Tag Archives: sports fan

Game’s Eve

For the first time, tomorrow, I’m going to a Red Sox game.

I’m excited. Really excited. I fell like this is what I’ve been preparing for all this time. This experience.

I’ve read about the history of baseball. I’ve watched documentaries and news clips and autobiographies and biographies and articles. I’ve watched it live and taped and listened to it on the radio. I’ve met (briefly) old players and walked along the infield and even sat in the dugout at Fenway.

And now, just now, I’m going to go to a game.

EEK!

-D-

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Bobbled

“A .300 hitter, that rarest of breeds these days, goes through life with the certainty that he will fail at his job seven out of ten times.”

-Ted Williams

As you may be aware, I’ve been immersing myself in baseball in an attempt to fit in more into Boston culture. I’ve read about the successes and failures of teams throughout the decades. I’ve watched clips of Bill Buckner’s error and read about Merkle’s Boner (that’s a term that has not aged well). A friend of mine has warned me about following the Red Sox. He speaks of the collapse last September like other people talk about the exact moment they realized their marriage had failed or when they heard about JFK being assassinated. He told me that it would be hard being a Red Sox fan.

I’ll be honest: I laughed at him. After all, I was well aware of the pain and suffering of the average Sox fan. They’ve bobbled away the World Series. They’ve failed, time and again, when it mattered the most. They’ve lost, even when they’ve had the best men in the league on their team. I know all of this and I thought I could handle any loss or losing streak with the knowledge that baseball, like all things, moves in cycles. Even if they’re not on top this year, there’s always next year. Even if they’re in a slump NOW, there’s always next game. There are 160 games in a season. Losing one game is no big deal, not really.

I was wrong.

I’ve been enraged (See The Vernacular of Sports). I’ve been depressed. I’ve screamed at the radio. I’ve curled into a little ball on the floor and cried softly. Six games in and they’ve won exactly one.

There is, as I think I’ve mentioned before, a big difference between reading about the Red Sox and following them as a fan. And I don’t even have the burned-out, jaded cynical perspective to protect me. I go into each game with the cheerful, freckle-faced innocence of a young babe, assuming that this time it’ll be all right.

And you know what? They WILL be.

They’re in a slump. A small slump. They’ll get it together. It’s (unfortunately) like last year. They just need to get warmed up and then they’re going to unleash Hell.

Go Red Sox!

Dylan Charles

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Game On

Tomorrow is the first Red Sox game of the season.

I’m excited. It’s time to find out if all my hardwork has paid off. I’ve managed to cram over a hundred years of baseball history into my head in less than three months. I know about the old stars and the changes in the rules and where we are now. Granted, there are still a lot of gaps, but I think I’m ready.

The real question is whether the Red Sox are. With a complete change in management and with a reorganized line-up in the bullpen, hopefully they’ll be able to avoid the slumps that they fell into last year. They have the offensive power to get to the top and with Ellsbury, Gonzalez, Pedroia, Youkilis they’ve got a strong defensive line-up.

Just please, pitchers, keep your shit together ALL year this year.

And throw that pigskin* through some hoops* boys against those San Francisco Tigers* tomorrow!

(Did that sound like I know what I’m talking about?)

Excitement!

Dylan

 

 

 

*This sentence is a joke.

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The Motion

I got caught up watching a soccer game while I was buying my nightly 24 case of beer and immediately felt at home. After watching the World Cup, I became very familiar with how a soccer game moves. It’s a tidal movement. The players flow from one end of the field, then recede to the other end of the field as the ball changes hands. Or…feet, I guess.

As the game moves from one end to the other, emotions build. There’s the tension as they get closer to the goal. And then it either dwindles, fades away, if they miss and the ball makes it way toward the other side, where the tension begins to mount again. Or there’s an explosion, a release from all that emotional build-up as your team makes it.

Basketball has a similar rhythm, but much more kinetic and frantic. Since the court is a much smaller space than than the soccer field, the energy rollercoasters back and forth. There’s no real build-up, it’s just a constant high run of emotional feeling. If the two teams are relatively evenly matched and the scores stay neck and neck that it.

Baseball is different. It’s a sport of circles, long, slow loops over the top and then a sudden swift swing around the bottom. There’s the steady climb, where there’s no-one on base and it’s the first inning and the pitchers are fresh and no-one reaches base. It’s the wait, that calm, low period where everyone is watching for the moment.

Then there’s a full count and there are two outs. He needs to hit to stay alive or the pitcher needs to fail. There’s a pause in breath.  And then the pitch. Still , the audience waits, perched at the top of the loop, waiting for the moment. He hits it, it goes out to center field and the center fielder has it in his sights and everyone knows he has to catch it, an easy pop fly and he…bobbles it! The crowd lets out a roar, it’s the pent-up breath of 30,000 fans being let out.

It’s the languid stretches followed by the sweet, bursts of looping speed that make it worth watching. It’s those pivoting moments where a thousand earlier pivots come together. It’s a circle, a loop-d-loop of emotional release.

I might be turning into an fan, this, the pivotal moment where two months of book work turn into actual, emotional payoff.

Dylan Charles

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The Hat

As part of my baseball learnin’, I wanted to buy something that would mark me as a fan of the Red Sox. You can’t really call yourself a fan until you wander around with a clear label identifying yourself as such. That way, if you see someone wearing a, say, Yankees cap, you can loudly yell, “Yoah grandmothah sucks wicked eggs, ya hoosier!” and then the game is afoot and then there will be a tussle!

I decided on a hat, because I don’t really want to have to wear a parka all through Summer to indicate that, yes, I follow the Red Sox and, yes, I am incapable of planning ahead. A hat is perfect. It works in all seasons. It’s visible. And it can be taken off rapidly if you’re about to run into a huge group of Yankee fans.

Browsing the large selection of hats on the MLB website, I found one and I immediately fell in love with it. It’s chic and has pretty colors and it has style. Look at it!

I’ve become obsessed with it. It glimmers in the virtual shop window like some kind of…hat glimmery thing. I want it. I want to show off my (extremely) new-found allegiance. I want to get into tussles. I want to brag about something I have absolutely no control over. And then…and then…a jersey! So I can show which player I choose to represent me!

“Why yes, I DO consider myself the Dustin Pedroia of retail, how did you know?”

This might, just might, be in danger of turning into a major illness. Is this how it is for all sports fans? Does it all start with a hat?

Dylan Charles

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