Let me ask you something. Are you the kind of person that likes to brag that you can fall asleep anywhere? Like, "Oh man. Sometimes I get so tired, I swear I could sleep standing up!" or maybe, "One time, I fell asleep on a moving roller coaster" or perhaps, "I once fell asleep skydiving. I didn't pass out from fear. I just needed that nap."
Then you are the only person I would ever recommend attending a Padres Sleepover.
I don't have a lot of trouble falling asleep, but I do require a few things to be able to. First, it has to be reasonably dark. Second, there can't be a whole lot of noise. Third, I have to feel safe. Or at least safe enough that I don't worry that somebody is going to accidentally use a leaf blower to shoot half eaten nachos at me during my slumber.
None of those things happened to me at the Padres Sleepover.
Before we get too far, let me throw in some buzz marketing for Bed Gear, who sponsored the event, and were kind enough to invite me and jbox to hang out for the night with the Padres fans who also attended. We also got one of their Performance Pillows for our trouble. Bed Gear has a thing where they fit a pillow specifically to you. While I didn't get fitted, I can say that, at first blush, they felt like very nice pillows (and in Padres colors to boot, though not brown and yellow, but you know...). Having brought the pillow home and subsequently tried it out for a week, I've really enjoyed it. My five year old, with his cursory understanding of the pillow's localized firmness (like a foam mattress) likes to plop down on the pillow while my head is on it and ask if I can feel his giant head next to mine. It's very very nice.
The night started off nicely enough with everybody setting up little tents (no stakes) or just laying out sleeping bags and mats onto the outfield grass. They showed a movie (Despicable Me) and fed us cheap pizza and soda pops. We got to check out our pillows and wander the outfield grass while children in pajayjays laughed merrily.
And then midnight struck. The lights dimmed just a bit and the building sized screen stopped showing anything on it. JBox and I lay in our sleeping bags and waited for sleep to overtake us...
What's happening right behind me as I try to fall asleep. pic.twitter.com/NvjTLKPMYU— Gaslamp Ball (@gaslampball) August 9, 2015
And that's when the cleaning crews came in. Prior to us falling asleep, we were wondering why the wake-up call was at 5AM. Then we reasoned that the next day was a day game, they'd probably be sending cleaning crews in to do their thing. Little did we realize that they do their thing All. Night. Long.
In fact, you should be listening to this:
I would very strongly recommend that at the next Padres Sleep Over, they play Lionel Richie's All Night Long throughout the night. Have the video of the creepy people from the 1980s on while the cleaning crews do their thing.
What exactly is "their thing"? Well, first it's to send about 20-30 workers through the stands with trash bags to pick up all the disgusting things that YOU can't bare to bring yourself to just throw away in a trash can. Oh noooo... You have to suddenly become so disgusted with the prospect of touching that half eaten thing of nachos that you quickly hide it under your seat as if it were just going to magically disappear. Never mind the fact that the other half of the nachos was voluntarily shoved into your mouth without a care in the world.
I should've taken it as a bad sign when I noticed none of the Padres employees were setting up tents or sleeping bags.— Gaslamp Ball (@gaslampball) August 9, 2015
The next part of their thing, which if you're wondering begins happening at about 2:30 in the morning, is to go through with two dozen leaf blowers and just blow the little bits of trash left in the stands all the f_ck over the place. And in case you're wondering about the acoustics a Petco Park, it matters not one bit where the leaf blower is in the stands. You can hear it as if it were right there in your neighbor's yard. Also, there's no amazing science at work where having 20 leaf blowers on at the same time somehow makes the sound waves cancel each other out. It's just much much much louder.
So it's 4AM at the Padres Sleepover and there are a dozen dudes with leaf blowers going to town on the stands. pic.twitter.com/x5IuCNkwdC— Gaslamp Ball (@gaslampball) August 9, 2015
At some point, another team goes through the stands with pressure hoses and water blasts everything in the stands. This part happens sometime before 4AM and basically continues through the rest of the morning. I did my best to stay asleep for as long as possible, but the combination of noise, lights, and general unease that there were so many people picking up half eaten nachos or leaf blowing remnants of half eaten nachos just made it so I woke up at 4AM and never went back to sleep. Shortly after that, there was some bad looking coffee, a few danishes and bananas to entice us up and out of the park. At least we got an amazing pillow out of the deal.
So is this for you? In short, no. This sort of thing isn't for anybody.
If you enjoy sleep, then you won't enjoy yourself. If you require nightly sleep to function, then you will not be functioning as you will not fulfill your nightly requirement. If you like the "get away from it all" aspect of camping, then you will not be getting away from anything. There are many many many reasons why you absolutely should never do a Padres Sleep Over. I cannot do enough to talk you out of trying this experience, except for a very specific type of crazy person.
If... Big IF... If you're the kind of person that enjoys the Camp Pendleton Mud Run for the idea of pushing your mind and body to some arbitrary limit while not being nervous about getting all kinds of random sh_t thrown onto you. If you're the kind of person that is terrified of heights but wants to go sky diving because your lack of self confidence requires you to do something unnecessary so as not to appear a "wimp". If you're the kind of person that, very specifically, wants to watch a kids movie on the Petco Park #SDinHD screen and then just kinda hang out in the park for several hours. If you're the kind of person that figures, "Heck. I'll do anything once." Then you should do this. Go for it. But don't say I didn't warn you. And don't complain to me when the rest of your week is ruined because you've crazily disturbed your sleep cycle.
For the rest of you: TL;DR: Never do this ever ever never ever.