As the baseball playoff series between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Texas Rangers approaches, a writer for the Toronto Globe and Mail explains why it’ll be difficult to jumpstart a rivalry between the respective home cities of each team: the fourth-largest city in North America and “the strip-mall wormhole you pass through on the way to Fort Worth.”
Three hours before a game in Arlington, there’s no one around. An hour after a game, it returns to that state. You find yourself drifting toward the light – which is always a highway. It’s as if the city itself knows you don’t belong here and would like to point toward somewhere a little more happening.
But when a game’s on, people just appear. Where are they from? How did they get here? No one knows. Or, at least, I didn’t bother asking. The press box is air conditioned, and only a maniac with reptile blood would go out into the stands for more than a minute.
It’s generally a good crowd, buoyed by a few years of good teams. They play Deep in the Heart of Texas mid-game, which is fun. I’ll take their word for it that that’s where we are. If so, it’s a weird place. Friendly locals, but an odd locale. It’s like Robert Moses doing the set-dressing for David Lynch.
Arlingtonians – our temporary enemies. Since the whole point of the postseason is picking a (gentle) fight with the fans of the other city, this could be a tough one.
There’s no history between us. Beyond the most tiresome clichés, they have no idiosyncrasies to poke fun at. Also, I’m still not sure if they actually exist.