This year the Tigers home opener at Comerica Park will be on Friday, April 10th. To me, that just means a Friday where I don’t have to work and don’t have class which means I am able to fully enjoy the game. To others that Friday is known as Good Friday. Good Friday is a big deal for Christians as they remember the day that Jesus Christ was crucified. Worshippers usually go to church on this day or find some time for quiet reflection. Both of these things are all fine and good to Tigers fans, but when you mix the two together on the same day, apparently it’s going to upset some people.
There is an article in the Detroit Free Press today about this very issue. Interviewed in the article is Bill Ferris of the Detroit Tigers Weblog. Billfer is practicing Catholic and had this to say about the two events occurring on the same day:
“I can get around the meat thing,” said Ferris, a member of St. Anastasia Catholic Church in Troy.
“I’ll just stick to peanuts and popcorn because I don’t think there are too many seafood options at the stadium. But I’m not sure I can find a quiet place on the concourse at Comerica.”
I don’t know Bill at all but he really doesn’t seem too broken up over the whole thing. In fact, he’s made his opinions on the topic known over at his blog and I applaud his point of view. Not all people are as easy going:
Michael Ochab, 47, will miss his first opener in 20 years, choosing to attend services at St. Florian Catholic Church in Hamtramck, instead.
“It’s sort of an insult for Catholics,” he said. “I’m still hoping the Tigers will change the time.”
An insult to Catholics? That seems a bit sensitive to me. I get this from the Christian perspective, I really do. However, I get this from the baseball perspective. The Tigers need to get 162 games in during the 2009 season. The game is being played during the afternoon for two reasons:
The first home game is ALWAYS in the afternoon. It’s a Tigers tradition.
Many home games in April are played in the afternoon because it can get really cold once the sun goes down.
If it’s a big deal to someone, then they can skip the game and skip the griping. This is not the sort of thing that happens every year or that the Tigers go out of their way to do. There are many unique factors that led to the first game being on Good Friday:
The baseball season is starting later than usual.
The Tigers are starting the season on the road.
Their first series is a four game series instead of only three.
I’m betting this situation comes up once every 20 years or so. There are plenty of things to get upset about in the world, I just don’t think this is one that people should expel a lot of anger over. Quite often there are Tigers games scheduled when I would rather be doing something else. I am then faced with a decision: Should I go ahead with my personal obligation or should I watch the Tigers? I’m quite certain this happens at least a dozen times per season.
If you are someone who is deeply religious and this game is a conflict, then you have a decision to make. Plain and simple. Let’s just have some fun, okay. It’s a game.