A few years ago, a buddy of mine and I were taking an improv class together when, during one of the classes, we noticed what appeared to be some strained moments between our instructor and one of his fellow troupe members. This went on for several of the classes, with our instructor making subtle, snide comments regarding the situation with the improv troupe.
Needless to say, this made my buddy and I very uncomfortable, and my buddy made a very astute observation about the situation: “This is like watching your parents fight.”
I couldn’t help but recall that observation after my morning perusal of the online news when I stumbled upon this gem in today’s Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Basically, the article talks about the Rangers delaying refunds to fans who put down money on 2009 Rangers playoff tickets.
Ok, stop laughing. I mean, what kind of idiot would put down money on Rangers playoff tickets, much less, utter the words “Rangers” and “playoffs” in the same sentence?
Anyway, between this, the ownership woes, the inability to re-sign Omar Vizquel, Marlon Byrd, and Pudge, I couldn’t help recall the “parents fighting” metaphor, but I’ve remolded and applied it to the Rangers and their hapless fans, i.e., as a fan, all of this mess with the Rangers is like watching your alcoholic parents self-destruct.
We “children” are pretty helpless in this situation, since our “parents” have all the power. We can either sit and watch them self-destruct, or run-away. i.e. stop following the Rangers and start following the Dallas Stars. Unfortunately, in a cruel twist of sports franchise ownership incest, “Papa” also owns the Dallas Stars.
I think I’ll make an anonymous call to Fan Protective Services so they’ll take me into custody then place me with a nice fan-family in Boston.
(Note: I didn’t request a refund, instead, I decided to keep enabling “Papa” and applied my playoff ticket money to 2010 season tickets…I’m a very bad boy!)
I’ll spare you the remaining pics of my Fenway Park tour, like the ones posted yesterday, they were taken from my cell phone camera and the quality, well, ain’t.
Anyway, after the tour, my buddy and I hopped back on the subway, headed back to the hotel, and much to my surprise, the bag American Airlines so kindly lost for Mrs. J and I showed up at the concierge desk. Good thing, because it contained 95% of our clothes, which included our Texas Rangers jerseys. I was going to wear my Red Sox gear to the game, but Jeff, Mrs. J, and I decided to “represent” our boys by sporting our royal blue Texas Rangers jerseys and assorted hats.
(Note: The above/to-the-right pic was taken from our seats)
I was very surprised by the Fenway crowd, most congratulated us for our team’s better-than-expected 2009 season, however we did get several incredulous “Texas?!?” exclamations by passers-by, non of which sounded the least bit threatening, just fun, rivalry razzing.
Here are some pics from that incredible place called Fenway Park:
1. View of the field from our awesome seats:
2. Mrs. J and I enjoying some first class ballpark food (really, it was awesome):
3. Mrs. J and I from the aisle next to our seats (also my new profile pic):
4. My buddy Jeff and I at the same spot:
5. The John Hancock big screen:
6. Jeff and I down by the field after the game:
7. A couple of me at the same spot:
After the game, we went back to the hotel, changed clothes, and headed over to this great little pub called “Mr. Dooley’s”. We landed at Mr. Dooley’s all three nights we were in Boston. Here are some drunken pics:
1. Mrs. J and I, pre-sloshed:
2. Jeff and I flashing our “gang signs”. We dubbed our street gang “The Blubs”:
3. Me, apparently trying to impersonate a rotund Tony Romo with hypertension, decked out in Red Sox gear. I was several Smithwicks in by this point so I honestly don’t have a clue what the context of this pic was (but I’m pretty sure my pass was intercepted by the ghost of Michael Collins):
I won’t bore you with the touristy details surrounding the remainder of the trip…I’ll just bore you with a few more pictures:
1. Jeff and I outside Mr. Dooley’s right before we left for the airport:
2. Mrs. J and I at the Hahvahd subway stop:
3. Revenge of the Legal Seafood Lobster!:
4. Jeff and I at the aquarium:
5. And finally, Mrs. J and I at the aquarium:
Needless to say, a good time was had by all. Fenway was beyond awesome,
Little Italy The North End was heaven (I could spend weeks there gorging myself on Italian food), and MAN, my feet are tired!
Thanks for the great time, Boston!
2009 Off-the-Cuff BAPL Divisional Playoff Predictions
1. ALDS – Red Sox/Angels
As much as I want my #2 Sox to win it all, I think the Angels just might take ’em this time.
BAPL Predic: Angels 3 games to 2, pulling out a heart-stopping win in Game 5
2. ALDS – Twinks/Yanks
Not to take anything away from the Twinks’ impressive AL Central Tiger-thump, but I’m pretty dang sure my Rangers would do a much better job of getting swept by the Yankees in this one.
BAPL Predic: Yankees 3 games to 0 in a yawner.
3. NLDS – Rocks/Phils
Gotta give the Rockies credit, they had an awesome second half run. Too bad it’ll end here.
BAPL Predic: Phils 3 games to 1.
4. NLDS – Cards/Dodgers
His Albertness shall dominate. Nuff said.
BAPL Predic: Cards 3 games to 2.
“Oh fatsos, where art thou?”
This was the question resonating in my head as I huffed and puffed about the streets of Boston last Thursday afternoon during my traditional post-hotel-check-in “recon walk” (translation: identify surrounding pubs within stumbling distance of hotel). I was stunned. Not an obese person to be found, anywhere. After a while, I thought I spotted two of them, but it turned out they were just reflections of my buddy and I peering into the window of a corner deli.
Our recon mission quickly turned into a quest…a quest to find a flabby Bostonian. Eventually, about a half a block away, an enormous H0mo-Flabbious was heading straight for us. We rejoiced…until we got close enough to see the 5XL Kansas City Royals t-shirt he was wearing. He, like us, was just another flabby tourist hailing from fry-over country.
This went on for blocks until finally, terrified, I leaned over to my buddy and whispered: “I see skinny people! They’re everywhere! They don’t know they’re skinny!” Equally terrified, he nodded, then slowly pointed to the patch of hair near my temple that had turned white. Fortunately, said whiteness was just excess powdered sugar from a donut I’d purchased at one of the ten thousand Dunkin’ Donuts stores located in downtown Boston. The abundance of these stores just added to the flabless Beantown mystery.
We eventually figured it out though. See, in Texas, we drive everywhere, curb-to-curb, no intrinsic exercise is involved. In Boston, however, and despite the incredibly convenient subway/trolley system, one must walk one’s a$s off in the city to get where one is going, completely offsetting the Dunkin’ factor. I figure it would take about 6 months to eliminate my excess flab if I moved to Boston.
ANYWAY, enough of the flab-shtick, I shall now bore you with pictures:
After the recon walk mentioned above, me, Mrs. Jonestein, and my buddy Jeff, headed to Quincy Market to get our dooshy tourist thang on. “Starving”, we settled on the well known tourist trap, Cheers, where I consumed a twelve-dollar bowl of macaroni and cheese w/ sauteed shrimp. Afterwards, Jeff and I left Mrs. J at Quincy, hopped on the subway(my first subway ride, btw), and headed down to Fenway for a tour of the ballpark:
1. This is my buddy Jeff as we headed up the ramp:
2. Pesky’s Pole viewed from seats atop right field:
4. Jonestein behind Pesky’s Pole from seats atop right field:
5. Williamsburg and the Green Monstah:
6. Jonestein atop the Green Monster:
7. Pressbox from the Monster:
8. Bayland (formerly Mannyville) from atop the Monster:
That’s it for now. I’ll continue boring you with pictures in the next BAPL in Beantown post.
On October 1, 2009, I, Jonesteinious of this fabulous, yet poorly written blog shall be basking in the glory of this view:
Yes indeed, nine years after my first epiphanous visit to the Red Sox Nation Mothership, I return! This time I’ll have Mrs. J and my best bud Jeff in tow as we don our Red Sox gear and do our best Mayor Quimby impersonations at Fenway!
I BARELY got the tickets though…bought ’em online at 1am CDT this morning. I looked again this morning when I woke up and the game was f’n sold out…3 months in advance! WHEW! If only we had these kind of sellout problems here in Arlington!
Hopefully, the AL East race will still be tight and this will be a meaningful game. Red Sox vs. Indians at Fenway…I can’t freakin wait!
I’m glad the Sox wrapped up this freakin 10 game road trip with a strong sweep of a good Detroit team, AT Comerica Park…something my Texas Rangers can’t seem to do. Beckett, Bay, Wake, and co. still managed to stay tied for first after this road trip, even after going 6-4 with the F’n Yankees being hot (taking 2 of 3 from the Rangers).
But alas, I must hope for a three-game cool-down as they head back to Fenway to face the Rangers. However, like I said in my previous blog entry, “I ain’t holding my breath”. Either way, I hope Tampa takes the Yanks, and KC will knock off Toronto this weekend so the Sox will either pick up ground or not lose ground.
Oh, the pain of having my two favorite teams clash this weekend! Whom to root for…The first place Texas Rangers, or the first place Boston Red Sox? Ok, this really isn’t that painful and provides a good blog segue(Blogue?) for me to answer the question many folks ask of me upon learning I root for two AL teams, Texas AND Boston:
As a native of the Dallas/Fort Worth area, the Rangers have and always will be my default number one team, so my first inclination is to root for the locals. However, after 37 years of mediocrity, post-all star break meltdowns, and ZERO championships (not even an ALCS appearance) I’ve had to adjust my fandom strategy because by mid-August, the Boys from Arlington are either dwelling at/near the bottom of the AL West, or rapidly plummeting towards. This has been the Texas Rangers I’ve grown up with my entire life. However, I’m also a big baseball fan and actually enjoy having someone to root for during the pennant race in September. Unfortunately, occurrences of the words “Rangers”, “Pennant Race”, and “In” occupying the same sentence have been few and far between for the last 37 years here in North Texas.
Well, in 2000, I was on a bidness trip to Boston and as I always try to do when in the vicinity of a MLB city, I went to a MLB game, Red Sox/White Sox at Fenway in this instance. I was blown away. The old ballpark, the REAL baseball fans who were there for BASEBALL and not the “fun for the whole family” crowd we see in Arlington. The girlfriends/wives accompaning their men were into the game, not just “people watching” and worrying about how their makeup looked in the Fenway sunlight. No stupid “wave”, no moronic “dot race”, just pure, unadulterated BASEBALL. Fenway was a true baseball experience for me, and I’ve been a Red Sox fan ever since. (So a big Bronx Cheer to those of you who automatically assumed I started following the Red Sox after 2004!).
But I digress. So how do I reconcile my dual fandom at this moment in time, with both of my teams doing well? Easy. Like I said above, the Rangers are still my number one team AND very much in the chase…so for this series, I’m 100% rooting for the Rangers.
Come August, however, if the Rangers fall into their typical post all-star break nosedive and the Sox are still contending in the AL East, I’ll be rooting for the Red Sox during the August 14-16 series at the Ballpark in Arlington. If the Rangers are still in the AL West/Wild Card chase, I’ll be cheering on the locals. Easy peasy.
I know this strategy seems fair-weather fannish, but it enables me to have a contending team to root for in September, after the Rangers traditionally tank. I’m sure those of you from Boston & New York have a hard time fathoming this strategy, but your clubs have historical championship foundations upon which to base your loyalties. DFW Ranger fans, not so much.
Now, if the Rangers tank after the all-star break, do I just tear up my remaining tickets and stop cheering for them? Of course not. Remember, I’m talking about head-to-head games between my two favorite teams here.
Given all that, this weekend I’ll be sporting my Rangers gear during Rangers @ Red Sox.
As a step-member of Red Sox Nation, I have a natural, yet respectful dislike for the New York Yankees…it’s a “fun” dislike that helps fuel the greatest rivalry in sports. However, I’ve noticed that just about everyone else outside of Red Sox Nation and The Bronx really hate the Yanks. I realize this is no big revelation, but I found it so typical of the way most Americans think, i.e. we love to tear-down the successful.
We also love to cheer on the underdog, at least until the underdog becomes mega-successful. Think Microsoft, The Dallas Cowboys, The Pats, Starbucks, etc. Soon, I fully expect to see a success-backlash against Apple, Google, PF Changs, and the Texas Rangers…*pauses for comedic timing*…lol, just kidding about the Rangers. (Note: I’m also a Rangers fan, so by Seinfeldian rules, I can make that joke.)