On Conventions. (and Twitter)

Soxfest just wrapped up in these parts and a few interesting nuggets emerged, mostly about the possibility of Jim Thome coming back to the South Side. I for one would like the move. I think anything done in sports (and pretty much any other area of life) done “by committee” is doomed to failure. As a matter of fact, a man I greatly admire, Charles Ping former president of Ohio University, said his personal vision of Hell was an eternity of committee meetings. So Thome coming back to take half or more DH at bats seems good. The whole notion of “clogging the bases” is about as silly a bit of reasoning you will ever find. Clogged bases means there are people on base and a team needs people on base to score.

I got most of my Soxfest information via Twitter (more on that in a second) because I just can’t do conventions. I just find the overzealousness of them to be a little disturbing, to downright frightening. The frenzied cheering, running for autographs and waiting in line to meet someone who probably isn’t that interesting to talk to is outside of my idea of fun. This does come from some first hand and really close second hand observations. I worked at a café during my graduate career across the street from a hotel that hosted various conventions. The two that standout are the Trek and X-files conventions. Oh my GOD. All that you picture is true (except I did not see any Klingons!)

The absolute proof that conventions are for the insane, however, was the two years I worked the Cubs Convention as security. Part of it was meeting the players. The older guys were ok, but the GM at the time was a total turd and Steve Traschel used the line, “do you know who I am?” classy, no? A special pity is reserved for Harry Carry who had no idea where he was (possibly who he was) but was literally led out to the stage, gave a banal rah-rah speech, and then was led off the stage to an elevator never to be seen for the rest of the weekend. The fact that fans still went crazy for him was just sad. Also, this was the late 1990s, not to put to fine a point on it, but the Cubs SUCKED. I mean in January it was already apparent they would suck and yet people went crazy and talked about how this was “the year.” Finally there was the stereotypical running over a child to get an autograph from some marginal player that was their hero growing up. So, I can’t do the convention thing, even though I do feel a slight pull, especially because my son wants to meet Gordon Beckham. Perhaps I’ll bite the bullet next year.

Speaking of Twitter, I didn’t attend Soxfest, but was well aware of its goings on because of all the traffic. I also didn’t watch a lick of the NFL Championships but was kept reasonably informed about all of the big moments in each game. Not only that, it was very entertaining to get so much good humor regarding the NFL broadcasts. Those Soxfest folks didn’t seem to like any of my jokes.


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