Author: Brian McGee – February 15th, 2014
Since I was a little boy, my mom took me to Catholic mass. As the 90’s progressed, and my involvement in more serious levels of sports increased, it wasn’t unusual to show up in my uniform and bolt for the car as soon as the mass was over. One Sunday, I began to notice that it wasn’t uncommon to see a few individuals and families craft strategic exit plans following the eucharist. Now, if you are unfamiliar with the liturgical process, there isn’t a whole lot to be done after communion, at least not from the pews end. The families that conveniently slipped out the side door with a quick genuflect, almost seemed to have the upper hand, especially in avoiding the post church traffic. I wondered why we didn’t follow suit with this ingenious idea…
It was later on that summer, while at a Reds game at Riverfront Stadium, where we were getting beat from what I could tell, pretty handedly, that I found out why we weren’t one of those families to hit the side door after mass. My mom grew up in Cincinnati, born in 1955, with many memories of Crosley Field, the Big Red Machine, and NL Pennants blowing in the wind. I looked over at my mom, sitting in her stadium seat, arms crossed, not happy with the events that were unfolding. But she was glued to that seat.
Now my dad grew up in Indiana, but had adopted the Cincinnati teams as his hometown team, but one thing he did not adopt was my mother’s Catholicism. That’s probably a story for another blog, but I digress… My dad worked as a chemical engineer, and seemed to always be looking for ways to improve systems. His company had season tickets to the Bengals that they would use as gifts to business partners after contracts were signed, and with numerous 2-14 seasons in the early 90’s, it was more like a curse to give a business partner those tickets… Most of them would have rather you swiftly kicked them in the groin or pour salt in their eyes. But my dad didn’t really mind the quality of the football, and I didn’t know any better, so we would often take the tickets and go watch the Bengals get steamrolled up and down the turf. It was a regular habit, but sometime around the first few minutes of the 4th quarter, my dad would turn off his headset radio that he used to listen to the play by play from 700WLW (nothing like completely tuning out your son while at a sports event ^_^ ) and he would stand up, which was my cue to follow suit, and he would say, “looks like it’s done, let’s head for the car so we can beat traffic.”
Back to Riverfront on that summer day. I turned to my mom and asked her, “Why don’t we leave early and beat traffic?” I don’t recall her even turning her head to look at me, but spoke softly to say, “Brian, there are two things you don’t leave early… Church and Baseball.” Then it all sank in. It’s not over till the fat lady sang… and Marge Schott wasn’t much for show tunes. Maybe as a little girl my mom was convinced by someone to leave a game early and fell victim to that unthinkable sinking feeling you get when as you exit the “No ReEntry” gates and you push through the turn style, then you hear it… CRACK… followed by the roar of the crowd… and there you have it… you’ve missed the biggest play of the season…. who knows, but that fear was enough to keep my mother glued to her seat until the game was in the books and Marty flicked off the power switch to his microphone.
So I got quite the education. Even when things seem like they are done, you stick it out till the end, just in case a miracle happens. Thanks for the faith mom.
If you have a story where you stuck it out till the end win or lose, or left early and regretted it, please share with us down in the comment section. Make sure to subscribe to our blog, and just leave us a comment in general! Take care, rounding third and heading for home, this one belongs to the fans!