Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Cathedrals of the Game

Every now and then, INHD runs a series called "Cathedrals of the Game." It's a good watch, but the title is more than a little ironic (if not outright preposterous), as more than half of the 15 or so parks they tour are named for a corporate sponsor (Minute Miad, Safeco, PNC, etc.) I can't imagine ever going to mass at Ignatius Press Parish or St. Domino's Basilica.

In that vein, read this from the Lion and the Cardinal:

I mentally compiled a short list of immediate changes in policy that I would make were I the owner of a baseball team, to dramatically improve the experience of watching the game. Bear in mind, of course, that doomed contrarian anachronism accounts for a healthy nine-tenths of my opinions on all subjects.

1) Tear out all the JumboTrons and electronic scoreboards. These more than anything poison the experience of watching live sports. If a man wants to watch TV, he can stay home.

2) Forbid all canned rock music. The ballpark organ exists for a reason. Make the organist earn his living.

3) Impose a dress code. Sport jackets and straw hats for men, ankle length sun dresses for women. Just like it was back in the good old days when the world was sane.

4) Accept as much advertising as necessary, but mandate that it all be designed in an old-timey graphic style, reminiscent of the late 19th or early 20th century.

5) Sing all the verses to Take Me out to the Ball Game, not just the chorus. And by the way: the word is never: nnnnnnnever. There is a consonant at the beginning of that word. Nobody is allowed to act smart and claim that there is a double negative in the song. The words are being sung in the voice of Katie Casey, who is pleading her gentleman-caller to take her to the ball game. She is not currently at the ball game. When she says that she does not care if she nnnnnnnever gets back, she means that she would be perfectly content to remain at the ball game forever. This may be hyperbolic, but it is clearly what the songwriter intended.

After that I would begin gathering funds for the Gothic Revival ballpark. It would include a copper roof with numerous turrets (sort of a cross between the old South End Grounds and Craigievar Castle); tympana over the entrances surrounded by niches for statues of fondly remembered players; functional gargoyles caricaturing famous opponents; a tower hung with change-ringing bells to be pealed upon victory; a manual scoreboard vaguely resembling a winged altarpiece; and an astronomical clock with automata that re├źnact great plays from team history on the hour. And possibly a bear pit out among the center field foliage, like they have in Old Bern.
Now, what is the obvious analog to a traditionalist revival of ball parks? A traditional revival of church buildings, of course. Fr. Z connects all the dots. Great stuff.

I would choose to worship at the Polo grounds, with Vin Scully presiding and doing play-by-play of The Catch. Afterwards, The Babe would perform an exorcism on Ty Cobb while Harry Caray chants "Holy Cow, Holy Cow, Holy Cow..."

Also, "doomed contrarian anachronism accounts for a healthy nine-tenths of [his] opinions on all subjects?" By all means, ditto.

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At 2:07 PM, June 05, 2007, Blogger CD said...

Moustache update please.

At 1:00 PM, June 07, 2007, Blogger Vince said...

Um, yeah, about that 'stache... the strippers didn't like it.


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