Friday, May 1, 2009

ON SPORTS ~ Game Tips...


Game Tips:

where previously extra innings almost thwarted Molly's college career

Summer breaks from Boston University took me back home to CT and away from the Sox neighborhood. The summer months flew by then as they still do now. And before you knew it, it was time to return to school. A part of me dreaded the studies that were waiting for me, a part of me was excited to be back on my own out from under my parents’ roof, and there was yet another part of me that I found was thrilled to be back in the big city hustle and bustle – my own personal chosen home. As soon as I stepped back into it's confines I realized how much I had missed it, the friends that reconvened with me there, and the comfort of the ballpark around the corner alive with hope. The ability to resist the powerful draw of the Sox from such close range was impossible for me.

I recall one afternoon the Yankees were in town. My friend and I decided to give Yankee boy a call and go to the game. Smart fans know that if you need to get a ticket from a scalper all you need to do is wait until after the game starts to get yourself a decent price. So we made our way through Kenmore Square and bought tickets after the start of the game from the most nervous scalper I have ever encountered. He had us nonchalantly walking way out of the way around corners to exchange currency for tickets. Mind you, if you walk out of the Kenmore T (Trolley subway) Station before the start of a Sox game you are bombarded by scalpers asking “Need a Ticket/Selling Tickets?” They work the busiest corners, with cops always in earshot, making their trade without much incident. So I don’t know what our scalper that day’s paranoia problem was but he delivered the goods to us at face value and into the shrine we went.

I attended the game with a New Jersey girl who rooted for the Sox and Yankee boy – not rooting for the Sox. It was a beautiful sunny day and I enjoyed my company fully in the presence of the game. I don’t recall who won but remember the great fun we had together. The Yankee dominance still hadn’t occurred so the "Yankees Suck" chant hadn’t been created yet. I appreciated Yankee boy’s rooting interest and had no problem with him or the competition. In fact, my friend and I were very happy with ourselves for having been able to get tickets for Yankee boy to enjoy seeing his team. I must say, things were very different back then in Sox vs. Yankees culture.

My junior year I moved out of my Kenmore located dorm and into an apartment in Allston up the Green Line (of the T). No more could I watch the Sox with the volume down and hear the roar of the crowd through my window. My roommate was from Rhode Island and as far as I recall had no interest in sports whatsoever. She had just graduated from BU and seemed to have much more important things on her mind. We had very little in common other than the fact that we lived under the same roof and both loved cats. In this apartment was where I first watched war unfold live on TV in the Gulf, learned how to kill a cockroach, got the first kitten I was entirely responsible for, experienced what a landlord was all about, realized that people actually pay rent for parking spaces, and watched alone as my NY Football Giants won the Superbowl under Bill Parcells, a.k.a. The Tuna, at the expense of a wide right Bills field goal. I took satisfaction in knowing my old Social Studies teacher back in Rochester, NY was let down by yet another choke by the Bills in the Big Game.

I began to loathe the T while living in Allston. I rode the Green line at least four times a day back and forth from my apartment to class, to work, and to visit friends. I found a job at a real estate office that took me back to Kenmore Square on a regular basis. The realtors all had the Sox schedule posted at their desks. Not because of their interest in the opponents coming to town but because it was impossible to show apartments in the hours leading up to a Sox game. It was hard enough feeding meters all day and finding a space anywhere near the office to park when they did have to vacate their spot to show an apartment. It was an entirely different beast needing to drive through Kenmore Square when the Sox were in town.

I still marvel at all of the fans that drive all the way in to Fenway for a game. Perhaps they are from out of town and are unaware that this is not like stadiums around MLB that have a parking lot built around the park. In fact, this is not a stadium at all, but a park that was built when cars were not the mode of transportation smack dab in the middle of a congested section of the city already housing business and residential neighborhoods. There is one decent sized lot located across from Fenway but you have to drive right through Kenmore Square to get to it. So good luck with that. There are a few small garages across from sections of the park but half of the one-way streets are closed off so it is a disaster to get to them as well. Street parking is impossible because it is primarily residential parking, which requires a resident sticker. If you had such a sticker you would not be driving to the game so all those spaces are full and if you park in one without a sticker you will find a very hefty parking ticket waiting for you. Every single gas station, fast food restaurant and any other form of business with a parking lot in the area charges highway robbery and most are already full long before first pitch. Which leads me to one of the very good things living in Allston taught me. If you have to drive into the city for a Sox game, park in Allston on the street at a meter, which stops requiring quarters shortly after you park, and hop on the Green Line to the last above ground stop before Kenmore. Stroll to Fenway from there amidst the scalpers and fans with time to grab a Fenway Frank and an overpriced brewski without the traffic and parking hassle.

next week, KEEPING SCORE, where Molly finds softball again as an adult...


Sandy Nawrot said...

I'm feeling sad for you that you had to move! Cockroaches and a roommate that wasn't a BFF! You poor thing! I'm waiting for the episode where you meet Andy...

Fire Fox said...

Great post! You could do travel brochures... helpful hints for those not familiar with Boston. If folks new what to do then maybe it wouldn't be such a mele getting to a game up there! The ride back on the T was an eye opening experience for me... packed in like a sardine and unable to breathe. UGH! When one has to suffer to see a game... I believe that makes you a true fan!