Don’t get me wrong, I like living in Los Angeles County, and LA people are just like anywhere else … mostly likeable. There is one thing I have a real beef about, how common it is to be late for things for most of them.
I call it the “Third Inning Rule” because the most obvious place to see this phenomenon is at a Los Angeles Dodger Game. Dodger Stadium is a beautiful venue … one that I keep forgetting to blog about. Not only is it the oldest baseball stadium west of the Mississippi, not only does it’s open air feel make sitting at the game enjoyable, but it has some of the best views in & around the park as any stadium I’ve been to. It’s generally easy to get to (especially for such an old stadium), wedged between 3 or 4 freeways and most of downtown. Like most professional sports, food and drink cost more than some tickets; but there is a lot of variety and unique items to get. Add that to the normal pre-game activities, you think that folks wouldn’t mind showing up before a game. You would think that!
If you ever watch a Dodger Game, check out the stands in the 1st inning versus midgame. The place can seem nearly empty at first pitch, but then the steady stream shows up … and shows up … and shows up. It is not out of the question for a game to be a complete sell-out, but seem like the exact opposite for the first few innings. Usually by the 3rd inning, folks are all there — and that’s why I call it the Third Inning Rule. AND … they aren’t even hanging around somewhere else, they are all showing up late. Late!
I’m not the only one who notices this either. Last Monday, Dodger Stadium had a power outage in the bottom of the 1st that lasted nearly a half hour. I caught the Brewer’s radio broadcast that night, and they were relentless on the late coming Dodger fans. The best line was: “These poor Angelinos … now they have to sit through 9 whole innings.”
Dodger fans, as well, are known for taking off early too. In one of the greatest moments in Baseball history – Kirk Gibson’s 1988 walk-off home run in game 1 of the World Series, you can see in the back ground as the ball goes over the wall the taillights of a car leaving the parking lot. So, picture what is in that person’s head “I am attending a World Series, I am surrounded by history, this could be the most significant thing that I myself witnessed in my whole life … but I better leave now to beat the traffic.”
My beef with this hit its head, not for a baseball game … but for a concert. I went to watch my favorite band The Decemberists play live at the Greek Theater. The opening group was a bunch of guys from Houston named Whitney on their own tour. While it was a Tuesday night concert, Decemberists is still a nationally recognized group playing at one of the best concert venues you can find. Now, I never heard of Whitney before that night, but if they are opening for the Decemberits at the Greek … there is a good chance they will be pretty good. As it turns out … they were pretty good. I know this because I was one of the fifty people there for their set. The other 1500 people filtered in after … and some a few songs into the headliner. I mean, come on guys … make an effort.
Granted, I like being early at these kinds of things. Most of the time, I just don’t like being late … but I love the build-up and excitement. Whether its at a concert, at a sports event, or at a movie. If something starts at 6:30 … I like having butts in seats by 6:00; 5:00 if I can catch batting practice.
So … just keep that in mind if you ever are planning something with me. Early is on time, On-time is late, and the third inning is saved only for hot dogs.