Monday, June 22, 2009

Land Shark Stadium

The stadium the Marlins call home certainly isn't the first facility to host a baseball team named after a shitty beer. But it's probably the most embarrassing to the game.

To start, with a total of 244 reviews on Beer Advocate, Land Shark has received a D+. For an alcoholic beverage to receive a barely passing grade with that large of a sample size is remarkably terrible. I've had exactly one Land Shark in my drinking career and hope to keep it that way. You should probably stick to your margaritas, Jimmy Buffett.

Secondly, "Land Shark" may be the worst possible name for a building that two teams with actual marine animals for mascots call home. Land shark is a bit of an oxymoron, you see? Listen, I love sharks as much as the next guy. Once upon a time in South Africa, I payed a healthy sum to don a wetsuit and stare a Great White in the face through the bars of a cage. It was incredible. I read the The Devil's Teeth and thoroughly enjoyed it. I love Shark Week. I get the fascination with sharks, but not the impulse to pretend they exist on dry land (although this classic SNL skit is quite hilarious).

Lastly, and most obviously, watching a baseball game played in Miami makes one played at Tropicana Field feel like an authentic baseball experience. Fact: No football stadium has ever made a good home for a baseball team. When they set up the Carrier Dome for a basketball game and pack it with 30,000+ fans, looking towards the opposite endzone makes it feel desolate. Likewise, when the Yankees come to town and exceed the team's average attendance by 250%, it still feels empty and depressing on TV. Further accentuating the problem is the fact that the upper deck seats are bright orange which makes every empty chair all the more noticeable.

Now it appears the Marlins are getting their own publicly-financed Stadium in 2012, complete with a swimming pool and other gimmicky bullshit. Good luck with that. As the Nationals have shown most recently, a new park doesn't necessarily translate to sellout crowds and a diehard fan base. The one and only thing that it does promise to accomplish is locking a franchise into a city that is destined never to truly appreciate it.

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