Sunday, April 20th, 2008 I had the ⁈Å"pleasure⁈ of attending a Texas Rangers vs. Boston Red Sox game at ⁈Å"Friendly Fenway⁈ park.
Before I continue, please allow me to give some background. I am a Yankee fan. Just over 11 years ago I moved to the Boston area, got engaged and married a Red Sox fan. As it turns out, her family has had season tickets to Fenway Park for over 20 years. Those seats are 12 rows back from the screen, directly behind home plate. It⁈⁚s a row of 6 seats and my in-laws ⁈Å"own⁈ 4 of them. The other 2 belong to NESN. My father-in-law rarely, if ever, requires me to pay to see the games as he considers it an opportunity to get the family together.
Being a big baseball fan I enjoy going to as many baseball games as I can every year. While I go to several games at Yankee Stadium every year, one would be foolish to look a gift horse in the mouth when it comes to great seats like these; especially since I get to see The Beloved Yankees play there every year as well.
Yesterday, I had the privilege of bringing my own father to the game, sans cost, along with my 4 year old son. Now my dad is a Yankee fan and my son is a Yankee fan in the making. However, my dad has never been to Fenway Park and while up on a brief visit from Florida, I took the opportunity to take dear old dad to a game- Thank you, father in law.
There lies the formula for a nice Sunday afternoon; a clear and sunny day, an afternoon baseball game and an opportunity to get the family together- Except for the fact that it was ⁈Å"Friendly Fenway⁈ .
It was an entertaining game as I watched Manny Ramirez get bounced for arguing balls and strikes with the umpire then saw the Red Sox fall behind 4 to 0 within a few innings despite the poor defensive play of the Rangers.
Now I consider it bad form to root against a team- any team- especially while in their home ball park. However, because my father and son were there, I chose not to root for the visiting team- or any team- for that matter. I just watched the game, kept my son and father fed and entertained while explaining the ins and outs of the game to my son, the already blossoming baseball fan.
Fast forward to the 5th inning. As a general rule, the seats to the right of us, the 2 NESN seats, usually remain empty until about the 5th inning as the occupants of those seats usually come out of the press box to see a few innings close up. Rarely are those seats filled for the entire game. So, in the middle of the 5th, 2 men I have never seen before come to our row and sit in those seats. They no sooner sit in the seats, when one immediately gets up and goes for beer. Now anyone who has ever been to Fenway Park knows it is a dinosaur in terms of modern amenities. The seats are close together and uncomfortable, bathrooms are few and far in between and god forbid you need to get money from an ATM machine. You can expect to spend at least 3 innings on a money run. Anyway, the new occupants of seats 5 and 6 continue to swill beer and get up twice per half inning for beer trips, tripping and falling all over us all the way there and back.
By the eighth inning the Red Sox had mounted a comeback and tied it up.
At that point, the guy next to me- the one who was wearing the large black frame designer glasses- you know the ones- the ones with the big gold medallions on the side that ⁈Å"Jappy⁈ women wear- turns to me for a high five. Needless to say, I draw the line. I won⁈⁚t be a poor sport and cheer against your team but don⁈⁚t ask me to celebrate with you if I⁈⁚m not a fan. So, I just gave him a blank look. He then ⁈Å"reloads⁈ his high-five and says, ⁈Å"Hiiiiii fiiiiive!⁈ To which I continue to blankly stare at him. He looks at me in disbelief and says, ⁈Å"Come on, a man doesn⁈⁚t deny another man a hi-five⁈ . I then calmly replied to him, ⁈Å"Sorry, I⁈⁚m not from around here. I⁈⁚m not a Red Sox fan.⁈ To which he says, ⁈Å"Well what the F#$% are you in these seats for.⁈ You⁈⁚re kidding me, right? I don⁈⁚t have a right to sit and watch a baseball game? Please. As a loyal Yankee Fan, let me ask this to any and all of you baseball fans out there. If you move away from your home team, do you stop being a fan? Ok, let me be more specific- If you are a Red Sox fan, move away from Boston to say⁈ ¦. Seattle, do you stop being a Red Sox fan? Do you really think the people of Seattle expect you to jump on their team⁈⁚s bandwagon and become a Mariners fan? No. I don⁈⁚t think so. So don⁈⁚t expect me to jump on your childish little bandwagon, twerp. Get a grip on reality. So maybe that⁈⁚s the point. Eighty-six years of pain and suffering can cause any fan-base to go crazy, right? Well, how do you explain the fact that Cubs fans- some of the most rabid fans in baseball- don⁈⁚t treat me that way? How do explain that Cubs fans don⁈⁚t yell, ⁈Å"Yankees s**k!-Yankees s**k!⁈ at any Chicago sporting event? How do you explain that no other team⁈⁚s fan-base makes a championship drought an excuse for raising one⁈⁚s kids to be poor sports? I guess living in the shadow of the greatest team in the history of all sports can be difficult. But it⁈⁚s still no excuse to raise generations of ill-mannered people with no sportsmanship or social skills.
Anyway, I often bring a nice camera to the games and take some pictures (all the pictures herein except the kid with the middle finger are mine). So, the donkey decides to put his hand in front of my lens every time I pick up the camera to get a shot. After three of those little childish acts I look at him and say, ⁈Å"Come on, get over it.⁈ Did I really bruise his fragile little ego so much by not giving him a hi-five that he had to start screwing with me while I⁈⁚m sitting with my 4 year old on my lap and my father next to me? So much for ⁈Å"Friendly Fenway⁈ . It⁈⁚s not like I slighted his team or openly rooted against his team or said anything bad about his team⁈ ¦. All I said, politely, was that I am not a fan.
He continued making remarks throughout the rest of the game and for the sake of my family I just ignored him.
Then, as they were leaving, he and his friend made a comment or two as they passed by. I then told him, ⁈Å"Only in Boston is it considered ok to be a poor sport⁈ . They stopped to argue then thought better of it and walked on.
Allow me to say I am not living in fantasy land. The rivalry is alive and well but I never mentioned I was a Yankee Fan. Needless to say this could have happened in Yankee Stadium (or any ballpark for that matter). But, as a representative of NESN, one would think they would have had more class. Especially with a 4 year old present. I guess I was expecting too much from a Red Sox fan.
Beware Boston fans⁈ ¦ The higher they come, the harder they fall. When you think your team is unbeatable just remember Super Bowl XXXXII.
Converted the pictures to jpg's and pulled them off of that Word Document. Then I uploaded them onto a live internet page. Copied the text and pasted the photos in the same places that you did in the original. Simple really.