Great crowd last night and good energy. Rally in ninth was exciting. Let's get a win tonight.
Yes, it was a great crowd with good energy. Thank you for noticing. I was pleasantly surprised by the crowd surrounding me last night. You see, my sister and I moved our seats this season to the club level. I have experienced the club level on several occasions thanks to one of my company's vendors, and I was always struck by how the crowd tended to be more subdued on that level, perhaps too busy talking business in their corporate purchased seats to actually watch the game. Well, that was not a problem last night.
This crowd was into every pitch of this game. People in the laidback club level were on their feet in the bottom of the ninth, cheering on the home town team. If a comeback could be powered by the sheer will and enthusiasm of a crowd, the Astros would have won. Except for one couple with a 9-month old, no one around us left early (and even the 9-month old lasted until the 7th). And it wasn't just because of the fireworks. A lot of people stayed for the game, but left before the fireworks started. There was an outpouring of passion for this, a team coming off 106 losses, that I haven't seen on opening night for at least five years.
What exactly is different this year? I think a couple of things are at play. In listening to some fans around me, people are sick of people pushing Houston around and dismissing the Astros as a joke. There is some home town pride at stake. But more than that, there is a feeling that we're no longer being fed a line of bull. People were getting tired of hearing "Be A Champion" from the owner while losses continued to pile up.
Most people seem to understand that re-building is a necessary evil and that, while the Astros are still going to lose more games than we'd like, they know that watching young, hungry kids playing their hearts out is going to make those losses easier to take. They understand that there is a plan and that it will get better. Coming to the ballpark is going to be fun again.
I know the Astros are enamored of their new Root! Root! Root! slogan, which I admit is starting to grow on me, but I think I have one that would have been better for this season.