Over the weekend I attended my first college baseball game. Growing up in the north, we just don’t care that much about college baseball. All the good programs are in the south or west. Which makes sense, if you are good at baseball you’ll get drafted out of high school or play for a school that has decent weather. I now live in a city that has one of the best programs in NCAA Baseball history, the University of Texas Longhorns, so I decided to check out a game.
In Austin there aren’t any major league teams (there is AAA baseball and hockey). University of Texas athletics is the show in town if you are a sports fan. Other than when they beat USC for the BCS Championship, I’ve never really rooted for Texas. In fact there have been plenty of times I’ve rooted against the Horns. However, I love sports and going to sporting events so I said screw it, I’ll support the Longhorns. When I made the move, friends asked if I would become a Cowboys fan (or fan of any of the Texas pro teams). No, I will not be. The Bengals, Reds and Xavier basketball will always be my favorites, so as long as X and UT don’t meet up in March there’s no conflicts in my new UT allegiance. I guess I could root for the Spurs, but I just never liked Parker and Ginobili, so I hope former Longhorn Kevin Durant takes them down in the Western Conference Finals.
Now back to UT Baseball. The college baseball experience is definitely different than the MLB experience. While there are corporate sponsors, you don’t get bombarded by them between innings like you do at a major league game. But of course this also means there aren’t the fun and games between innings (e.g. Mr. Red Race, Kiss Cam) that I’m accustomed to. And I’m not saying this is a bad or good thing. I enjoy some of the extracurricular stuff at Reds games while some of it can be annoying. I’m a baseball fan, so as long as the product on the field is quality then I’m satisfied. There is one big thing missing – beer. In Cincinnati, we love our beer at our sporting events. It’s not common at college athletic events, but both UC and XU sell alcohol at most of their sporting events. However, all of the rest of the standard ballpark fare was there and pretty decent. Overall I was really impressed by Disch-Falk Field. The renovations were well done, especially the new video board in right-center and it’s a very nice stadium to take in a game.
While it doesn’t completely replicate my experience at a Reds game, I enjoyed my first college baseball game. Texas did end up beating Baylor 2-1. From what I understand, its been a rocky season for the Longhorns, but good to get a win going into the Big XII tournament.