Some leftover thoughts from Tuesday's Las Vegas 51s experience...
It was Cox Kids' Day at the park, and instead of just letting the kids enjoy the game and getting impossible to clean mustard stains on their shirts, the club decided it was going to use the experience to......anyone.......Preach! Yep, get out the verbal trowel and let's dump some life lessons on the impressionable tykes. Never mind that nobody listened
I arrived about 20 minutes before the first pitch to see the 51s' public address announcer (and the only p.a guy I know with a lisp) on the field, lecturing the kids on the evils of smoking. To further get the point across, they incorporated baseball parlance into the lecture. The phrase that was hammered into their heads:
"Smokers strike out"
Now if the kids are impressionable in any sense, the worst case scenario they're going to take home is that if their mom or dad smokes, they don't love them, they don't care about them, and they're going to die a brutally ugly death. The p.a. guy ("Lispy") even went on to tell an incredibly tacky story of a friend of a friend's mom who smoked "her whole life" ("that's not the umbilical cord- that's a Camel!") and died of emphysema. I don't shock easily, but the forum and occasion called for happy times, not life lessons. The kids at the game had earned the right to go, and deserved better. So did the adults (like me) who paid for tickets to the game, some of whom (unlike me) smoke. Oh, the horror.
Not to be lost in all this is the hypocrisy of telling us about the evils of smoking while we're all stuffing hot dogs and nachos down our gullet. Try and find a concession stand selling wheat grass juice shots, and it will truly be an attempt in futility. Alright, maybe they have it in San Diego, but that's it.
The ballpark should be an escape from your worries, not a constant reminder of things that can kill you. I doubt that one of those kids discussed anything smoking-related with their parents, but I'm willing to bet there are a handful who certainly became more curious about lighting up.