Saturday, December 29, 2007

Not THAT kind of Yankee

As I have occasionally mentioned, I'm a New England boy. More specifically, I grew up in Massachusetts and then spent high school in Connecticut. In other words, I was in New England during those formative years when a young man first begins to follow sports.

Now, to say I "follow" sports is something of a misnomer. I'm a long ways from being a fanatic. I like to hear about my teams, and if someone leaves the sports section out, I'll occasionally look through it to see how they're doing. It's rare, however, that I'll know without being told what's going on. I'm not really an active fan, but if I hear someone mention one of my teams, I pay attention.

So who are "my" teams? Well, as I mentioned I got my start in Massachusetts. That means anything New England or Boston; specifically the Red Sox, the Patriots, the Bruins, and the Celtics.

That was in the days of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parrish. It was an easy time to be a Celtics fan. It was also, briefly, an easy time to be a Patriots fan. One of my earliest sports related memories is of the Pats crushing the Dolphins on their way to Super Bowl XX only to be crushed in turn by the Refrigerator and the rest of the Bears. After that it wasn't such a good time to be a Patriots fan anymore.

Then there's the Red Sox. It was never a good time to be a Red Sox fan. They're sort of famous for it.

Or they were. It's good to be from New England again. The Bruins are holding pretty steady. The Celts have made some trades that look to really boost their performance and then there's the other two. The Red Sox made up for all the suffering with one beautiful series in 2004. They took the top spot again this year proving the first one wasn't a fluke. Then there's the Pats who have now racked up more touchdowns in a single season than any other team ever.*

I feel justified in maintaining my loyalty (as low key as it is) through several moves and despite (or perhaps because of) the strong feelings of several of my friends for other teams. I'm not a very enthusiastic fan, but I am a persistent fan. It took a while, but it's paying off now.

Go New England!

*P.S. Add "most touchdowns of any quarterback" and undefeated regular season to their list of achievements. Like I said, it's a good time to be from New England.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Something New to Talk About

Tis the season for traveling. The Atlanta-to-Connecticut trip is a doozy. Fortunately, I have some good friends near DC to help me break it up into two smaller bits. Not small, but at least smaller. The weather was good for my journey north and the first leg at least was swift and smooth. I made good time.

Bruce and Colleen proved gracious and pleasant hosts, offering lots of opportunities to play Halo. Also there was good beer (to be expected in Bruce's house) and a new (to me) lunch place. It turns out I really like fried oysters. Good to know. They even staged a local sporting event for my entertainment!

The second leg of the journey north was less pleasant, including two significant traffic jams (one at each end). I made it in one piece, though, with only mild frustration damage to my psyche.

The return trip should be better. For one thing, Sarah will be with me. Actually, that's the only thing that's certain to be more pleasant about the trip. I was lucky with the weather on the way north, but there are threats of snow and ice ahead. Traffic should be heavier, but hopefully there will be no construction to worry about. The real question, though, is the Diehls. They are taking on the mantle of hosts for our midpoint stopover. Will they be able to live up to the standards set by the Showalters? It's a lot to ask of them. The Diehls have a real opportunity here to step up and excel, but we'll have to wait and see how it turns out. It's a lot of pressure, I won't lie, but I'm cautiously optimistic.