Take Me Out To The Home Game

In a season where ALL the games are “Home” Games

A satire…

Tampa – Local baseball fan Allen Cole gave a sigh of anxious anticipation this week as he eyed the 2020 Tampa Bay Rays schedule. “This will truly be one for the record books,” says Cole, 30, a computer programmer who has worked from home since March. “The sort of physical endurance a fan needs for a season like this, a lot of guys won’t be up for it.”

Cole refers to, of course, the fact that the entire Rays season includes just six days, none consecutive, without a televised game.

“A normal season has regular stretches of two to four days without a game,” says Cole. “The guys I know use those days to catch up on work, read to their kids, maybe call their mother. It’ll be real hard to do that this year.”

A condensed season with nearly constant games presents other challenges, too.

“With fewer games in total, I’ll probably go through fewer cases of beer,” Cole admits. “But never before have we seen this concentration of twelve ounce curls. You’re going to see a lot of guys that usually drink right handed adding some left handed days to their rotation.”

A unique season presents more than just physical challenges. Sports fans are emotional, sometimes egregiously so. A season with fewer nights off presents fewer opportunities to balance expectation, loss, and reality. Cole agrees.

“After a tough series loss, you know, maybe you dive into a work project or take your wife to dinner…whatever you gotta do to forget that loss for a while. With all these games, it’ll be hard to find time for lesser obligations. The real pros will get through it, though.”

Allen’s wife Donna, 31, speaking to us during a brief break from her eight hour New Girl marathon, has fears of her own.

“Allen hasn’t shaved since March,” says Donna, a part time hairdresser. “He usually does one of those damn ‘playoff beards.’ If this season bleeds into No Shave November…he’ll be able to play Joseph in our annual church Christmas play.”

Hygiene concerns abound for Donna, who indicates Allen has taken exactly eleven showers since his employer began work from home operations. “I’ve counted,” she contends.

Allen, to his credit, is resolute in the face of mounting skepticism.

“The work you do in the pre-season is so important, now more than ever. But you can’t lose sight of your daily preparation…do I have enough sunflower seeds, is there an afternoon start today….these are the questions that can really ruin a good season.”

In a year of mounting uncertainty, it’s impossible not to see the glint of optimism in Cole’s eye, a fan at the peak of his game.

“You train your whole life for the chance that a season like this might happen,” he says. “To finally have this opportunity to prove yourself…it’s truly special.”

At Press Time Allen Cole had not responded to three requests to take out the trash.

COVID Chronicles Part Two: The Weight and The Wait

Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland was a ghost town the morning of the park’s public opening on July 11th

A few weekends ago, Crystal and I went out to one of our neighborhoods nicest restaurants, a steakhouse, for a spur of the moment night out. We had been “out” to dinner a few times in the time since the State of Florida began to lift some restrictions, but this was the first “fancy” night out since, probably, my 30th birthday last November. When I went to get dressed – opting for a pair of pants I had worn on my last day in the office in March – a problem presented itself: they didn’t fit! In March, the navy blue chinos were almost too large, now they were the opposite: too tight. I quickly shifted to a pair of fashion forward jeans that were far more forgiving and still plenty acceptable for the steak house in question. A great, delicious evening was had by all.

My quarantine weight served as yet another example of all the impacts that isolation has had, on me and plenty more. Crystal and I intentionally ate poorly at the onset of all this, which I admitted in my last post, but even as I reigned in my habits I still wasn’t seeing the scale follow suit. I spent a few days brooding over this, especially considering I had committed several weeks of effort into a rough draft of a book about weight loss and now couldn’t fit into my own pants. For years I’ve been a champion of not being too hard on one’s self, now more than ever. The episode with the pants, though, served to challenge my own narrative. A new wave of anxiety ensued.

My renewed anxiety was furthered by a revolving door of “hurry up and wait” narratives, both in my own mind and in the public consciousness. We learned this week that our honeymoon cruise, scheduled for late September, is now cancelled. This capped a months long personal saga spent trolling internet news sites for headlines about the cruise industry and whether or not our ship would sail. Elsewhere, I’ve labored over whether or not my loved Tampa Bay Lightning will get another shot at the Cup this year or whether the Buccaneers signing of Tom Brady will even ever matter. As a sort of barometer of progress against the virus, I’ve followed the ups and downs of the release date for Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet”; nearly every day there has been news that the release date was going to be moved back, it’s been moved 2-3 times, two weeks a pop. I’ve asked, endless times, will this be the week that we see a turn towards normalcy? What about this one? How about now? It’s been a season of hurrying to wait further still.

Finally I resolved to put all that aside. Saying nothing of making the best of a bad situation, I opted to focus on the little things. The things that, when this is all said and done, I’ll sit back and say I miss about this era. Here are a few:


I’ve written extensively on this blog about my love of reading. With nowhere to go, no lengthy commutes, no new movies, and the heat of summer, my rate of consumption has exploded. I hadn’t thought of keeping track early enough, but I’ve probably read 15 books since leaving the office in March, the majority of them in the last month and a half. Both out of a desire to keep my budget in check and a lack of any more shelf space, the majority of these books have come from the library, a resource I’ve been neglecting for years. I imagine my reading will continue at elevated levels when this is all over, but the pace I’m on will be unsustainable once we’re back to normal.


Traffic is something nobody complains about anymore. Even those among us that leave for jobs in essential fields don’t experience much of it. Meanwhile, we never have to wait for a table at our local breakfast spot anymore. We had a similar experience at Walt Disney World: wearing a mask in that heat was a real bitch, but waiting no time at all for attractions that normally garner two hours lines was a rare treat. These and other businesses, of course, cannot survive like this for long. But being able to come and go so easily has had for me, a consumer, a relaxing effect.


I never could have guesses that we’d be beginning our lives as homeowners and a married couple like this. That said, spending so much time waiting for something else has left plenty of time to be…together. We’ve burned through all seven seasons of New Girl (a show that predicts COVID-19 in it’s final season, it’s true!). There’s been plenty of time in the morning for coffee together. More than ever there have been opportunities for after-dinner walks, lunch by the pool, and sunsets on the back patio. 

What could be better than that?

Stay safe everyone.