I've avoided much talk about Greensboro's new First Horizon Stadium. What could I possibly add to the many accolades and adorations offered over the past weeks except total agreement that Jim Melvin has built himself and us a wonderful baseball park with Joe Bryan's money. Thank you Jim.
But, I have to agree with what David Wharton is saying over at his place, mainly to the N&R... "Hey, guys. You won. You got a beautiful new stadium. Enjoy it, and stop rubbing our noses in it."
I agree that the N&R's Haas and Hardin, along with the balance of media reporters gushing over the newness of First Horizon Park while making snide comparisons to War Memorial Stadium should stick a sock in it after being presented with such hosiery having been worn by a sweaty 'Hopper through extra innings. There is nothing worse than a sore winner and this town is chock full of them.
If I hear one more fan, owner, reporter, blogger or passer-by say, "It is so much nicer than the old stadium,", I will surely blow groceries in their general direction. Do those people actually think that those of us "naysayers" who wanted minor-league baseball to remain at War Memorial thought the ancient stadium should remain the dank, crumbling, long-neglected, fan-unfriendly place it had devolved into? Puleeez.
My WMS/First Horizon Park comparison observation would be, "The new stadium really is quite nice, but I'll always have to wonder what WMS would have been like if Action Greensboro people had been creative thinking preservationists instead of bull-headed, blinder-wearing nincompoops." In other words, if Action Greensboro had directed their attention (and DGR, LLC's $21M) toward War Memorial and its surrounds, Greensboro would really have something to brag about.
So I agree with Wharton, a fellow Aycockian, when he laments, "Sigh. Nothing but downside in the new arrangement for me."
I, too, heard the fireworks following last night's home opener at the new stadium and almost shed a tear. For decades -if we weren't actually at the game- it had been a long-held tradition for everyone to pile out of their houses to watch the Friday night fireworks from porches, backyards, sidewalks and streets (in my case, from our treehouse). Following the big bangs that ended every pyro show, babies would need consoling and dogs would need hushing but no one complained. To the contrary, we celebrated what we had. And we fought for it... hard.
Now all we get are echoes of fireworks from far away and constant needling jabs from reporters and others who could never understand our passion for WMS and, worse, are completely insensitive to our current sense of loss.