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.
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.