The beauty of summer is the great migration to the outdoors, and the sudden carnal need to do every single activity outside in full view of the sun. Eating, working, socializing, exercise: it all happens somewhere outside once the temperature rises to a certain point. To stay indoors on one of the few days a year when the weather is perfect feels like a waste. Summer is also one of the best seasons to watch a live sporting event, although that mentality probably doesn’t apply to those who have to play a full game in the sweltering heat.
While baseball is often the summer outdoor sporting event of choice for most, it is, as I have said before, an incredibly boring sport. Moreover, baseball games are too long and, as lovely as it is to be outside for a few hours, all good things have their limits. Tennis is also a tricky thing because when you buy a ticket to a match you truly have no idea if you’re going to be there for one hour or seven. Personally, I’d rather watch a barn burner on television than possibly be stuck at a stadium for who knows how long assessing when it will be least risky to take a stroll to the restroom.
The perfect combination of excitement and time spent sitting on a plastic chair in the sun can be found by attending a soccer match. But for the experience itself to be utterly perfect there are several factors that must come into play. The most important is obviously, which teams are playing. For me, the perfect match-up is between the National Women’s Soccer League’s NJ/NY Gotham FC, my local team, and the extremely talented OL Reign, which boasts star player Megan Rapinoe. It’s a wonderful east coast/west coast match-up that results in some hilarious Twitter one-liners from the fan pages of either team.
Then there’s the weather. Whilst I prefer the heat to be approaching levels of absolutely disgusting, this isn’t conducive to 90 minutes of running, so the weather should be somewhere in the high 80s, with minimal wind, and not a single cloud in the sky. Not even the cute wispy ones. The sun should be unobstructed so as to give attendees a slight farmer’s tan and allow for optimal viewing of the pitch.
Crowds also play a key role in the perfect summer game day. The one bad thing about women’s soccer is that it is largely the domain of tweens and while I applaud all of my young sisters for getting into sports, I do not want to sit for 90 minutes and listen to tween school drama. Nor do I wish to listen to Susie tween-splain women’s soccer to her father who is asking inane questions to engage his child in conversation. So the crowd should be a good mix of childless adults who are slowly getting drunker as the day progresses, and families that are not within shouting distance of wherever I’m sitting. There should also be no fans of OL Reign present because if they cheer too loudly at anything bad that happens to Gotham FC, it will kill my buzz and instantly transform me into the obnoxious fan who responds to crowd noises. No one wants this.
The cherry on top is, of course, sustenance. Naturally, stadiums are the worst place to try and get drunk because the alcohol is unnaturally expensive as is the food. So the key is to arrive at the stadium with a baseline buzz that will make you feel like $13 for a can of Babe Rosé and $8 for a hotdog is worth it for the simple pleasure of drinking alcohol outdoors and not having to worry about open container laws. The hot dog is just for stomach-coating purposes and because hot dogs are delicious summer snacks, but can be substituted with any other concession snack if you are a vegetarian or just a person who hates phallic food items.
If all of these things can happen at the same time, it is guaranteed to be the best day of the entire summer. Unless, of course, your favorite team loses—then it is a bad day which can only be remedied by having a perfect summer evening of drinking at a bar that has an outdoor patio.