Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Red Sox Opening Day

This week I had a chance to do something I've never done before: I went to Red Sox Opening Day. It was an amazing experience. Each year, after 5 months of brutal weather, 30 some thousand Boston fans stand up and walk away from their desks with not a thought about what they're leaving behind at work. I remember interviewing for my first job in the Boston area back in 2000. It happened to be opening day and everyone I spoke with was in such a good mood. For me, opening day marks the unofficial beginning of Spring and it is a great time to be in Boston.

This year was particularly special since the Red Sox won the World Series last year. Highlights included ring ceremonies, introductions, celebrity appearances, marriage proposals and even Bill Buckner throwing out the first pitch. I guess after 2 championships in 4 years, Red Sox fans are able to find it in their hearts for letting that ball slip past him in '86.

Fenway truly is an amazing ball park. A few years back I happened to go to a game at the Bank One Ballpark in Arizona the same week as I went to a game at Fenway; it was like there were two different games being played at the stadiums. While the Bank One Ballpark somehow reminded me of a nice shopping mall, Fenway exuded charm with its dirty concourses, foul odors and cramped wooden seats. Things seemed nicer at Fenway yesterday, but it still had its charm. It is a great place to watch a game. (Note to self: must see a game at Wrigley Field soon).

When I was growing up, the only pro sports team we had was the Phoenix Suns. I remember going to my first games at Veterans Memorial Coliseum with my friend Brent Moser's family. They had season tickets and lived on the next block. It was amazing to see *in person* the games that I usually only heard on the radio or occasionally saw on TV. In the summer, we'd travel back to Chicago and a few times we went to games at Comiskey Park. That was something I'll never forget. It was so intimidating traveling into the big city and seeing a major league game in a big stadium. I couldn't imagine pulling a trip like that off by myself- it was all I could do to keep track of my beloved Kevin Seitzer, Matt Nokes, and Mark McGwire rookie cards!

However, with no kids in tow yesterday, I felt less encumbered than I have in a long time. I felt unstoppable! I could weave my way through crowds, find an easy spot to stand on the train- everything was simple. But as much as I enjoyed spending the day with my friends, I was thinking how great it would be to take Sam and Will to a game. Some day soon I think Sam will be ready. First, he'll have to prove to me he's ready by asking to watch a Red Sox game instead of his current favorite- the dreaded "Caillou".


It seems there is some controversy surrounding the F-16 jet flyover that occurred prior to the game. See the Yahoo! news story here. Everyone loves a flyover, but evidently one of the pilots got a little carried away with all the excitement and pulled a "Top Gun" Maverick maneuver by falling out of formation and performing some impromptu aerobatics:

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