No Beer at Ball Games
April 6, 2009 | Sports
The typical baseball game lasts about as long as The Godfather parts I and II, with long periods of inactivity punctuated by short bursts to the bathrooms to piss out all the suds used to down all the peanuts in the gallery.
In these cheap seats, especially during a “pitcher’s duel” (baseball parlance for when even less than the nothing that usually happens, happens) the combination of heat stroke and freely flowing beer results in normally staid Toronto fans turning into warring savages in the upper deck.
Before the Jays moved into their cozy, retractable domed-roof confines, they occupied an outdoor stadium situated right by the lake, and on a typical opening day the “Boys of Summer” would be fielding ground balls in a snowdrift. During these lean years, it was nearly impossible to bear those temperatures without ingesting a Great Lake’s worth of booze (picture the loogan in the accompanying photo clutching a stubby bottle of an aged Molson product and you’ll get an idea of how 90 percent of the cheap seats looked in those days).
Last season, in a bid to one-up church in the competition for the place with the fewest number of empty seats on a Sunday, the Toronto Blue Jays started a $2 promotion for nosebleed seating. This drew the kind of crowd that is not overly interested in whether inter-league play truly was the most exciting development in baseball in the last 50 years, but rather those who enjoy punching in the head people who take opposing stands on such mundane issues. Some 100 people were ejected during the Jays’ home opener, a development that president Paul Godfrey linked to booze: ““It’s really unfortunate when some of them feel it’s a night club here.” It should be noted that if the Rogers Dome were a nightclub, it would be the worst nightclub on the planet. [For those of you who are interested, please check out our Ten Ways to Improve Baseball]
Since getting faced in the cheap seats was one of the few fun things remaining about baseball, expect the tumbleweed to be blowing through the upper deck of the Rogers Dome and for the unruly fans to be exhibiting their Labatt lunacy in the comfort of their own homes.
In a statement, Rogers Centre officials said “provincial licensing officials cited drinking ‘infractions’ at several unnamed past events for putting a cork in alcohol sales for two games in the upcoming season, as well as one in the CFL.”
In other Nanny State news, the Toronto Transit Commission (or, the TTC, which as kids we soon dubbed ‘Take the Car’ for obvious reasons) is considering a smoking ban ‘within a 9 meter radius of bus stops!!! Why 9 meters you ask, and not say, 8? Well because a waft of cigarette smoke carried by a gust of wind any closer than that, especially outdoors, can prove instantly fatal. [For those of you interested in another post we did about our Toronto public transit, please Check out our public transit punch-ups]
There is always much hemming and hawing about why tourists don’t flock to our fair city. Well, one reason has to be that despite being among the most diverse places on the planet, the Big Smoke (er…) is still suffering from a Toronto the Dull hangover— the kind that sent Papa Hemingway packing. Yes, there is still no shortage of condescending, Temperance Leaguer busybodies round these parts. [Editors' note: Please see our thoughts on the ridiculous and asinine beer / LCBO liquor store monopoly in Ontario]
“Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies.”