As I was looking through news headlines today I saw this article:
NEW YORK — Someone will probably get fired over what’s going on right now, but in all honesty, they shouldn’t. Whoever is responsible has managed to do in one half-inning, what even $1.5 billion couldn’t do. Make the new Yankee Stadium, with it’s nod to the past, actually feel like a game from the past.
How? Well, the speakers/music/PA system blew out just at the end of the bottom of the sixth inning. That’s made the last two innings arguably the most pleasurable to grace the Bronx since the 1950s or 60s.
The only thing you can hear right now at Yankee Stadium? Nothing. Just the hustle-bustle of the fans in the seats. The sound of the ball being hit and the pop of it going into the glove. It’s really quite something to experience. A very nice nod back to the golden days of baseball before every unoccupied second was filled with booming club music or the dreaded "We can’t hear you!" meter.
Even the famous (or infamous, depending on your viewpoint) "Cotton Eye Joey" was forced to become "Silent Eye Joey."
I have to say, I’ve been going to baseball games since I was a kid and I can’t ever remember a game being devoid of brain-thumping sounds.
Kind of makes you feel like you could actually be at the old Yankee Stadium.
I wish I would have been there. (Okay, so that probably has a lot to do with my love of baseball and the fact that the Cubs were playing.) I can’t imagine what a MLB game would be like without music filling any space where something ‘exciting’ wasn’t happening.
Of course, there would still be some music, but it would come from the fans. You can’t have a baseball game without starting with the National Anthem. After all, we all know that the last two words of it are "Play Ball!" I’m sure that the majority of Baseball Stadiums wouldn’t be able to go through the 7th-inning stretch without singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." (Root, root, root for the Cubbies!) And it just wouldn’t be baseball in Milwaukee without a rendition of ‘Roll out the Barrel.’
At some point that ceased to be enough. We are very audio oriented people. We get very uncomfortable with ‘too much’ silence. Students walk from class to class with headphones on. People will have their iTunes blaring while on their computer. I edit out ‘extended’ silence when I go through HT-Radio each week. The majority of people are extremely bored by silent movies. Star Wars would probably be a pretty lame movie without John Williams Score. The rubrics for silence in the Liturgy are often ignored. And if not, Pastor better not have them last too long or people will look around wondering what’s wrong.
Does silence have any meaning? Or is it always just awkward?
(Yes, you can answer the questions in the cool comment box below!)