Saturday, July 26, 2008

Beach Balls, Expensive Junk Food And Urinating In A Trough -- The Dark Side of Dodger Stadium: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

If you're a baseball fan like me, there's nothing like going to Dodger Stadium. It's not just a ballpark, it's a pilgrimage that all baseball fans should make at least once. The atmosphere, the mystique, the Dodger Dogs. It's awesome.

That said, Dodger Stadium has a dark side as well. And because not everyone who reads this blog likes the Great American Pastime, let me tell you about the Dodger Stadium that lies beyond the baseball.

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OK, I have a confession to make: I never understood the whole beach ball thing. For those who don't know, baseball games have this tradition of someone bringing a beach ball and then hitting it among the patrons sitting throughout the stands. Inevitably, the ball either goes over the railing or gets taken away by an usher, and everyone boos.


Forgive me, but I don't get it. What is the appeal of this? It's distracting, it's annoying, and if you're one of the people who actually end up hitting the ball, it's really not that big of a thrill. It's like the latest Indiana Jones movie: A big buildup, and then the ending sucks.

While at my latest Dodger game, sitting on the top deck with the real fans (i.e., the cheapskates), I hit the beach ball twice.

The first time, I mistimed my swing and I hit someone in the head two rows behind me.

Everyone booed, including the guy I hit.

The second time, I hit it perfectly...

...and hit the same guy in the head.

The people cheered.

Including the guy I hit.

I still don't get it.

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Remember those Dodger Dogs I mentioned earlier? Well, be prepared to take out a second mortgage on your house if you're planning to eat more than one. The regular Dodger Dog footlongs go for $5 apiece, while the Super Dodger Dogs will run you a cool $5.75.

Hot dogs not your thing? Enjoy some nachos for $6 ($8.50 if you want meat and sour cream). Want a coke? $5 ($6 if you want a souvenir cup). Ice cold beer? $10-$12. Peanuts? $5. Ice cream or candy? $4-$6.

And here's what I love about standing in line at the concession stand at Dodger Stadium. Invariably, you see someone who spends enough money to buy two weeks worth of groceries for a family of four at Vons. On this recent trip, the guy ahead of me (who had his wife and two kids with him) spent $82 on concessions. $82!! Hot dogs, nachos, licorice, beers, ice cream, soda for the kids, and -- sure, why not -- a churro.

And it wasn't like this was early in the game. It was the bottom of the sixth. Jesus, the game was going to be over in 45 minutes. You mean to tell me that you couldn't wait to drink the frosty Coors Light in your fridge? You mean to say that the spoiled brats you call son and daughter couldn't wait an hour and a half to eat Oscar Meyer wieners from your freezer? You mean to imply that your wife wasn't willing to just stop at Baskin Robbins on the way home?

$82.

Hope you enjoyed that churro.

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You know how pigs eat in troughs? That's how men pee at Dodger Stadium. Seriously. In the men's bathroom, you don't relieve yourself in a urinal. Instead, you do so in a long steel structure that goes from one end of the bathroom to the other. The men stand next to each other, trying desperately not to brush their shoulders against the guys standing on either side of them. It's like being a part of a chain gang.

And inevitably, the guy you end up standing next to is drunk, swaying slightly after drinking $60 worth of alcohol. And you end finding yourself a part of the following verbal exchange:

Drunk Guy: Who you with?

Nev: (wearing a Dodger shirt) Uh...the Dodgers?

Drunk Guy: YEAH!!!!

Then the drunk guy stammers toward the sink, stops in the middle of the bathroom, screams YEAH!!!! again, washes his hands, doesn't use any paper towels, and says YOU KNOW IT!!!! as he walks out.

When he gets back to his seat, he probably blows up a beach ball.

That's my guess.

And now for this week's:


SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE


It's official: My newest blog -- http://www.projectrunwayhater.blogspot.com/ -- has been embraced by the gays!!

The Nevdogg.


Gays.


Together, no sexual preference is safe.


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That's right: The Nevdogg can now be found in podcast form!! I -- along with New York City voice actor and producer Michael Feldman -- have taken my blog...and essentially started talking about it. :-) It's Things That Matter With Mike And Nev. Check it out at http://www.mikeandnev.blogspot.com/


Do you like Project Runway? Then you're going to hate this blog. It's Project Run(A)way, the first ever hater blog of a TV show. Check it out at http://www.projectrunwayhater.blogspot.com/


The best sportswriters in the world are women (I have always said this). And the best in the world is none other than my girlfriend Ramona Shelburne, sports columnist for the Los Angeles Daily News. Read more about her at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramona_Shelburne


There's a high standard in today's fashion world. And no one meets that standard better than Spooles, which provides customers with high-quality purses and other accessories that are both affordable and trendy. Get trendy!! Go to http://www.spooles.com/


There's a cowgirl inside every woman: Elusive, passionate, untamed (I wrote that myself!!). Elusive Cowgirl caters to the free spirit within you, priding themselves on a special line of high-quality products unique on its own yet tailored to fit your everyday style. Find your inner cowgirl: Visit http://www.elusivecowgirl.com/


Stephanie Friedberg. She’s a writer, she writes a blog about the art of writing, and she’s one of the few women on Earth who understand Major League Baseball’s "infield shift" concept. Read what she has to say at http://www.thewaterglass.blogspot.com/


Prince Gomolvilas: He's gay, he's Asian, he's a playright and he has a cat named Pork Chop that weighs 19.8 pounds. What more need be said? Get his perspective at http://www.bamboonation.blogspot.com/

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

enjoyed your comments on the dodger game. Only been to one game there myself, and won't go back(maybe if the giants are playing). That place is a shithole. It's also old, and ugly. Dodger dawgs are way overrated, they taste just like regular dogs.

Ever been to the Pac Bell/AT&T park in SF? Now THATS a ball park. Great looking park, full of atmosphere, great food (still way too expensive but the garlic fries are f'n awesome). They have a cable car you can go up to and ring the bell, a coca-cola slide for the kids and a kick-ass view of the SF bay, the Bay Bridge and on a clear day you can even see the Golden Gate. Plus the public transportation to and from the park rocks. Don't have to pay for parking and costs $6 to get there from an hr radius.

One of these years Amanda and i keep telling ourselves that we're going to take a trip and visit all the baseball cities and go to a game in each one. That would be awesome.

Anonymous said...

LOL, blogging about Dodger stadium..

It is sad that hot dogs are $5.00 to $6.00 and peanuts are (what) $5.00?

I remember growing up as a kid the peanuts were .50 cents....

I love Dodger dogs but F*CK THAT!

Sven said...

I'll take 'Dodger Nation' in the right-field pavilion at Dodger Stadium, for the win. All you can eat/drink (not beer of course), plus you get to hear fans interacting with their favorite players or jibe the opposing team;

"I didn't bring my f*ckin' kid so he can watch you run like a pussy, Kemp!"

or

"You're a dead man, Griffey!"

Nev said...

Sven, you're a true fan. :-)

Prince Gomolvilas said...

"The men stand next to each other, trying desperately not to brush their shoulders against the guys standing on either side of them."

...Speak for yourself, Nevin.

jesus quintana said...

the beach balls are a quintessential element of experiencing dodgers stadium. people go out of their way to sneak in beach balls from the 99cent store and fill them up so that there is a little distraction in the game. i like it because its so socal. one of the best things about being at a ball game is the relaxed nature. its not intense where you have to keep your eyes glued on the action. instead of staring at kobe for 15 minutes without blinking, you can look at the out-of-town scoreboard, see the obscure fact about either the pitcher or the hitter on the diamond vision board, eavesdrop on a conversation people are having around you, and look around to see if there are any hot chicks.

instead of spending so much on booze, you should just byo and drink in the parking lot. i feel that a 40 does me straight or split an 18 pack depending on the size of your party. this way, you can listen to the pre-game stuff and if you happen to miss an inning or two, you can listen to vinny's sweet voice.

to extract the true value at dodgers stadium, one should purchase a ticket to the all-you-can-eat pavilion. what once was poor-man's-pavilion is now a buffet paradise for those that know no bounds when it comes to consuming processed foods. pretty good for $40 (ticket price included). ticket price: $8. hot dog: $5. nachos $6. soft drink: $5 peanuts: $6. right there, its $30. so eat another 4 hot dogs, another order of nachos and stop when the cheese cup is empty, and take home a few bags of peanuts, and youre living like rachel ray, $40 a day.

pissing in a trough is pissing in a trough. just dont eat panda express at the stadium.