Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Yankees Fans Like Boston

No lightning as this Yankees fan touches the Green Monster
Fenway Park, Boston
June 3, 2011

There are an awful lot of Yankees fans in Boston. I see them when the Yankees play. We have a sort of underground code involving head bobs, hand gestures and other methods of acknowledgement when Yankees on the field do good things.

We live in Boston because we like it here. Shocker I know. Seven months out of the year-- from April until October-- we are derided by those who know us and our allegiance. I have had beer spilled on me, I have been laughed at countless times, and the number of creative Evil Empire references I have heard is priceless. We are reminded that we are the enemy every day. Yet we are still here, meaning we must not just like Boston; we gotta LOVE Boston.

One of my favorite parts about Boston is Fenway Park. Yes, I love watching a game there. I love the charm of a stadium built when stadiums had to battle for land versus train tracks and highway right-of-ways, and ultimately lose (hence the Green Monster). I love sitting in right field and being oriented so as looking straight ahead means you look at the Green Monster, and you need to kink your neck to the left to see the pitcher. I love sitting in seats that are way too small. I love drinking beer before the game on Yawkey Way.

I like Fenway because it really is so welcoming. Driving home from work each night (I work in Waltham and live downtown), I pass under Brookline Avenue and immediately to the left of the park on the Mass. Turnpike. Hoards of fans pass over me. The lights of Fenway on on a warm summer evening. There is nothing more inviting.

Truth be told, Boston is a welcoming city with a welcoming skyline. I see it quote often landing at Logan airport. I hope the wind is out of the north, so the plane will land on runway 4. Out the left side of the plane is a breathtaking view of downtown.

Rivalry aside, the residents of Boston (Yankee fans and Red Sox fans) all share the same concerns. We all want the same things from our elected officials. We all hope of raising families, providing a good education to our kids. In return for receiving those things, we give back to our communities.

And we all love to watch baseball.

I often say it takes a special type of Yankees fan to live in Boston. Each spring I call Comcast, my cable provider, and request that they add the YES network to the lineup (for those not familiar, YES carries the majority of Yankees games). Typically, the attendant has a nice insult-- or worse-- to throw back at me.

One year, I pleaded my case. "You know, there are a lot of Yankee fans in Boston."

The attendant's reply: "Well, there are a lot of Red Sox fans, too."

A special type of Yankees fan lives in Boston? It's perhaps better stated that it takes a special type of city to be welcoming to fans of its dreaded rival. The lights of Fenway, the skyline, the restaurants and bars... they are welcoming even to me. But don't worry, I am almost always at home, locked away, when the Yankees and Red Sox face off. I know not to push my luck.

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