Well. April 15th is another day that it seems like so many things happened throughout history. And for the most part, it seems like it has been a date on which a lot of truly tragic things happened. Honestly, I can only think of one really cool thing that happened on this date: it was the day that Jackie Robinson first debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. And as big a fan of baseball as I am, and as happy as I am about how far my favorite sport has come since that time, I can’t help but contrast that event with all the other terrible, tragic things that have happened on this day.
Anyone who knows me well knows that when it comes to football, I am decidedly… meh. I just never got into the sport the way that so many other people (like Kelly) have. Baseball is another story. I love it. Even hockey and soccer are sports I care WAY more about than football. But still, I look forward to whenever the Pats go the Superbowl, because that inevitably means people I know will be throwing great parties with lots of beer, wings, and general awesomeness.
So this year the upcoming wingstravaganza Superbowl party seems to be dominated by talk about this mess regarding the slight under-inflation of footballs. And frankly, I am a bit puzzled by the whole thing.
And we are not alone. Our fellow Bostonians have spontaneously created a memorial to him in the Public Garden, on and around the bench where he sat during one of the most pivotal scenes in the movie Good Will Hunting.
Before I begin, I just want to say that if anyone reads the title of this post, and thinks that I am NOT going to talk about things that may be spoilers for those who have not read the books, you are just… dumb. It is not my intent to be a big meanie who spoils everything for all those people who have not read the books but are devoted fans of the HBO series. But come on, these books have been out for years, and the TV show is now in its fourth year. You should probably just go read the books, or else stay off the internet. Otherwise, perhaps you should consider staying in a monastery or becoming Amish or doing something to keep away from the internet and popular culture. ASOIAF/GoT are so hugely popular and widespread at this point, it’s everywhere. It’s in magazines at my doctor’s office and on t-shirts of people walking down the street. It’s almost like saying you didn’t watch the 2007 World Series and you don’t want to know how it ends before you can watch it, even though you live in Boston. Or not knowing the ship sinks in Titanic but getting mad at someone who mentions it. We are rapidly reaching a level of patent absurdity when it comes to these spoiler issues. I just refuse to say “spoiler alert” everything time I talk about ASOIAF or GoT. So this is the last time.
So if you want to have a freakout about that sort of thing, GO READ SOMETHING ELSE. If you can’t think of anything, I can probably offer some suggestions. But ultimately, those who wish to avoid spoilers should assume some responsibility for themselves and stop insisting the whole world police itself for their benefit.
One of my funniest memories from back when I first went to Alabama and met Geoff was when we went to his regular Monday night group, lovingly called the “Terrorist Knitters”, and I met a bunch of his friends for the first time. One of them was Bruce. Bruce was Geoff’s mechanic and Bruce’s wife, Sarah, was an avid knitter and a member of the knitting group. Bruce and Sarah arrived a bit later in the evening and when Geoff introduced me to Bruce and told him that I was from Boston, Bruce’s face absolutely lit up and he exclaimed, “Boston! Say something!”
Bruce was under the impression that I was a native Bostonian and that I had a Boston accent. I had to apologize and explain to him that while I had lived in Boston for a long time I did not, and still do not, actually have an accent. He was very disappointed.
I was reminded of this memory this evening when I got home from a Red Sox game and happened upon this article on Boston.com. If there is one place that you’ll hear varieties on what we lovingly call “Masshole-ish” or “Masshole-ese” it’s Fenway. Geoff and I were theorizing on our way home that the yellow shirted vendors, who all speak with a Boston accent of one variety or another, are actually trained that way. We suspect that if you’re walking around Fenway selling “ice cold beer” you’ll sell far less than if you’re selling “ice cold beah.”
Anyway, pictures from Fenway will follow. Today was the end of a four game series against the Orioles and the Sox swept the series. Though today the score was 8-6 as opposed to the spankings administered earlier in the series. We were concerned that the Orioles might actually leave town with a little self esteem as a result. I think Papelbon took care of that when he closed out the 9th inning.
Much to our surprise, Kelly and I acquired a pair of Red Sox tickets. A guy we know from our Church has season tickets, and he was not going to the game so he let us have them. It was quite generous and we gladly accepted. I did not expect to get to go to any Sox games this year, and here I am going to my second one this year. And the seats were pretty awesome.
Sadly, it turned out that this was my first time to get to see the Red Sox lose live and in person. And boy oh boy did they lose. They got stomped… by… oh, it’s hard for me to say… Baltimore. Not Tampa, not the Yankees, but a team that is arguably one of the worst in baseball.
Still, we did have a good time. And much to my amazement, I finally… finally managed to get myself a Narragansett. It was quite funny. A group of guys sitting next to us were also upset that they could not get a Narragansett, and they didn’t understand why the beer vendors would not come up to our section. I decided that I was going to go try get one, and so I went down and asked the security supervisor, a guy around my dad’s age, about where I could get one. He looked at me and said, “You don’t want one of those fancy foreign beers?” I replied, “No, I want a ‘Gansett.” He laughed. We ended up having a long conversation about Narragansett. It was quite funny. Anyway, so I went down to the area where the Narragansett guy was and bought myself a beer.
So Kelly put up with my weird beer obsession, and we still had a lot of fun at the game. We especially had a lot of fun talking to the people sitting around us who were all friendly and often funny. Those guys sitting next to us were joking about how Kelly was “Lady Luck” or something as they were playing some sort of betting game. And were all singing together and swaying when the seventh inning stretch came up. Red Sox fans are so awesome. I am so glad I live here.