Friday, April 24, 2009

ON SPORTS ~ College Ball - Part II...


College Ball, Part II:

where previously Molly moved to Boston for college and visited Fenway Park for the first time

My Mets fan friends from high school were also going to college in Boston. Being a few years older than me they had been in town for a while and so logically I got in touch with them for more familiar faces and to learn more about what else the city had to offer.

Amazingly their roommate was from Long Island and was a Yankees fan through and through. But since this was before the Yankees 90’s dynasty there wasn’t much hostility in the group – and being friends to this day there isn’t hatred for Yankee boy – call it misdirected anger, or jealousy. With all the schools in Boston there are a ton of "Lawng Ilanduz" transplanted here and the same is true with "Bawstoniens" relocated to New Yawk. So it is not uncommon to run into the opposition on your hometown turf. But still, I find it comical that my Mets friends introduced me to my new Yankees friend. And the rest of their circle of friends were all born and bred Bawstonien Sox fans. It made for a lot of good-natured ribbing.

Before I moved to Boston for school I had really only thought of my heritage as being Southern. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten over the adjustment of being born in the South and transplanted to the North. It is a huge cultural difference, not to mention the temperature. But when I stepped into Boston and was introduced to my Mets and Yankee boy’s local Bostonian friends, I realized that having an Irish surname in addition to an Irish first name meant that all of a sudden I fit in with the historic and overwhelming heritage of Boston – I was an Irish Lass.

Because of my Irish name, people in these parts always incorrectly assumed that I was also a good Catholic girl. In fact, my future husband’s grandmother convinced herself that I must be Irish Catholic. I’m not sure if she knew I was a Protestant with roots in Southern Baptist and Presbyterian faith upbringings working for a Jewish boss. But if she did she chose to deny the fact that a girl in MA with such an Irish name could be anything but Catholic. I had long since stopped correcting people – it was just easier that way. Just as it was much easier to say I was raised a Sox fan rather than explain why one would actually choose to be a part of the long-suffering Red Sox Nation at that time. One would think with all the luck of the Irish and the prayers from the Catholics in this town it wouldn't have taken the Sox so long to win the big one since the other big one was shuttled off to the Yanks.

After my first pilgrimage to Fenway I decided that more visits were necessary. Ticket prices for the bleachers were still affordable for a broke college student at that point in time. Although the vantage point from the bleachers was not quite the same as the first base box seats I had during my first visit, I learned that there really are very few bad seats in the joint. Every section offers unique views and experiences – and all of them are better than the seats I had with my Dad at Yankee Stadium. You really only need binoculars at Fenway if you want to check out the fielder’s ass.

It was near the end of my freshman year – the night before the start of finals to be exact. Some friends of my Roomie and I decided that would be a great night to go sit in the bleachers at Fenway to take in one last Sox game before we left Boston for our respective real homes for the summer. Funny thing is, all these people hailed from NY. But never once do I recall any pre-determined sports allegiance. We were all rooting for the hometown team. Problem was, neither team on the field could do anything to take control and win the game.

The game went into extra innings. Now, mind you, this was the night before final exams. None of us had put in the time required to pass our exams. We had all counted on the game being over on time so we’d have the whole rest of the night to cram what information needed to be had. So when the game went long we had to leave. We spent the rest of the night cramming information into our caffeinated brains, sparing no minutes to sleep. We took our exams and came back to our dorm room cots to crash until the next exam called.

We found out after the fact that the game lasted another few innings with a Sox loss. I am very thankful that my Sox obsession had not taken full hold on my being at that particular point in time or I may not have shown up and passed the exams that kept my parents paying tuition bills for another year. These days I would have stayed to the end, been completely dejected, and not had the desire to study my lessons – I would have watched Sports Center highlights until I was confidently miserable. But then again, we didn’t have cable in the dorm and Sports Center wasn’t yet the fixture it is now.

next week, GAME TIPS, where Molly shares the life lessons college tuition provided, such as scalping tickets and parking tips for Fenway...

1 comment:

Sandy Nawrot said...

Another good one. It sounds to me that you have in fact checked out asses with the binoculars? When I'm doing it, I always wonder how many thousands of other women are doing the same thing at that moment.