Sports weren’t really my thing growing up. We didn’t watch a whole lot of them (my Dad was surrounded by girls/women) on TV and I had a vague understanding that my Dad was loyal to the Orioles and my Mom the Yankees, as he grew up outside Baltimore and she in upstate New York. This held very little meaning for me. Growing up in Connecticut I knew that there were boys in school who liked the Red Sox and those who liked the Yankees. I had some understanding that there was a rivalry, but I didn’t really care and couldn’t understand what the fuss was about. I also remember picking NBA team favorites based on the color of their uniforms. Don’t hate me. I was 14.
Attempts at joining sports didn’t go much better. I’m not a competitive person, and sports seemed to involve objects flying at me with some speed. Call me crazy, but this seemed to defy logic. Whether basketball, softball or soccer, I was putting myself in front of a speeding object…on purpose. No, thank you. To this day, my preferred mode of exercise is a stationary bicycle on which I envision running over aggravating people while I ride along.
Needless to say, I surprised even myself by asking my boyfriend to take me to a Sox game at Fenway. Part of the reason was that I’ve been living in the Boston area for 9 years now, and I’ve never been. And the other reason was because a lot of people who don’t play sports enjoy watching them. I thought maybe I could be one of those people.
And I was right. I loved it. Not only did I love the experience of Fenway (drunken bleacher creatures included) but I enjoyed watching the game. I even enjoyed watching part of the last game of the series on TV on Sunday. Full disclosure – I’m told this was an especially entertaining series. The first game, the one I saw at Fenway, started with the Sox hitting 6 home runs. The series ended on Sunday with both managers being ejected from the game, and a whole lot else in between. Going to Fenway was a blast, and is way up on the list of best dates ever. The game itself, the people watching, hot dogs and over priced beer – it was all so much fun.
I sent a photo of Fenway at dusk to my Dad. I got an email back from him a day or so later. “Nice photo. Terrible series.” I suppose it was for a die hard Orioles fan. I thought it was fantastic.
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Baseball is an allegorical play about America, a poetic, complex, and subtle play of courage, fear, good luck, mistakes, patience about fate, and sober self-esteem. ~Saul Steinberg