Urban: My First (And Surely Only) Standing Ovation

September 24, 2010, 3:03 am
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Sept. 22, 2010

CHICAGO -- Ever wonder what it feels like to have a stadium full of people going nuts as you walk off a baseball field?I got to experience it Tuesday night.Granted, the wild cheering from the fans at Wrigley Field as I climbed the steps of the Giants dugout and stepped onto the field wasnt exactly directed at me. In fact, it wasnt directed at me at all. But that didnt stop me from turning it into one of the more amusing moments of my 20-year career in sports journalism.It all happened because the game was delayed by rain, so CSN Bay Area had some time to fill on the air back home. They called me in the press box and asked me to head down to the dugout for a quick live hit with the SportsNet Central anchors. I have to admit it was a little awkward at first; about 20 Giants were in the extremely narrow visitors dugout at Wrigley, and I had to do the hit from the end of the dugout. Its one thing to be in the clubhouse a couple hours before the game, quite another to be in the dugout potentially minutes before one.The guys were cool about it, though. They understood I was just doing my job. And as soon as I was done doing my job, I rewarded their tolerance with a little impromptu comedy.You see, while I was doing my thing in the dugout, the rain stopped, and by the time I was finished and ready to bounce out of the dugout, out bounced the Cubs grounds crew to remove the tarp.Thats when the crowd went nuts -- right when my left foot hit the dirt in front of the dugout. The timing of it was too perfect to ignore, so I did what any self-respecting class clown would do under such circumstances.I pimped it. Big-time.As I walked in front of the Giants dugout, past all of the players and toward the swinging gate that leads to the lower-bowl stairs you have to climb on your way to the press box, I raised both arms in acknowledgment of the roar. I nodded emphatically, a non-verbal, Damn right, Im all that!I even pointed to the upper deck down the left-field line, then did a 180 and pointed to the upper deck down the right-field line.A good number of the players saw it, knew exactly what I was doing and howled in delight. A couple good-naturedly heckled me: Thats not for you!Of course it wasnt. But I sold that bad boy like you wouldnt believe, and some of the many Giants fans whod scored seats in the lower bowl helped me sell it when I worked my way up the steps by meeting me in the aisle with high-fives.By the time I got to the top row of the lower bowl, I could feel the eyes of every Cubs fans in the vicinity squarely on me, likely thinking one of two things: (1) Who the hell is that? (2) What a jackass!You think I cared? I laughed the whole way to the press box.What's on your mind? Email Mychael and let him know. He may use it in his Mailbag.

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