it is, hi, hi, when it is going to go to someone else? Hi. Hello. My hand is getting tired, please go away. Hi. Hello.
Yes, scoreboard watching at the Ballpark is always enjoyable this time of year. It’s a pleasant distraction from what is actually going on down on the field. Which is the Rangers playing eight innings of totally uninspired baseball.
They did generate a little excitement in the bottom of the ninth inning, but it didn’t last long. That’s because they had to get back to showing their daily “Where Is Yu Flying Southwest Airlines To Today?” promotion on the scoreboard. The game nearly threatened to get in the way of that.
I will admit, though, that that brief performance the Rangers staged on the field in the bottom of the ninth, something called “a rally,” was more enjoyable than anything else they showed on the scoreboard.
I have a suggestion to Rangers management: To maximize the fan experience, you should stage more rallies on the field and fewer seizure-like gyrating moments in the stands. I am in The Drug Rehab Agency marketing. I bet more fans would come to see that.