Dear Beer Garden,
First of all, I want to thank you for your passionate spirit this weekend at the match. While it was colder than normal, you stayed loud and enthusiastic throughout, providing the noise and atmosphere that was often lacking prior to your arrival. It is comforting that every match you are here waiting for me like an old friend ready to pick up where we left off. How are the wife and kids? You got a new job?! Great! Working hard, or hardly working? Am I right?
Chivas USA never saw what was coming to them. FC Dallas played wonderfully, with Super Mauro defeating Chivas' Koopa Troopas left and right, and Castillo picking people out with passes as if each one was a step over to take him to the byline. I mean, we looked like the 1st placed team in the league this week, which we so happen to actually be. Next week will be interesting though, as I think the only central midfielders we have available are Victor Ulloa, an old broomstick in a cone, and the ghost of Lamar Hunt (he played midfield right?).
But Beer Garden, I'm digressing, because I have a few things to discuss with you. You see, I love you like an old friend, and most of the time, you give me more joy than Star Wars Lego pieces did when I was 8 (okay, 10...fine 14. I was a late bloomer). Occasionally though, you let me down. You cut me, betray me and it hurts. I would like to list those now so that we can talk about them. Because if there is one thing that my wife has taught me, it's that discussing your feelings in an open setting can be miserable and scarring (wait, did I get that right?). I don't want to hurt your feelings though as you matter deeply to me, so I would like to present each of my negative points with a positive point. I think I learned that from a counselor on a tv show, so I know that it works.
Positive: The Dallas Beer Guardians
The Dallas Beer Guardians or DBG is the personification of the Beer Garden. This is where its personality comes from. They are polite and kind to fellow beer gardeners, yet sharp and acerbic to the other team's players, and the referee. They love beer and drink it with a profundity that would make most casual drinkers wilt at the very thought of a Double IPA from Colorado compared to a Rye Brown Ale from Pennslyvania. They are the heart and soul of the beer garden and are slowly becoming the heart and soul of the entire stadium, replacing the image of soccer moms and U8 teams with beards and cursing.
Negative: Throwing your beer after a goal.
We get it, you are excited. I'm excited too. Actually, I'm so excited that I'm screaming in joy with the goal of screaming so loud that my larynx ejects from my mouth like a mother bird feeding her children. After a goal, I know that euphoria can do crazy things to the body and make us lose total control of our limbs and bodily functions (I'm talking to you, guy from two rows back), but I do not understand why that in the overwhelming joy, you throw your beer in the air, no matter that you just bought it 3 minutes ago. You chuck it up in the air and make it splash over every row in the garden. It bathes us, like that girl from Flash Dance, after every single goal. I buy these beers, and they are not that cheap. FC Dallas will not reimburse you for your lost beer, and the people around you will never get the smell of old beer out of their jackets, t-shirts and pores. It will remain there, smelling like the carpet in a frat house, for all eternity. Now, I know what you are going to say, it's the beer garden, therefore I should expect to get beer thrown on me. However, I think there is a fallacy in your logic. For instance, when I go to see the Cowboys play at AT&T Stadium, I do not get old Iphones thrown at me after the Cowboys score a touchdown. Nor do I get plane food thrown at me when I see the Mavs at the AAC. So, I do not think that I should get beer thrown at me in the beer garden. Again, enjoy yourself after a goal. Give every single person around you 3 high fives, kiss the person sitting next to you, or pull out your beard hairs for the thrill of it, but please, set your beer down first.
Positive: Atmosphere Inducers
The DBG are wonderful at their job, using clever chants and a steady stream of exotic uses of cursing to engage the crowd and get the other Beer Gardeners excited, but sometimes, a little more is needed. That is where the drumline and the new fog machines come in. The drumline also known as FC Drum have expanded this year spanning the length of the garden itself. They add the extra punch necessary to occasionally pep up a lagging crowd, and also seem like really cool dudes. The fog machines were new this game, and were an interesting sideshow as well as a brilliant way to get the smoke effects of smoke bombs without the annoyance of smoke filling your lunges.
Negative: $5 Budweiser beer
The beer prices have steadily gone up since the introduction of the beer garden, with the initial price of $2 beers. I understand why that is, because FC Dallas needs to make money, and an almost free beer generally leads to gardeners who drink far too many beers leading to problems. I also know that that price is still lower than in the rest of the stadium, and before this year, I was also fine with the lack of beer selection as this is the Budweiser Beer Garden and must carry Budweiser products. However, this year, I would like to make a stand against this oppression. $5 is a lot to spend on a beer that isn't very good. I would be fine with the price increase if they merely gave us options within the Budweiser beer family. How difficult would it be to include a variety of beers in the garden? I know that we can't have craft beers, and the beers that they would allow us to select from would be almost exactly the same (There are very few discernible differences between a Bud Light and a Budweiser), but the illusion of choice is better than no choice at all. Let me make the choice between Bud Select, Bud Light, and Budweiser. Do not make my choice for me! This is America!
Positive: Our keepers are my Friends
Before I begin, I should note that I have never actually spoken to one of our keepers before (other than that one time, I nervously mumbled for an autograph from Kevin Hartman), and that they probably have no idea that I actually exist. But, I feel like the keepers are my friends, and that is all because of the beer garden. You see, I like to get the match early to watch the players warm up. Since the beer garden is immediately behind the goal, I get a first hand look at the keepers and their nuances. I see how they react to their screw ups, I see what each of their idiosyncrasies are, and how they prepare for a match. Then, when they come out for the first half or to the goal after halftime, I get to salute them for the job they are doing. They respond with a couple claps or a smile, and right there, I get weirdly excited. I feel like we share a kinship. We both are about to see the game in close to the same way. He knows I have his back, and I know that he has mine. Our goal is the same, but each of us have a different job to achieve. In those moments, we share an understanding and a perspective that makes me pull for him more than any other player we have.
That's right, I have no more negatives. You are my home, Beer Garden and the people that visit you are my extended family for 90 minutes every couple of weeks. I love you and don't think I could watch a game from any other perspective (unless that perspective was from the suites, if either of the Hunts are reading this).
Cheers from your man in the beer garden