Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Tale of Two Cities & Two Teams

I really try to avoid politics, and as a general rule, don't typically get into political discussions. And although I don't plan on starting today, the news of Teddy Kennedy's death has definitely put Boston on my mind. That and the fact that I want the Sox to clinch a wildcard spot.

Believe it or not, despite my obvious obsession with New York City, there is another city that I really love to be in. Yes, that city is Boston. Actually, it's all of New England really. Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine mostly. But Boston gets most of my focus because, well, just because it's so damn awesome.

The Freedom Trail. The great food and gelato in the North End. Mike's Pastry. Quincy Mahket. Paul Reveah's house. Old Ironsides. Fenway Pahk. The T. All the wicked pissah good times from eating lobstah and drinkin' lotsa beahs.

I mean come on, it's a no brainer.

But I think many sports fanatics native to Boston and New York would both probably have a hard time comprehending or reconciling the ability to love both places. That's alright though. It's true that I heart NYC. But the Red Sox are definitely my team.

I tend to route for underdogs, and even though I've never been an avid baseball fan, I started cheering for the Sox a few years before they won their first World Series in like a gajillion years. They were perenial underdogs then, and to some extent, probably always will be when it comes to playing their arch rivals from the Bronx, the Yankees.

I once went to a mid-season game at Fenway Park that really didn't have much significance to it. But if I didn't know any better, I'd have thought it was the World Series. It was such a strange, surreal feeling. Maybe I should explain a bit more so you understand my point of reference. You see, my hometown baseball team is the Florida Marlins. Yes, for a young team, they've managed to win a World Series or two.

But if you've ever gone to a Marlins game at mid-season, you'd know that by looking around the stadium, about 80% of the seats are usually empty. Nobody cares. I like the Marlins and all, but when you're at their games, it's really just a pathetic atmosphere.

Then go from experiencing that anemic environment many, many times, then go to a game at Fenway. It's just unbelievable. The two experiences are an extreme contrast between an enjoyable experience and a dull one.

When I was at Fenway Park, I had goosebumps for half the game. By the time they started playing 'Sweet Caroline' in the middle of the 8th inning, I was singing along at the top of my lungs with everyone else. I can still hear Neil Diamond's voice on the loudspeaker, "Good times never seemed so good..." and then the roar of the crowd following up with, "So good, so good, so good."

Everyone around me was so happy and lively and friendly. The place is just brimming with energy and enthusiasm. By the time the game was over, I was exhausted, had nearly lost my voice from cheering and singing as loud as I could, and still had a leftover andrenaline buzz lingering from the game itself.

That's a great memory that I'll never forget. I've rarely encountered such die hard, loyal fans of a baseball team. I'm sure there are plenty of other teams with that type of support, but the Sox have an argument for the best fans in the sport. I'd say #1, but for arguments sake, they're in the top 2 or 3, at the very least.

The game at Fenway was something I had on my 'bucketlist,' which is a list that actually existed before the word 'bucketlist' was popular. I also had 'See a Game at Yankee Stadium' on there too, and I actually ended up being able to go to the last home game ever played at the old Yankee Stadium. I was so excited to be there. I felt like I was a part of history.

This was the last game played there.


This was the house that Ruth built, my friends. Countless legends have played on that field. There are a limited amount of people who can say they got to see the last game ever played at the original Yankee Stadium before they tore it down, and I'm proud to be one of them.

But I digress.

I just know that whenever I go to NYC or Boston, I never want to come home.

In a city with so much history, pride, and views like the one in the photo I took above, at the Public Gardens -- can you really blame me?


  1. nope nope nope, cant let you say they are the best fans in the world until you have been to Chicago and seen the Cubbies play. Most die hard fans, amazing stadium and every game is sold out no matter how crappy they play. You know if you move to NYC you cant wear a red sox hat right?

  2. @kelly: yeah, I saw that coming! and you could be right, i dunno. i can only speak from my own experience. my girlfriend's family is actually from chicago. they even have an almost identical last name as you. change the 'ka' at the end and replace it with 'ek' and it's the same name. i have a feeling i will love Chicago, but i always wonder this: when you've got two teams to choose from, who's picking the white sox and who's choosing the cubs? is it like a north/south thing or something? i'm curious because the white sox fans that i know HATE the cubs and vice versa.

  3. What a great post - you make the fan experience come alive, even for a West Coast girl who has never been to Boston! :)

  4. thanks so much for the comment! i always get warm and fuzzies anytime i'm lucky enough to succesfully convey an experience to readers in a way that allows them to vicariously feel and understand what it was like for me, just from reading about it.