The Hunt for Red's Opening Day

In my life I have never been to a bigger sporting even than Opening Day in Cincinnati. I would say in second place would be the 1997 Homerun Derby in Cleveland, followed up by last years Playoffs of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Washington Wizards. Other than that, I’ve never seen an NFL or MLB playoff game.

Opening day in Cincinnati has a mystique all of its own, and you could only understand it if you have experienced it. The Cincinnati Reds were America’s first pro baseball team. They have the rich tradition of being the only Major League team that has ever began every season with game 1 being opened at home.

I have attended the past two opening days in Cincinnati. It’s looking more and more like this could be a tough game to make for the 3rd year in a row. My only option might end up being, where I found the tickets last season. I don’t want to end up scalping because those guys will make you include your shirt and shoes in the deal. One of my good buddies, Justin (attended opening day 2006 with me), says we’re going. I went to opening day last year after getting engaged to Mrs. Clint, talk about being on cloud-9. Things simply couldn’t get better. Here’s a recap of the past two opening days I’ve attended:

2005: Ahhh, what a day. My senior year in college. I was trying to nail down some tickets all week long. My uncle texted me in the early morning hours of opening day to tell me he had (2) tickets. I elected to take one of my very good friends and frat brothers at the Phi Kappa Psi establishment, Steve. Steve was a Reds fan, but also a fan of Budweiser. We ate some cereal and set sail for the ‘Natti and our first Opening day ever.

We stop only to pick up 8 Budweiser tall boys. We both skipped full days of class. I skipped baseball practice. The sun was shining bright and it was a PERFECT 70 degree day. We found a cheap parking garage and raced to see who could finish their 4 BUD tall cans first. I won, when Steve was on #2. Drunk, we entered the game and a melee ensued for the next 5 innings of Beer and yelling.

Oh and about the game. Adam Dunn homered off Pedro Martinez to put the Reds on the Scoreboard. Dunn homered again in the 9th inning of Mets closer Braden Looper. Joe Randa homered walk-off style to win the game, me and Steve go nuts and both proclaim “The fucking Reds are winning the series this year.” We drove back to Columbus and got on 700 WLW on the way home, it was cool.

2006: This year was much less fun, due to the weather and such, but at a better point in my life. I had just became an engaged man. Just gotten hired at my job, and purchased the tickets off Stubhub. I treated my good friend Justin to the game to be nice, because he’d never been to opening day. We drove up to Uncle Frank’s the night before and watched the Tribe spend opening night getting their heads kicked in.

We woke up early the next morning to a frigid and Chilly day, that saw us both underprepared for the weather. No matter, Uncle Frank and the partners of his firm met us at a fun ass bar in Cincinnati. If we go this year, this is what we’ll be doing. Opening day at the bar scene in Cincinnati is like fucking Mardi Gras. Imagine that, there’s a bunch of drunk people, in one place, getting inebriated before game #1, the team’s in first and everyone’s saying we’re going to the World Series!

After getting pretty shitfaced, we headed to the game, which when we located our seats, they were upper deck, left field. To our left was the snipers, because our great President George Dubya was on hand to throw out the first pitch. The atmosphere was electric. We were freezing our dicks off and talking to a sniper about the gun in which he’d shoot someone with. He indicated that they weren’t worried about someone inside the stadium, but rather someone across the river in kentucky some 800 yards away. Wow.

The game was’t much. We were so cold, we signed up for 3 credit cards we had no intention of using just to get the shirts to avoid frost-bite. Justin bought a gay bullpen jacket, and I bought an almost equally gay windbreaker, which I am taking this year. The Cubs ended up scoring double digits and romping the Reds ass, and Adam Dunn made 2 bad errors in left (and homered). We left, freezing, with the weather having sobered us up.

This year, we’re gonna do it right. There is nothing like opening day in Cincinnati, or in any city. Your team is in first place for at least that day, for a few hours. Hope springs eternal. Plus, like I said, it’s a huge party for a baseball fan.