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Why Are Marriage Proposals At Sports Events Still A Thing?

ThinkStock photo
A proper marriage proposal. Note the lack of jumbotrons, baseballs and bleachers full of strangers. (ThinkStock photo)

It’s always a big deal when the Red Sox host a Sunday night baseball game. And it’s an even bigger deal when it comes against a fellow storied franchise like the Cubs.

But on Sunday night, this Boston-Chicago matchup played second fiddle to the true drama at Fenway Park.

Yup, this actually happened. In real life. Just this past weekend in Boston.

A lady apparently rejected a man’s marriage proposal broadcast live before nearly 40,000 people on Fenway Park’s jumbotron. The event set social media and those in attendance with the unfortunate malady of a New England accent ablaze.

I get it. This is the kind of can’t-look-away, car-crash content that drives American media. But let’s address the larger issue, namely why in the hell proposing at a sports event is such a common thing.

Aren’t marriage proposals supposed to be unique and intimate to the couple in question? It’s one thing if the couple met at a game or bonded over this team or what have you. But otherwise why would someone choose to share that cherished, sacred moment with thousands of strangers?

Last I checked people don’t hold public birthing ceremonies at a packed Madison Square Garden. Confirmations and bar mitzvahs don’t break out during halftime at Lambeau Field. So why do we as a culture do this–and celebrate it–with marriage proposals?

Another issue–maybe the bigger one at play here– is how this poor girl in Boston has been vilified after the fact. Just look at this video of ostensibly drunken Bostonians urging her to disregard her reservations in favor of becoming a statistical casualty of the United States’ depressingly high divorce rate:

So let me get this straight: She’s supposed to ignore all the instincts telling her not to sign up for a lifetime with another human being, basically building their entire married life together upon a foundation of lies?

Doesn’t exactly sound like the best start to a marriage to me.

I’ve also heard from the “She should have just said ‘yes’ in front of the cameras but then let him down easy afterward,” crowd. How in the hell is that any better than just being forthright from the outset? You think the guy’s going to somehow be less crushed in that scenario? If anything he will be more driven toward crippling depression.

Some have accused the woman here of embarrassing her boyfriend. While I’m sure he was and continues to be thoroughly mortified, I’m struggling to see how that rises to the level of such importance that it warrants faking an entire marriage.

Seems to me asking someone to marry you in front of a big crowd at a sports event puts astronomical peer pressure on the person being asked. And at a time in our culture when about half of all marriages fail, I’m just not so sure it’s best to ask that question in an environment similar to a timeshare presentation.


Beanie can be heard on “The AM Game Plan,” weekdays from 6 to 9 a.m. on The Game 730 AM WVFN. You can also find his rantings and musings on Facebook and Twitter.

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