Monday, July 14, 2008

Brave (sic) new world

This is an amazing document: my best friend in the history of time, my daughter, my only kid, professing love for the Atlanta Braves baseball team.

I have always despised the Atlanta Braves baseball team. This child has never been to Atlanta. She loves her daddy. How did this come to be?

I don’t know. She doesn’t know. I asked her why she would do such a thing, and she responded, “Because I wanted to,” and then broke into the “Barney” theme song.

We went to see the Braves play the Padres in San Diego today. We showed up late and left early but, still, the little girl got bored. I can see why. It is, admittedly, a slow game. And, though she lacks the experience to make the comparison, these are two dull teams, almost totally devoid of star power.

For example: today was kids’ cap day at Petco Park, and the best the Padres could come up with to emblazon on the giveaway hat was shortstop Khalil Greene. All due respects to a fellow human being who has made it to the big leagues at a clutch infield position, but Khalil Greene is not exactly a household name – not outside of his family’s households.

That’s a Khalil Greene San Diego Padres hat flipped sideways on the little traitor’s head in the photograph I snapped of her, holding the heretical “I (heart) You Brave” (sic) sign.

I, on the other hand, HATE you, Brave (sic).

Leyla was born in New York City, at NYU Hospital on Murral Hill in Manhattan. Her parents were living, at the time, in a village that straddles Queens and Nassau County. We had moved east to get there, from a neighborhood in Queens that is within walking distance of Shea Stadium, home of The New York Mets.

Her daddy, a transplant from St. Louis, had often walked to Shea to see the Mets. He often walked there with jump blues legend (and progenitor of ska and reggae), the great Rosco Gordon. Rosco had served as best man in her parents’ wedding. Rosco also had suffered through decades of disastrous Mets losses, living in the shadow of Shea. Though I have never claimed to know, personally, the pain of the long-suffering Mets fan, I do know personally a large number of people who know all that pain. And that hurts.

One face of Mets pain – and, this pain, I know – is The Atlanta Braves. Mick Jagger once sang, rhetorically, “Who wants yesterday’s papers?” I’m with Mick on this one. Who wants yesterday’s box scores? Not me. You can look them up. You will find the Braves beating the Mets up a lot, especially in the years I lived in New York (1998-2004) – and always whenever it counted.

The names Brian Jordan and Armando Benitez will salt the wounds of these memories to any hapless Mets fan who stumbles upon this little portrait of a traitor, my daughter.

I am taking the high and long roads on this one. I am taking for granted I am not raising a Braves fan in my own house. I am also looking on the bright side. It was a Padres home game. She was rooting for the visitor, a contrarian stance she comes by honestly. As far as she could possibly have known, looking around her, in a sea of Padre brown, she was rooting for the underdog. That much is my girl.

As it turns out, she was also rooting for a winner. The Braves crushed the Padres, 12-3.

Did that make her day?

“No,” she just said, at bed time. “It just didn’t. I was getting bored. It wasn’t fun to watch.”

Now, that’s my girl. It’s never fun to watch the Brave (sic) win!


Skooby said...

I'm sitting in an airport and unfortunately don't have time to read past your latest entry. Your daughter is beautiful. I'll be back soon. - Scribber D

Chris Connolly said...

Dude, I'm a Yankee fan and I absolutely don't know what I'd do if either of my sons picked the Red Sox. I'm impressed that you take such a laid back, philosophical approach to the thing. I've already taught Oliver how to do the "Let's go Yankees" chant.