Boston, you're my home.

Monday, April 5, 2010 | 2 Comment(s)

Remember how I said I wasn't going to blog about baseball, I totally lied. Utterly. I have so much to say about Opening Night at Fenway.

Let's get right to it. Besides the fact that the better, more deserving team won. (it must be said Allie!), there were so many outstanding moments.

1) I actually got to hear the Jazz Singer himself, Neil Diamond, sing Sweet Caroline live at Fenway. Now while the experience itself was unforgettable, the rendition of the song, was sadly forgettable. Old Jazzy Pants is getting along in years, and as much as I love him as an icon, i must admit he's lost a step. But who am I kidding, I don't give a shit. IT'S NEIL FUCKING DIAMOND!!! Check that off my bucket list.

2) Steven Tyler's version of God Bless America was both similar and slimier then Neil's song. He had this gorgeous burnette just standing there next to him (they looked like sisters) the entire song just to harmonize the last three bars. The performance itself . . . see "Neil Diamond" above. Now if Alicia Silverstone rolled out on a motorcycle during the performance, I obviously would have raised his mark to an A.

3) Ok, here goes. The craziest friggin thing happened to me waiting in line for a hamburger at Fenway. I'm standing there, minding my own business, waiting for food, when I realize that Rob Corddry (former "Daily Show" correspondent and a star in the new movie Hot Tub Time Machine) is two people in front of me in line. I initially have that "that guy looks a hell of a lot like Rob Corddry" moment, but then the sausage slingers start saying "don't I know you from somewhere," and I knew it was him. He said he was a teacher. The girl working said, "maybe i know you from school?" I said "you must get this a lot being such an influential teacher." He turned and smiled wryly and knowingly back at me and continued on. (ok, in the real version, all of this happened except that in response to the girl saying she might have known him from school, i ACTUALLY said, "you must get that a lot." But the way I wrote it sounds much cooler, so I'm sticking with it.)

Now that, in and of itself is a pretty great story, and totally true. But here is the thing, there is a more hilarious side story that happened simultaneously with this initial story. Buckle your safety belts.

So Rob was 2 people in front of me, and as I was in my "recognition of famous person" mode, I also, simultaneously as I said, went into "someone is staring at me" mode. This person was about 4 feet tall and directly in front of me. As my eyes were forced away from my Rob sighting and towards this new creepy stimulus, I realize, that in front of me in line I have a young man with Down Syndrome who is drunk out of his mind. Trashed. And he is staring, unblinkingly, at me. And once again I am put in a position I rarely find myself . . . flustered. Because normally, you say something about a staring contest with a stranger, and I'm in. Hell, I'm your man. But somehow I knew instantly that this was a game which I had no chance, and way too much sensitivity to social cues, to win. Now one function of Down Syndrome is that people sometimes have somewhat slurred speech. Coincidentally, people who are tank-faced also tend towards garbled words. This is a case of the additional property of verbal deterioration. Zoom in on me having no choice but to engage the man standing no more than a foot and a half from me staring straight up at me. "Hey," I say.

"Blruehoutauhhrsox," he replied. I paused. Rob Corddry is RIGHT THERE! "Gutterbadgrrgame?" Crap. That sounded vaguely like a follow up question. I was not prepared for that. (at this point the eventually victorious Sox were down 5-1) "Hopefully we'll start doing better?" I guess. I essentially choose the conversational equivalent of darkening the bubble marked "C." And I was acutely aware of the binary pull i was experiencing. On the one hand, I did not want to be condescending to this guy just on the basis of him having Downs. On the other hand, I did want to be condescending to this guy on the basis of him being trashed. I decided that this would be a wonderful time to take the high road and simply tried to tread water with him til my burger came up. While at the same time I also was trying to inject myself into the conversation with Rob Corddry. It was, to say the least, a delicate situation. I'm pretty sure me and my new semi-verbal friend talked about the shame of the Sox being down, but how it was a long season. At least, that what I thought we were talking about. If you told me he said we were talking about great deals on Mazdas, I wouldn't be all that surprised. Turns out this guy was sitting close to our seats. I was told he got kicked out for being too drunk, but i think it was more like "was brought home."

4) The friend that brought me to the game's family has shared season tickets for a long time, and he has been coming to those seats for the majority of his life (for this i am eternally jealous and grateful). So one of his favorite games to play when he gets to his seat on Opening Day is the "what have they changed" game. He looks everywhere for any sign of change. As he finishes scanning he says to me, "and they changed the steps" (he points to the step configuration behind us that is a t-intersection with the downhill staircase branching into two horizontal aisles, both with two steps down). I, being me, scoff at him. Not 2 minutes later, an older man comes crashing down the steps. A season ticket holder. He is caught by a hot-dog vendor in his 50s. Not 10 minutes later that same hot dog vendor goes down in the same place. My friend is right, the stairs are different, and the old timers are going on auto-pilot and crashing and burning. That one was my bad. Should have defered. We then devilishly giggled about how fun it will be to watch old timers stumble on those steps all season. I mean, it'll be funny right up until someone gets hurt of course.

5)Lastly, I almost got kicked out. Me and my friend who brought me got a STERN talking to by security followed by a wonderfully empty threat by an accompanying police offer. At the time we were mock yelling at another Red Sox fan in front of us whom we had been having an extremely good time with (I miss you Judy!!!). When my friend tried to tell security that we hadn't really done anything that bad (and for once he was telling the truth), security cut him off saying, "don't even speak!" Not super cool. To Fenway's eternal credit, the people in front, behind, and next to us in the stands ALL argued our case for us, alerting the staff to the Yankee's fan up ahead who was stirring everyone up (and was about 10 beers deep and wearing his sunglasses aat midnight). His girlfriend (a "so called" sox fan) had gone and told on a bunch of people, but was totally not instigated by us. Later, the security guard who had bitched us out came back an apologized to us, and said that he had gotten a bad tip. I thought that was classy. Cause it was. Amazing how a little personal responsibility can real change how you end up feeling about a situation.

Go Sox, undefeated in 2010!

Some pictures and videos (be careful of the volume of my screaming on your end.)

Fenway Flyover

Pedro's First Pitch Part I

Pedro's First Pitch Part II

Pedro's First Pitch Part III


  1. i heart fenway and the red sox.
    i still catch my breath every time i walk into the stadium and it opens up to the magical view of the park.
    also: caroline is sweet and i really do LOVE that dirty water :-)

  2. I'm having a hard time imagining any situation in which any cop has the authority to tell anyone not to speak