“It’s a consistently genial crowd here, anyway.”
“The Uptons got to see the unbridled adulation for Chipper, a man so revered he goes by one nickname.”
“And for ex-manager Bobby Cox, who was cheered so loudly in-game, he rose from his seat to chants of ‘Bobby, Bobby.'”
If those quotes were just a little more generic and referencing a baseball haven like St. Louis, San Francisco or Chicago, you wouldn’t even take a second glance at them. You’d just keep reading.
Indeed, these were quotes directly from a CBSSports.com article written by baseball columnist Jon Heyman, one of the better scribes covering the sport today. For his Opening Day piece, he came to Atlanta to cover the first game in the same uniform for the Brothers Upton. That part is completely understandable — it was one of the biggest storylines of this season’s first full day of baseball.
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It was his adulation, however, of Atlanta fans that caught me off-guard in the article. Not that they didn’t deserve it — the Braves said, to a man, that Monday night’s crowd was one of the best they’ve ever seen at Turner Field — but it’s always surprising to see good things written about Atlanta fans.
They’re too care-free.
They’re too fair-weather.
They’re too angry when a call doesn’t go their way (remember that angle last year after the Wild-Card fiasco? That was a hoot).
This time, they were showered with praise, just like their team that took the field for Game 1. There’s 161 games to go, but you only get to rough up Cole Hamels a couple of times a year, at best. It was a sweet night, even if it was only one night.
So I’ll see you all back at the Ted for Wednesday night’s game, right? I said on Twitter this morning that if the Braves played in front of a sold-out crowd every night, they’d win 5 championships in the next decade. I stand by that statement today, and I’d give anything to see if I was right in 10 years.
Keep it rolling, Braves fans. I like reading articles like that.