A week ago, I went to my first baseball game in the last nine months.
The weather was cool.
The soda (yes, soda) was cold.
And the fan response was like the Siberian tundra.
Barely 22,000 fans showed up to see the red-hot Red Sox wrest first place from the Yankees.
The game had everything a fan could want. There were rallies when teams were down, there were clutch base hits, crucial strikeouts and jockeying on the basepaths and in the bullpen.
The game ended on a home run in the bottom of the ninth.
Perfect game, no?
Well, not exactly. Fenway Park, venerable home of Boston baseball for almost a century, was dead as a door nail.
The bleachers were a sea of empty green seats, as if to mock the giant "Thanks Fans" sign on the Diamond Vision.
The Wave hardly made it out of the bleachers.
No one got arrested or thrown out of the stadium.
What a bore!
I have to admit, I was surprised. As much as I thought the fans were angry, as much as I thought players and owners had take them for granted during their nine-month fratricide, I always felt that once the National Anthem started playing again, the fans would flock back to their seats. Clearly, I was wrong.
Fan resentment of the rich players and the richer owners is nothing new. But this time, it seems like fans are beginning to see the game not as an escape from the world's aggravations, but a source of them.