I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Sioux Falls. More than I though I would, actually. The game experience last night was solid — I give it a solid B. Maybe a B-plus. Or, if we’re going on the Joel T. Lomurno scale of good things getting a B-minus and bad things getting a C-plus, this was a definite B-minus.
I sat with former Sioux Falls Canary and Wichita Wingnut Kevin Cheppenko and his fiancee, along with my friends Jeremy S. and Asa S. Their last names are very similar, so I just went with their last initials. I was pretty much the only one of us to actually watch the entire game, though I must say Asa did well. And Cheppenko. Jeremy and Cheppenko’s girl, Bekah, were off doing their own thing most of the time.
I liked a lot of things about the atmosphere. The promotions weren’t over-the-top and the on-field girl, while being way cuter than Wichita’s Matt Brokaw, did a good job. She engaged the participants, usually children, and got the promos wrapped up quickly. I also enjoyed the ballpark and the fans – passionate, mostly, but not over-the-top. Although one couple got really agitated with Asa when he cheered for the Wingnuts. I didn’t too much care for that.
I didn’t like that the P.A. announcer said too many things — he’d tell us when somebody scored, when there was a meeting on the mound — just too much. And nearly every time a foul ball went into the stands he said, “Heads up.” Helpful, I guess. I say “nearly” because the one time a foul ball really almost did do some damage, when it skipped off the top of the third-base dugout and nearly into the faces of three little kids in the front row, the guy was nowhere to be heard.
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Also, instead of playing actual music, in many cases they’d go to a guy on the third-base concourse who annoyingly sang songs like “Wooly Bully” and “Glory Days”. Very accomplished organ player, but his singing left a little to be desired. Even Cheppenko thought so.
But I had a good time. Looking forward to another good time this evening. Last night was enjoyable, also. We went to a tavern downtown that was also attended by every 21-30-year-old in the city. Too loud. I sat in the corner with Bekah, Cheppenko, Asa, Jeremy and whoever else wanted to visit. After early-morning breakfast, we all got a poor- to average-night’s sleep at the Cheppenko house.
Today we watched a couple movies at the Cheppenko house, including the Nicholas Cage epic, “The Family Man”. Not sure how I feel about that movie. But I’d say it probably features the worst airport “Don’t go, I love you” speech in cinematic or television history. Just awful — no way to suspend disbelief for that one. “We have a house in Jersey!” Yeah, OK, Nic.
After lunch at Chili’s, I came to the ballpark to take care of some business. Now I’m just looking forward to the game. Oh, another thing I like — the Sioux Falls press box has a bathroom. Unisex, but still. That’s big.
I like Sioux Falls a lot. Very clean. It’s like a suburb, only bigger. It’s well taken care of with some historical aspects and some areas of the city that look quite new. A good balance. I could definitely see myself living here. If only the Cheppenkos would take me in. They’re getting married Sept. 26 — what newlyweds wouldn’t want a houseguest. And I know they read this blog (or used to, anyway), so let me know, guys.