Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sporting Events

Take me out to the ball game
Take me out to the crowd
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks,
I don't care if I never get back . . .

It is no great secret that the average computer professional is not your typical jock sports fan and I am certainly no different.  I played every sport growing up - which I blame on my father's wish that I was athletic - but none of them stuck.  We spent so much father and son time that I never actually considered sporting events to be a dad and daughter activity. Many other dads might have the same problem but once you realize the dad and daughter potential of a sporting event you might kick yourself for not having gone quicker.  That potential can be tapped in to even if you or your daughter has no interest in sports.

Our first daddy-daughter game was a Texas Rangers game at the Ballpark in Arlington:

Dad and daughter activities: Sporting Events - Ballpark at Arlington

We had horrible seats and the rangers sucked that day(they made it to the world series though!!) but we had a ball - so to speak.

There are SO many things for dads and daughters to enjoy that they are almost hard to list out.  We'll start with one of my favorites - the food.  If you and your daughter are going to a sporting baseball game, you are almost required by law to share a hot dog. Just behind that in popularity is the ballpark nachos followed by cotton candy. The most important thing however is popcorn.  I didn't mention the popcorn because it is good but it is absolutely neccessary for the wave and screaming events to follow.

The wave - Unfortunately we were at the ballpark on a slow day and were sitting mostly by ourselves. That didn't stop us from doing the best two-person wave you have ever seen. During this activity, you have to make sure and spill as much popcorn as possible and if possible, on your daughter's head.  As an added bonus, we actually started the wave and a small group of people downstream from us continued it for us.  My daughter REALLY enjoyed that.

Screaming - In this day and age of staying indoors all the time and the military precision with which our schools are ran, our children miss out on some of the basics like screaming like a lunatic. Like I mentioned above, I am not much of a "sportsy" dad but all the same, I explained to my daughter how important it is to support the local team.  We included timeless taunts like "we need a pitcher, not a belly itcher" and a few others but mostly we jumped to our feet screaming when we got a hit. Let the popcorn fly and enjoy the fact that you are in a location where you are almost expected to scream and holler. Sporting events are one of the few places where dad and daughter alike can scream at the top of their lungs.

Halftime\music - At a baseball game we didn't get to experience half-time but in between innings we got to dance like mental patients to some of the best 80s music the sounds system could muster. And during these times, there were usually audience participation games on:

the jumbotron -
Dad and daughter activities: Sporting Events - Scoreboard

One of the above-mentioned games on the jumbotron was kiss\hug and we actually got to give a dad and daughter hug up on the big screen (like I said, it was a slow day at the park). Every time the camera for the jumbotron would pan the crowd, my daughter would put on her best face and try her hardest to be the star. 

Your chances of getting on the jumbotron increase if you are decked out in the local teams gear so stop at academy sporting goods or somewhere before you go. The shirts run about 50% more at the event.

Fireworks for the wrap-up - At our ballpark, there are fireworks after every game. It isn't a dazzling disney world quality show but it is still absolutely wonderful. We snuggled under a blanket and made sure to say oooo during the launch and AWE during the pop.
Dad and daughter activities: Sporting Events - Fireworks

I loved our day at the ballpark and my daughter has already asked to go back. Admittedly, the ballpark was kind of intimidating for a computer guy but just like everything else I do for my daughter, I just got over it and went. If you prepare, leave enough time and assume you probably will not see a wonderful game you are stress-free and able to turn this dad and daughter activity into one you both will love.

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