Cheap Seats

Kiss the kiss cam goodbye... Please

A story out of St. Louis yesterday said that gays have lobbied the Cardinals to include them on the "kiss cam" feature on the Busch Stadium video board.


Sexual orientation aside, isn't the whole kiss cam thing pretty played out at this point? When I go to the ballgame, I just want to go to the ballgame. I don't want to have to watch other people smooch it up for the camera -- much less have the camera turned on me.

Don't get me wrong. I certainly believe gays and straights should get the same rights and treatment. I just think that neither should be subjected to the juvenile stupidity that is the kiss cam.

Besides, how are the Cardinals supposed to know that two men sitting next to each other in the stands are a gay couple or that two women are lesbians? The ballpark folks have enough problems shooting video of a man and a woman -- only to see them look extremely uncomfortable as you can read their lips say "he's my brother" or "she's my sister."

What if they put the camera on a couple out on their first date? How humiliating. As if dating isn't dating isn't awkward enought, let's put 40,000 people in the room to judge your every move.

Men can't even go to the ballpark with female co-workers or friends out of fear that they'll be booed for not locking lips should the camera turn their way.

Twice this season I have seen people on the kiss cam make obscene gestures when the camera gave them their 15 seconds of fame. And I quietly hoped to myself that it would spell the end of the goofy gimmick.

The announcement that Cardinals organist Ernie Hayes plans to retire at the end of this season made me think about how much the baseball experience has changed over the last 25 years or so. Just once I would like to go to the ballpark and see a game how it was presented a few decades ago. No walk up music. No instant replays -- or between innings commercials on the video board. And no kiss cam, cap dance, guess the attendance or in-game eye tests.

Can't we just play ball?