Banning beer sales is not the answer

The writer’s heart is in the right place, I suppose, but I find this kind of sentiment rather empty and misguided, no matter what the circumstances:

They have his image on their outfield wall, his number on a patch over their hearts and his memory inscribed in a place even deeper.

All classic, commendable and appropriate. But if the Angels really want to honor the life of Nick Adenhart, really want to attempt to make an impact, really want to emphasis the lesson from his loss, their next tribute is obvious:

Ban beer.

For one game, don’t promote alcohol, celebrate drinking or, most importantly, sell a single bottle of Lite, glass of red or Jack and Coke. Just one game, only one day. Nine innings of nothing but beautiful, simple, sober baseball. Then, to underline this statement, make a donation to an apt cause in the sum of an average night of alcohol sales at Angel Stadium.

I’d rather see donations directed towards the trust fund which has been set up to aid the lone survivor from the car in which Adenhart was riding.

More generally, I’d rather see long term shifts in policies that affect things like land use, population density, and mass transit which will in turn limit the overall number of vehicle miles driven and that give people more transportation options, both in connection with drinking and/or entertainment venues and in day-to-day life. No, that sort of thing won’t do anything in the short term, but neither will symbolic, prohibitionesque gestures like the one Jeff Miller is proposing here.

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Comments

  1. J. McCann said...

    As an Angels fan and responsible beer drinker, what they need to do is have some kind of “drunk bus”.

    If you’re the driver and you get loaded, have a bus to take you home or to a train station or something.  Have the team move your car to the drunk lot, and get it the next day.

    Something like that.

  2. Richard in Dallas said...

    Craig, I rarely disagree with an opinion of yours, but this has got to be an exception.  I am NOT in any way, shape or form a teetotaler.  There is very little in life that can compare to a nice warm beer on a blazing hot afternoon at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington (maybe you can take on awkward, politically motivated names next), but a game without alcohol (ban is too strong a word) would be a fitting tribute to a bright young star snuffed out by too much of a good thing. 
    For those that would choose not to attend an alcohol free game, offer to trade tickets for another date.  You would STILL have an above average attendance, if not a sellout, which could fund the donation Miller spoke of.
    Such a gesture would not so much seek to serve as a STATEMENT, but would cause at least those in attendance to take pause, and be reminded that:

    1)Too much of a good thing can be bad
    2)We have way too much to lose by being irresponsible about our behavior
    3)Baseball without beer is still fun

    If the Angels are willing to do this in tribute to their rising star, it would raise my already high opinion of a class organization.  I tought that you would see that too.  I hope, after further consideration, that you do.

  3. Craig Calcaterra said...

    Richard,

    You’re more than welcome to disagree with my opinions, and are probably right to do so much of the time, so no need for the disclaimer.

    On this: I’m just dubious that the Angels doing such a thing would make a hill of beans’ difference, and believe that such an exercise would constitute relatively empty symbolism. Unless we’re going to blame alcohol itself as opposed to the people who make stupid choices when consuming it, why not have a sell-out night with beer sales, the revenues from which would fund the good works on which we agree?

    Like I said, people may differ about this. I simply think that such an event would be quickly forgotten at best, and an exercise in hypocrisy at worst.

  4. Richard in Dallas said...

    Craig, if the event causes one person to think more and drink less one time, the time when they would have done some damage to a life, would it not be worth it?  I have teared up several times over the Adenhart death, picturing my own son being the victim in a similar circumstance.  The loss of such a young man, with a bright future, who had, among other things, a family who loved him and was CRUSHED by his loss.  I imagined how proud his parents must have been, their greatest accomplishment in life taking on the world and winning, and then he was gone.  I really don’t feel that ONE alcohol free night at the ballpark would be “empty symbolism”.  It might cause a few of those in attendance to realize for the first time in their adult lives that my third point in my earlier reply is true: Baseball without beer is still fun!
    I used to be one of those guys that had a beer an inning, thinking that by the time I found my car in the parking lot, I’d be OK to drive.  I thank God every day that nothing bad happened.  Then, I had a son, and I have a “zero drinking policy” when driving anywhere with him, even 15 years later.  At first, it was to protect him, and it slowly became a means of hopefully setting an example.  So far, he seems to be of that mindset.  He’s the responsible one in his crowd of good kids.  I hope that continues, and that he stays safe throughout his life, and achieves all he is capable of.  I used to say that I would be thrilled to death if he were able to play in just one Major League game.  Since Thursday, I don’t feel so much that way any more……

  5. Jake said...

    our culture still thinks that drunk driving is, in some way, okay – just something that “everyone” does on occasion. 

    Witness the billboards by the side of the freeway that promise to beat your speeding ticket for $400, and your drunk driving charge for $1400.

    Until our society realizes that drunken driving far more than 3 1/2 times as severe a crime as, say, doing 72 in a 65 on the last day of the month, we have a severe problem.

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