Home Opener Preparation List #1 (27 days to go!)
April 13th is the Cubs home opener against the Rockies. Same date for the Dodgers against the Giants. I only know that because a guy I used to date loves the Dodgers. You can see why that didn’t last.
What does 27 days to home opener mean? It’s the first round of preparation for me. Of couse it takes a bit more for me because I am flying 1700 miles to see my beloved team open up at home. Every die-hard fan around this country prepares for their team’s home opener. Here’s my first round of preparation, or what I recommend others do. Feel free to add things I’ve missed. Praying, building up a tolerance, watching last year’s season over again (are you kidding me?! Well at least not the playoffs..):
At less than a month before home opener here is what you should be doing:
- if you don’t have your plane ticket booked (if you have to take a plane) you are pretty SOL at this point. Find a friend with a private jet. Or ask the heads of the finance companies to use theirs. They don’t seem to mind using them for whatever reason.
- you should start to plan your home opener day out strategically; best bet is a hearty breakfast if it’s an all day drink-a-thon in semi-winter weather (i.e. Chicago/Boston/Milwaukee/St.Louis). It’s important to get nutrients in. Trust me..we’ve all made that brutal mistake before. Ok at least I have.
- Try to locate your flask if you don’t partake in the beer vendors at the park. I myself just moved and need to find my Playboy bunny flask to sneak my Captain Morgan in.
- Start thinking about who you really want to spend pre-game with and post-game. This is important as you are in an entirely different state of mind for these two time periods.Pre-game = excitement, sobriety, happiness. Post-game can mean excitement, happiness…maybe not sobiety but it can also mean anger, being cold to the bone from sitting in freezing weather, or sad if your team loses…well usually that’s anger or just annoyance this early into the season. Be careful you hang out with those who understand your many changing moods in the pre/post state of a home opener game.
- Already know who you are going to the game with. This is ESSENTIAL. Very important. On home opener it is CRUCIAL that you only bring experienced baseball home openers, and ones who love the game. You can hang out with non-experienced home opener people pre and post game, but AT the game is an entirely different situation. First of all, pick someone who understands that going to the bathroom really isn’t important, either that or they only have to go when you do. Standing in line for some specialty item like pizza or nachos is a waste of time. Buy whatever the vendors are selling. Compromise and get a hotdog, pretzel or a bag of peanut. Someone who knows how to dress, and is as prepared as you are. One time I brought my dear friend Rayne (bless her heart) who wore designer heels to the opener when it was about 25 degrees. She’s a White Sox fan who can’t name one player on her team..go figure.
- Start thinking about wardrobe. I know, it’s still 4 weeks away, but if you are attending in a climate like I am where you don’t know if it will be a warm front of 65 degrees or a blizzard with -2 windchill, you’ve got to start thinking about it. Should I wear my Cubs jersey or Cubs scarf and layered jacket? Do I bring them all? It’s a tough call, best saved for the night before the game. In my case I’ll have to just put everything in my suitcase to be fully prepared. This is the time when you usually order something new from your team website. It’s a new season..to heck with that lucky Cubs shirt you wore last year (yeah a lot of good mine did me).
- Where will we have pre-game at? Do we plant ourselves in one location or are we going bar hopping? Essential to plan this out now because meeting your friends out can be a pain when you aren’t staying in one place for more than one drink. Start mapping out your home opener trail. In my case do we start on Clark and Addison post-game and work our way north to the Gold Coast or towards downtown bars? It’s a tough call.
- Last, but not least, probably the most important. Keep on eye on your team at spring training. What’s the mood? Is there a feeling you get from your team right now? Do they seem excited? Are they winning? Are they getting along? Get to know your new roster, it’s like going to a family reunion on home opener. You haven’t seen them in awhile and you want to catch up a little before you actually see them in action on the field. What are the new ones like? Any history you need to know about before you immediately welcome them in with open arms (i.e. Milton Bradley)?
Once you’ve accomplished these tasks for preparation, you are ready for the 2 week countdown (list #2) which will have a whole other set of preparation guidelines, This is my bible for a perfect home opener day. Learn it love it and most of all, have fun. It’s baseball season baby!