It’s October, and that signals more than the onslaught of carved pumpkins — it’s playoff baseball. Several series have ended, as fans in Cincinnati & Oakland join Atlanta & Texas in lamenting, “There’s always next year.” But, for Detroit & San Francisco, their players are exclaiming, “It’s a celebration!” And you know what that celebration brings with it — bottles and bottles of bubbles.
Champagne celebrations in the locker room have followed wins in the division series, the pennant, and World Series for seemingly as long as people have been watching baseball. Joe & Jane Q. Public often pop a bottle to celebrate many occasions in their lives, from their children’s christenings to getting a promotion at the job to a landmark birthday. I’ve also previously written about using champagne to mark the maiden voyage of a ship. While many occasions use champagne, where the shark is jumped is that baseball takes the usage to the extreme — champagne sprayed everywhere, on heads, down shirts, on walls, on cameramen. Attire often includes ponchos, goggles, and towels. A bog of excitement and glee.
Baseball has taken attempts to curb the enthusiasm of players recently, by instituting limits on the amount of bubbles spewed about, and also requiring non-alcoholic options like sparkling juice and ginger ale. Maybe that can be seen as raining on the players’ parade, but they’ve got to realize that the flaunting doesn’t convey the best image to their families and all their fans. But hey, at least for one day, let’s just bathe in the joy of accomplishment. We might lose tomorrow, but we’ll deal with that then. For today, we’re on a natural high — on grapes that have been naturally harvested and fermented! Prost to your bubbles!