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April 17, 2011

Boston and Back

Fenway Park, April 2011
Fenway Park
April 2011

Back in the luminous days of 1524 SF, there was a common phrase deployed by the house (as we called our collective unit) whenever any member proposed an idea or activity: idiotic or genius? And as might be expected out of a collection of maladjusted twenty-something miscreants, the ratio of genius ideas to idiotic ones tended to hover around 1:10, as judged by the house. As assessed by normal folks, I would imagine the ratio was closer to 0:∞. Some things don't change.

A few weeks back, G-Unit, a former 1524er now also in New York City, asked if I wanted to go up to Boston to watch a Red Sox game for which he had a few tickets. I liked the idea: I had never been to Fenway Park, and getting out of the rat race in New York for a weekend seemed like a good idea. I agreed to go. But as we approached closer to the planned trip, it began to become clear that I could not commit to the whole weekend (largely for work reasons). And there was born an idea that would again test our judgment of genius and idiocy: travel to Boston and back in one day solely to watch a game at Fenway Park.

Before you make any judgments, dear readers, it is probably important to lay out some critical facts that color this analysis. First, Boston is four hours by train from New York City. Second, I have absolutely no opinion on the Red Sox whatsoever; whether they win or lose is about as important to me as the results of a high school basketball game in Wichita, Kansas—that is, not at all. Third, I don't even like baseball all that much. In fact, of the four major professional sports in the US, baseball ranks a distant fourth on my list, after (American) football, hockey, and basketball. Finally, and perhaps most critically, it was 45° F and windy yesterday in Boston.

So, let's think about this again. The idea on the table, in case you're a monstrous idiot and forgot, is as follows: travel eight hours by train in one day to go to watch a team that I don't care about play a sport I'm not interested in while sitting outside in frigid temperatures for four hours. Idiotic or genius?

If you selected genius, dear readers, you would be correct. How could this boondoggle not be idiotic?! you might be asking yourselves. Well, friends (I use the term loosely), the answer is simple. You forgot to take into account the foremost philosophy on this most dreadful of sites: go big or go home. If I was going to go to a place four hours away to watch a team I don't care about play a sport I'm not interested while sitting outside in frigid temperatures for four hours, why wouldn't I go and come back in one day, right? And why would I go in the first place? Because I could, obviously. (Old age and wisdom—they don't always go together.)

In any case, what little I saw of Boston was fun (it'd been a year and a half since I was last there) and I can now cross America's Most Beloved Baseball Park off my list. I imagine it's a lot nicer in the summertime, but even in the freezing cold, the Park had a lot of charm, and surely a lot more than the crowd in the bleachers (fahck you). Indeed, it sort of gave me the same (false) nostalgic feeling that I used to get whenever I went to Wrigley Field—a sense of history, if you will. So, all in all, not a bad way to spend nineteen hours on a Saturday.

Maybe the next time I take one of these crazy trips, it'll be for something that actually mattered. Of course, that would require there to be some amount of meaning in life, and well, we all know how I feel about that particular topic. Until next time, dear readers.


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