So Good, So Good, So Good

Last week was definitely a rough one in the lives of Bostonians and those of us who were lucky enough to call Boston home at one point.

It is difficult to know how to react to the events at the Boston Marathon and what transpired afterwards. At a time when the world doesn’t make sense feeling saddened, angry or threatened are all normal for such a terrible situation.

As a native New Englander and die-hard Boston sports fan, I know that no matter what, the city of Boston will persevere. As the Boston Globe wrote in Tuesday’s editorial “A commitment to rise to the occasion, to endure what must be endured, to remember all who suffered and lost their lives in times of strife, is written into the fabric of the city.” Acts of violence only work if they make people afraid to live their lives fully. We have an obligation not to let that happen. We will continue to live our lives, do our jobs and care for our neighbors.

Often, out of tragedy comes good. Boston’s people showed us their true colors last week. They gave the rest of us something to aspire to.

One of my favorite moments was when the fans at Saturday’s Red Sox game were treated to a performance by Neil Diamond to  Boston’s unofficial anthem, Sweet Caroline.

Rumor has it that immediately after the second victim was captured, Neil purchased a ticket to Boston and called up Fenway asking if he could perform. Not realizing who the operator was talking to, she asked “what song would you like to sing?” His response… “umm, Sweet Caroline. If that is ok.”

Making this story even better, last week – the Yankees started an MLB movement to play this song, after the 8th inning in their stadiums to honor what happened on Monday.

I’ve sung along to this song many times at baseball games, parties and bars. Matt and I even asked the band at our wedding to perform this, along with a  few other Boston favorites, while wearing Red Sox shirts… and they did.

CDS-9260

This weekend, I realized that I didn’t know why this song was claimed by the people of Boston. My mom, aunt and I thought – what a perfect topic for a blog post.

The origins of the song’s association with the Red Sox date back to Amy Tobey, who worked for the Red Sox through a film and video communications company. From 1998 to 2004, she was responsible for selecting the music that would be played in the stadium. According to a Boston Globe article, she had noticed ‘Sweet Caroline’ was used at other sporting events, and she decided to send the sweetness over the Fenway speakers. The song was embraced by the fans, and the more it caught on, the more superstitious Tobey became about playing it – she considered it to be a good-luck charm. The Red Sox embraced the tradition and settled on the song being played during the eighth inning of every game.

Click here to see more of the tribute that took place at the start of the Red Sox game on Saturday (warning, you may need kleenex).

bstrong_smaller

We are Boston Strong.

Till death do us part. Or until Brad Pitt comes along.

I was born and raised in New Hampshire. And although my parents (and basically every other member of my family) are from Ohio, I was thankfully raised a Red Sox fan. I guess that is what happens when you live in Red Sox nation, even when the team is terrible, as they were for the majority of my youth, you are a loyal fan. I think that when you are a baby, the nurses take you out of the delivery room, clean you off, swaddle you up and made you swear on your newly acquired life, that you will pledge your life to be part of the Fenway Faithful. You are then returned to the safety of your parents and your life is forever changed.

I still remember my first Red Sox game. My parents used to take Abby and I on “mystery trips.” They would load us into the car and drive us of to some fabulous location. It could be a trip to the movies to see the newest Disney movie, an educational adventure to an art museum (those were never my favorite), a visit to the circus,  or a ticket to a musical or play. But my most favorite mystery trip ever was when we went to Boston to sit in the stands at Fenway to watch the Red Sox taken on the Anaheim Angels.

My parents went all out of this one. They blindfolded us for the ride down to Boston (or at least for the last few miles – I can’t remember all of the details, but it seems unlikely we would sit in the backseat of the car blindfolded for the full hour drive). I remember taking off my blindfold and seeing the massive green walls with the carefully painted lettering, spelling out “Fenway Park.” I couldn’t wait to get inside to get myself a Fenway frank and cheer on the sox.

Unfortunately we didn’t win the game. But I did come away with a lot of good memories and lessons learned.

1. I learned more curse words that I had ever been before. Clearly this was just as education as an art museum as my vocabulary expanded by at least 5 words.
2. The pitcher for the Angels was Jim Abbott,  who was born without a right hand. Imagine how happy my parents were to be able to turn this into a life lesson of “overcoming the odds.” We are JUST like an episode of Full House.
3. Abby and I were each allowed one “treat” – I got cotton candy (my go-to for sporting events, adventure parks, etc). Abby got an ice cream sundae that came in a little plastic Red Sox batters hat. She had that for years to come. I was pissed.
4. Someone hit a foul ball that was aimed near our seats. We were scared to death that we didn’t even realize the ball rolled right underneath out seats. I will never again let the fear of having a baseball to the face ruin my chances to earn Red Sox memorabilia. A black eye would have been a GREAT addition to a real MLB baseball!
5. Walking into Fenway, I felt like I was returning to the mother-ship.  I knew, I would never cheer for another team. Ever.

That is, until last night.

Matt and I decided to stay in and watch Moneyball. I can’t even tell you how great this movie was. In addition to being a great movie start and humanitarian, I had no idea that Brad Pitt was responsible for transforming the sport of baseball too.

Well, really Jonah Hill should be given all the credit, but let’s face it. Even though he has lost 40 pounds, he is no Brad Pitt. And we all know, people give credit to those who have a pretty face (I learned this lesson from the musical Wicked).

Well last night I found myself rooting for the Oakland A’s. I wanted that 20th win just as much as I wanted the final game of the American League Championships in 2004 against the Yankees.

Well, let’s not get carried away… it wasn’t that much.

Although I liked the movie, I do have to say, Brad Pitt is an idiot. Why he didn’t take the job offer with the Red Sox is beyond me? Did he really think that his daughter’s song was that good that he should  give up 12.5 million dollars and a world series trophy and a chance to be part of the best baseball franchise? Umm, no. (Sorry – I do love you as Paige from Brothers and Sisters though).

So while I found myself cheating on the Red Sox for a hot minute, I blame Brad Pitt. Honestly, he is probably the downfall of many relationships; including his own with Rachel from Friends… Sorry Brad but after that move, we could never be together – even if you were the GM of the Red Sox.

ND loves NYC

This past weekend, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame took over the city of New York when their football team played the first ever football game in the new Yankee Stadium on Saturday. They took on the team from West Point and celebrated a 27 – 3 victory. And while New York is known for a lot of things, a football town is not one of them. However, Notre Dame changed that.

The weekend started with a performance by the Notre Dame band, where else, but in the middle of Time Square.

The celebration was taken out of Manhattan and into the Bronx as thousands of fans filled Yankee Stadium. The field was transformed from a baseball diamond into a football grid iron for the occation.

The game ball was delivered by members of the special ops as they parachuted out of a plane and into the stadium. One carried the ball, another an American flag and a third, the flag of Notre Dame.

The half time show, performed by the band, was incredible.  Unfortunately, I can’t find a good video that captures just how impressive the show was; you will have to take my word for it.

The only thing that can top this game will be the Notre Dame vs. Navy game in 2012 held in Dublin, Ireland.

GO IRISH!



Perceived Savings

When I was a freshman in college, I had no idea what I was doing…pretty  much when it came to everything related to college. I thought wearing sweatpants and my swimming parka to class was appropriate. I was fine with the idea that the girls on the swim team would be my only friends.  For some reason, watching Primal Scream seemed like a good idea. And I thought that “Ec 10” sounded like a fun class. I mean, all of my friends were taking it, so I figured I should too.

I had taken economics in high school. The main reason I signed up for this class was because Mr. Leonard, the football coach, taught the class. And while Mr. Leonard can’t really compare with, Mr. Schuester (my new favorite teacher, on Glee) he was a favorite among the ladies (in a non-creepy way!) Unfortunately, his teaching abilities or depth of the class didn’t go much more than how to create a supply and demand graph. For those of you who are familiar with my neat handwriting and anal charting skills, clearly you know I did well in this class. So when it came time to enroll in college classes, I figured I would dominate EC 10. Unfortunately, Economics is about a bit more than graphs.

In this class, I learned that just because a professor is world-renowned in an area, it doesn’t make him a good teacher. Thank you Martin Feldstein for teaching me this invaluable lesson! I also learned that I love Indian accents. My TF (also known as a TA) was from India and I spent most of my time in section trying to hide my laughter as opposed to paying attention. Many of our examples were about the supply and demand of “pizza,” which to this day brings a smile to my face just thinking about the pronunciation.

Other than that I didn’t retain a lot of information from this class. The one term that has stuck with me is Perceived Savings. I remember learning about this, and I believe we used baseball tickets as the example. If I remember correctly, we discuss the following idea:

If you are offered baseball tickets at 50% off, you think “Wow! This is great, I just saved 50% of the cost of the tickets.” However, if you hadn’t been offered that deal, there is a strong possibility that you wouldn’t have purchased the tickets to begin with. So while you think you are saving 50% of the cost, you are actually spending more money (the cost of the tickets) then you would have if you didn’t buy them at all. So while it may seem like a deal, your savings are simply perceived, not realized.

From the moment this theory was introduced, I didn’t like it. Of course you are saving money! You are gaining the value of the tickets (say 100 dollars) and it is only costing you 50 dollars. That is a deal! Who cares that you are out 50 dollars… you now have the experience of attending a baseball game (Go Red Sox!) AND the knowledge that most everyone sitting around you at the game paid twice as much as you did for that same experience. If that isn’t a win-win situation, I don’t know what is.

I experienced actual savings this weekend. Matt and I made a trip to Banana Republic for some new jeans. I left the store with the following:

– Jeans: originally 79.95 – I paid 35.50 (Savings of 44.45)
– Cardigan: originally 69.50, I paid 29.25 (Savings of 40.25)
– Tights: originally 25.00, I paid 18.75 (Savings of 6.25)
– Tee Shirt: originally 20.00, I paid 3.95 (Savings of 16.05)
– Skirt: originally 59.50, I paid 17.95 (Savings of 41.55)
– Black pants: originally 59.50, I paid 30.55 (Savings of 28.95)

So, what should have cost me 313.45 dollars, actually cost me just under 150 dollars (stupid New York taxes). Or in other words, I saved 163 dollars, or 52%. What a deal! And while some (aka Matt) might think that I spent 150 dollars that I didn’t really need to spend. I can assure you, the enjoyment that I will get out of my cute new clothes and the value that I place on getting “good deals” far exceeds the 150 dollar charge that is now residing on my credit card account!

If there is one good thing about the recession, it is the amazing sales that you find on a daily basis. My wardrobe has certainly benefited from these troublesome economic times.



Red Sox Nation

One of the hardest things (if not the hardest thing) about living in New York is the fact people here actually like the Yankees. Whenever I meet a new person, I always ask them… “are you a Yankees fan?” Thankfully, more often than not, the answer is no. Most New Yorkers that I have met, are Mets fans (clearly I only surround myself by intelligent people) or they support another team because they didn’t grow up here. I am happy to report that I have rejected many kids from my school on the sole fact that they are self-proclaimed “die-hard Yankee fans.” Last year, when the World Champions Ticker Tape Parade was marching down the streets near my school, I sat in my office, windows closed, pouting.

Yesterday was a depressing day to be a Boston fan in New York. Matt got tickets to the Celtics/Knicks game last night, and after a very close and very physical game, we ended up 3 points short. As Matt and I walked out of the game, I stupidly said, “At least the Red Sox won.” I was referring to the season opener that was held on Sunday, where the Red Sox made a classic comeback and beat the Yankees 9 to 7. Unfortunately, the game that was coming to a close last night as we were leaving Madison Square Garden, did not end favorably for the Red Sox. I went to sleep cranky and throwing my classic “I hate living in NYC” temper tantrum to Matt. I love my rational that if I still lived in Boston, the Red Sox and Celtics would have won. I guess I could argue that even if they had still lost, it would sting a little less knowing that I was surrounded by others who shared my feelings of misery.

At the start of last night’s game, the Red Sox home opener, a 5-year-old boy took to the field to deliver one of the best psych up speeches in sports history. While, he was recreating a speech given by Herb Brooks, the delivery was all his own. Joshua “Rizzo” Sacco, memorized the speech at age 4 after watching the movie “Miracle” 150 plus times.

This video alone almost makes up for the fact that both the Red Sox and the Celtics lost to New York Teams last night… (almost).