Saturday night, a man in a wedding dress ran through the outfield at Turner Field. It was a beautiful wedding, whether or not stadium security would care to admit it.
I’ve spoken with people who feel that marriage, by nature of its very existence, is a biased system. Even if the legal definition is expanded to include gay marriage, these folks say, marriage still unjustly places one type of relationship (a romantic relationship) over all others (platonic friends, relatives, et cetera). Married couples are rewarded with legal benefits that are not available to those yoked within any of the other wide variety of circumstances through which human beings come to know and love one another.
This line of thinking is worthwhile, but I’m afraid that I’m not enough of a cynic, and too much a member of the entitled majority, to embrace it. Weddings, for all their overpriced and silly squalor, are still beautiful things, both in the representative sense and the literal sense.
At least, it was certainly a beautiful thing Saturday night at Turner Field, where a gentleman in a wedding gown took to the field and sustained a violent tackle for his trouble.
In the booth, Ron Gant dismissed the grand proceedings as a "shame." Mr. Gant, your back-to-back 30-30 seasons are not lost on me. I hold great respect for you, and in normal circumstances I would never dream of dismissing your words so readily, but this is not a normal circumstance: Hush, Ronald. The Lord is speaking.
This is one of the first, and certainly one of the most well-documented, cases of an individual in a wedding dress being violently tackled. Then again, it is a field-storming, and certain matrimonial mores must be compromised. The security guards must tackle something. It's in their DNA, their job descriptions, and, if we're being honest, their greatest wishes.
To the blackboard.
The brilliance of this gentleman-bride grew apparent after the tackle. A half-dozen security guards indecisively loitered around the tackled bride for nearly a full minute. It was clear: the bride would be escorted away, and the security guard to do so would be the groom. You cannot possibly convince me that this didn't contribute to the personnel's hesitation.
If there is a wedding gown, there is a bride, and if there is a bride, there is a groom, and if there are a bride and groom, there is a wedding. So it is a wedding we saw. The security guard took the bride by the arm, and together they walked gracefully out of view. It was so beautiful that this gentleman in attendance was unable to find the words.
If you'll pardon the perhaps-flimsy tangent, the wedding of baseball with field-storming lunacy is perhaps the most appropriate marriage of all. The structured, station-to-station elegance of baseball contrasts spectacularly with the wild-eyed, directionless scampering of a chase through the outfield.
A final note before we leave this moment, and I'm afraid it isn't a pleasant one. I must take a moment to speak to the city of Atlanta, Georgia. Are you aware, friends, that there is a lot of money in wedding photography? An average wedding will net a photographer thousands of dollars! Well, you bummed your way out of a payday.
Despite there being tens of thousands of you with cameras, not one of you -- NOT ONE -- captured the action in its entirety and uploaded it to YouTube. I have a half-dozen videos that start after he was tackled. A fat load of good that does me.
And I know you had cameras. I was watching.
The broadcast networks are too enveloped in knock-kneed cowardice to show such a beautiful act on television, and so the onus falls upon you to document these things. Your peers in Toronto managed to film the field-stormer they were blessed with. So did our friends in Seattle, and in Houston, and in Miami.
As someone who used to live in Atlanta, believe me, I understand. Your countenance is happy, your pace slow. But next time, please trouble yourself for long enough to take out your camera and start recording before commencing the slack-jawed gawkery. I cannot do my job if you do not do yours.