Sunday, January 3, 2010

Fenway Follies

A trip to Boston. A trip to the most coveted ticket in all of professional sports. WE WERE THERE!!!!!

It started off the right way. I woke up Thursday morning to three inches of snow on the ground! Great! Perfect to put me in the mood for hockey, except I still had to drive to Marlton to drop of the little guy and then to the rink to get on the bus. The drive was quite slippy but we made it safely to the bus and almost on time.

The buses were already mostly full and unfortunately there was only one pair of seats together and our friends got it. Jack got to sit next to the self-proclaimed SuperFan. You've seen him. He's the guy with the orange and black mohawk. Yeah, that guy! Anyway, the buses were very cramped and it was not a fun 8-hour trip!

The weekend was awesome! We got a surprise visit from Henrik, our favorite Swede! He came over to the US for an extended trip and several Flyers games including the Classic! We spent our New Year's Eve at Bleacher Bar inside Fenway Park, just feet from the rink! How awesome! The waitress there, Emma, really made our night by reserving us a table to come back after some RSVP only party! It was great! I highly recommend this bar! ;-) We met some great Bruins fans and hung out with them all night! So much fun! Me, Jack, the Swede, the Bruins fans, Julie, Vern, Ed and our new friend, season ticket holder in section 205, Kat. Awesome!!!!

The next morning we were so excited for this game. We got all geared up in our many layers to prepare for the cold. The temp was expected to be about 30 degrees with a slight breeze. Perfect! At least it wasn't going to rain, which was the fear during our weeklong weather watch. We took a taxi to Fenway. Jack was NOT getting on that bus again! In fact, during the ride to Boston from Philly he was already researching car rentals and train tickets!

Fenway! What a sight! I'm not a big baseball fan at all. Well, ok, I'm not a baseball fan at all, but I could just feel the significance of being there. The Green Monster. That red seat in right field. The history. The legacy. It was all palpable.

It was nice to see the different ways that sports are experienced in different areas of the country. One major way you can see that is in the concession stands. Yes, food. At our ballpark we have Geno's steaks. If you're from the Philly area you know what a Geno's is. At Fenway, they had Fenway franks (which were actually amazing since the dog and the bun are separate until they are purchased) and they had roaming Chowda vendors. Yes, that's right. The same people who bring you peanuts and overpriced beers in the stands, were selling cups of New England Chowder. We asked if this was something they were just doing for the Classic. The guy said they sell it at colder baseball games too. We saw one gal balancing her tray of chowder on her head!

There was an auxilliary rink, more of a small pond really, in center field where many of the youth hockey organizations each had a chance to play hockey. I thought that was the coolest thing ever. You'd see the little guys come out to the rink and skate their little hearts out. How exciting to be a little guy and be able to say that you played hockey at the Winter Classic! There was no play during the big guys game though.

The game went back and forth but the Flyers lost in the third period when they took "another stupid penalty" (according to Jack) and the Bruins scored knotting the game at one goal apiece. Overtime came and went with the Flyers falling apart and the B's won it. A disappointing loss but I still enjoyed the game. The experience on the whole was amazing and if I had to do it again, knowing the outcome of the game, I would have still been there. Where else would ANY hockey fan want to be on New Year's Day than AT the Winter Classic. It's become quite the tradition. Many of our professional hockey players learned the game on backyard ponds and frozen lakes, rivers or canals. It truly was an awesome experience to be there. Freezing cold and all! My only wish is that my son can feel what it's like to play hockey outdoors just once in his childhood.

The next day we went to the Bruins Legends game at Fenway and we were quite possibly, the only Flyers fans there. It was still fun and our seats were WAY better! Bruins alumni, celebrities and our own Dave Schultz played hockey on the makeshift outdoor pond. Lots of fun especially since we didn't care who won the game!

By the way...we took a train home....

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