So I mentioned the other day that of the 9 championship celebrations (8 rolling rallies, 1 traditional rally at City Hall Plaza) that have been held in Boston over the last 13 years, I have attended 5 of the them. I thought it might be kind of fun to share some pictures from those rallies on this snowy day. I know that the rest of the country is pretty sick of hearing about Boston's championship run but look at this way, our weather is more than making up for it. We have had 4 snow days the last 2 weeks, lately it feels like we have been living inside a snow globe and to top it off, the air hurts our faces. I say that reveling in our sports teams makes us feel a little better, then we deserve it. Anyway, I don't have pictures from the first championship. I wasn't sure what to expect so I did not bring my camera. I am so glad that I didn't that one was crazy crowded, fun but crazy. We were so traumatized by that first Patriots one that we did not attempt the next Patriots celebration. By 2004, the city decided to start using the duck boats and have them roll through the streets of Boston and onto the Charles River (love that Dirty Water!) but I wasn't sure what to expect as far as crowd size so I didn't bring my camera. I should have brought it though and that was the last time that I made that mistake. We didn't go to the Patriots one in 2005, with one kid in 2nd grade, one in kindergarten and two in preschool, the logistics were just a little too much. Same with the Red Sox rally in 2007. The Celtics one in 2008 is the one that I really wish that I had gone to because then I could say that I went to one for all 4 teams. But my son didn't want to go with me because he had gum day at school that day (hey things like that are very important to a second grader). When I told him that the other day, he said, "Wow, was I stupid, I could have chewed gum at the rally". I was not going to make the same mistake in 2011 when the Bruins won it so we made sure that we went. Here's some of my favorites from that one:
Then there was the Red Sox in 2013. I really wanted to go to that one because that team and championship were very special to the city. The rally did not disappoint either especially since we got to meet the crazy Red Sox fan (I know he is one of many, this particular one was in the movie "Fever Pitch") :
Then, of course, some pictures from the other day. I am beginning to get the feeling that I will never get sick of sharing these ones (hopefully you all won't get sick of me sharing them either). By the way, I showed some of the pictures to some of my classes, Gronk in his minion hat was their favorite!
Happy Saturday, everyone, have a great day!!
The natural addendum to the why I went to the parade question is the "why I care so much about a bunch of millionaire athletes that I don't even know" question. And it's a good question. Well to start off, you all know that I love the game of football. I love it for a multitude of reasons. I love it because I grew up watching it and playing it with my dad and brothers and sister. I love it because my son loves it, to play and to watch. As a matter of fact, It holds a special place in my heart because it was the only thing that got him up and out of the house in the mornings last summer, ha. I love the camaraderie and teamwork of the game, there will always be stars on any team but a team that does not work together is destined to fail.
But why do I love to root for professional sports, in particular, the Patriots? Well there is the chill that I get when I see the Boston Bruins skate the day before the Super Bowl with Patriots Do Your Job hats on (it is really nice to get a chill that is not a literal chill at this time of year!). There is the sense of community and togetherness that I feel when I watch the first round of the playoff with my friends and a bar full of strangers and everyone is ecstatic and hugging each other. And I get to be a part of this picture:
I love it that my son will call us to ask us to go to watch the AFC Championship Game at his Grampa's house and when we ask how is he planning to get there, he says that he'll ask his 17-year old sister to give him a ride. And she will, no questions asked. I love that when we pick him up, we get to watch the end of the game with my family and I get to be a part of this picture:
I love it because we go to watch the Super Bowl with most of my family. And there is such a rush of emotion all game long but especially at the very end when you realize that yes, Jermaine Kearse did make the most improbable catch since, oh, I don't know, David Tyree. Then the rush of emotion the other way when you realize that a player that nobody has ever heard of has just made an unbelievable play to win the Super Bowl (trust me, we've all heard of him now). I love it because most everyone thinks that it was a bad play call and an unbelievable play that sealed the game but I know that it was because of our rally caps and the fact that we made my niece sit in the hallway for the 4th quarter. I actually do know that these things don't really help but the fact that we do them cracks me up.
I love it because I get to steal a weekday of fun with my 14-year old son and make a solid memory in the process.
So that, my friends, is why I care. Because of the community, the camaraderie and the memories. As a matter of fact, I care so much that I may just go and visit the Lombardi trophy when it is displayed this weekend at the Patriots Hall of Fame. Not because I care that much about seeing the trophy but just to extend the fun, well for that and for the free hot chocolate. Happy Friday, everyone, have a great day and a great weekend!!
I figured that since I got so much support for my decision to go to the parade yesterday that I should let you all know if it was worth the effort. By the way, thank you all so much for your supportive words! Anyway the answer is that yes, It was 100% worth the effort. We had such a great time and we weren't even that cold (that may be have been because of the 4 layers that I wore). This is our 4th time attending a rolling rally for the 9 most recent championships in Boston, we have gone to 2 of the Red Sox, the Bruins one in 2011 and this one (we did attend the first rally for the Patriots but they hadn't come up with the rolling rally version yet so that was the traditional City Hall version) so we have our rally routine pretty well set. Consequently we had a pretty seamless day. We took the commuter rail from Stoughton to Back Bay (the train was running late but we still arrived in plenty of time) and then we walked up to stand by the corner of Boston Public Library, getting to stand near one of my favorite places was definitely a bonus. We weren't there early so we weren't right up front but we also didn't have to stand out in the cold for too long, I will take that trade-off any day. Plus we were definitely close enough to get some pictures of the trophy, Mr. Kraft, the coach and some of our favorite players, including everyone's new favorite, Malcolm Butler (well favorite here in New England, probably not so much in Seattle!)
One of the things that I love about going to these parades is seeing the players, and Pats radio color guy, Scott Zolak, filming us, the crowd.! It is so cool to think that we are a part of something that is memorable to them, part of something that they want to record, it's especially great after they have given us so such a season to remember.
It was so fun to see the signs, the shirts and the 4 fingers held up. I am sure that there would have been plenty of 4 fingers held up anyway but it was pretty sweet after all the Richard Sherman tweets!!
But the reason that it was worth it was because it will be a day that my son and I will always remember. He even took a selfie with me which is, hands down, my favorite picture of the day! As a bonus, since it is throwback Thursday, I've also included one of him on a duck boat, taken during a visit to the Patriots Hall of Fame!
Please click here if you would like to more of pictures from our Patriots parade experience.
Edelman seems to have quite the sense of humor and he's quickly becoming one of my favorites on the team (that pass against Baltimore certainly didn't hurt). If you get a chance, you may also want to check out this Smoothie Tyme video, it's also pretty funny.
This week's Friday Night Video is Julian Edelman's throwback post from last week, his own version of the theme song from the show, Growing Pains. He entitled it "Growing Pats" and it's adorable.
We all know that posts are always better with pictures so I have included a couple that I took of my godson with one of my son's footballs. I have no comment at this time as to whether the ball was properly inflated or not but I do have to say that his expression tells it all about how I feel about the story at this point.
Happy Friday, everyone, I hope that you all have a great weekend!! Go Pats!
I am sure that you will hear me complain about the football season at some point. Actually scratch that, you have already heard me complain about the football season. So that said, what I am going to say may sound a little strange or even hypocritical but man, do I love football. It is far and away my favorite sport. It is my favorite to watch my son play, to play myself (I can throw a pretty decent spiral). I love it at all levels - high school, college, professional. I know that it is violent and that there is a lot wrong with it but there is a lot right too. A well played football game plays out much like a chess match and a well put together team can teach a player much about the importance of teamwork. I know that the violence of the sport is a hot button topic du jour but actually I think that is great because that means that there are a lot of people working to make the sport safer. Often times when something seems the most dangerous is often when it is the safest. What I mean by that is that football today is probably safer than it was back when my husband played as a kid because there is better equipment and more awareness about what could go wrong. Even though this awareness is sometimes what makes us feel less safe. A perfect example of this is a couple of years ago when there was a news story about how lemons for use in drinks were horribly germ ridden. My dad immediately stopped getting a lemon in his drink. My take on it was a little different, I decided that now lemons in drinks were probably one of the safest choices that I could make.
Anyway, my son had a scrimmage tonight and it was great to have an almost game to watch (and to take pictures of). Like I said, I am sure that I will probably be complaining about something football related in the not too distant future so please feel free to remind me of all this when I do.
This video wasn't around when Friday Night Videos was on but really it is the only video for this post. Happy Friday, everyone!!
I finally had some free time yesterday to do some sorting of my pictures from my baseball and softball season. You know, in between tackling the never ending mountain of laundry that exists in my house (why do we use such pleasant comparisons for laundry? Are we trying to make it seem fun by calling it a mountain or a sea? Well, I gotta say, it ain't working) and taking a 1 hour nap in my favorite spot, my hammock. One benefit of being a partial insomniac is that I really don't feel a lot of guilt about taking a nap on the weekend. Anyway, I finally got to put my pictures from this season on my website. I'm going to give links below but to get to them, click photography and then sports photography, then softball and baseball. A couple of observations, my older daughter's team has far too many of my friend's children on it and I need to stop chatting with them and start taking some pictures. As a matter of fact when my daughter learned which girls were on her team, she told me, "You'll be happy, Mom, all your little friends are on the team." So next game, I am not even going to stand on the same side as them. So girls, just so you know, I am not trying to be rude. It's like that old saying from our parents, "This will hurt me a lot more than it will hurt you." Another thing, last year I organized all my pictures on my website by game but unfortunately this year, I am not that organized (or nice or stupid?) so I have just put them on there altogether. Click here for baseball and here for softball. Enjoy!
Halfway through the day on Wednesday, I realized that I've been focusing too much on negative stuff lately. And that I almost missed a golden opportunity to talk about a performance that I did find impressive. And that would be what I saw from a high school umpire the other night. And it had nothing to do with ball or strikes or outs or runs. It was because of how he handled a call that he made at the plate that some people felt was unfair (honestly, I was situated up the third base line and have no idea if the call was correct or not, I have heard different things from different people). Anyway one of the coaches took exception to the call and started berating the umpire. I was very impressed with the way the umpire maintained his composure and his self control while standing his ground (I did say he was a high school kid, right?). At one point, he did yell at the coach but only to tell him not to yell at him again. This was all after taking a ball to the head during the play. Even though he wasn't playing, by keeping his cool, I think that this umpire was the epitome of a good sport.
There are good and bad calls in every single game and sometimes it goes your way and sometimes it doesn't and the important thing is to get right back in there and work on it. When a good sport loses, they know that it's not about the umps or refs but about the fact that they were one play short. What I want my kids to learn is to play hard, play fair, don't be a sore loser (or winner) and no matter what happens, skip the excuses or the complaining and learn from it. In short, I want them to learn to be a good sport. Ironically enough, my son had done that classic "palms up, what was that" thing that kids sometimes do when they are called out on strikes a couple of innings before this incident. After getting him alone for a minute during the game, I asked him what he was doing. He said that he didn't think that the pitch was a strike. I told him that if he ever behaved disrespectfully like that to an umpire again, I would march on the field and pull him out of the game so fast that his head would spin. And that if he didn't believe me, then he should try me and see.
For obvious reasons, this week's video is the Donna Summer classic, "She Works Hard for the Money".
I was talking to my brother the other day and he said that basketball was his favorite sport to watch his son play. I disagreed with him pretty strongly (this is DEFINITELY something that he is used to) because mine is football. But then I went to my son's last basketball game and it was so much fun. They played very good defense, passed a lot and just generally played like a team which is very high on my wish list when it comes to youth sports. It helps that my husband very much shares these values and he's their coach.
But I also realized that I like football better partly because I love to photograph it. I love the action, I love the uniforms, I love the fact that it's outside. Especially the fact that it's outside because I find it easier. One of the things that I want to work on this year is challenging myself to get better at the hard things, not just working on the easy ones. So hopefully this season and this year, he'll learn more about playing as a part of a team and I'll learn more about challenging myself.
The other night my son got his first "major league" hit. Which, although fascinating to us, is not the point of this post. The point is what happened after that. While he was on 2nd base, someone hit a ball to short. Initially, he did exactly what he was supposed to do and waited until the throw to 1st to start running. Then he messed up. Instead of running hard and paying attention to his coach's instruction, he hesitated rounding 3rd base. My husband and I joked in the car later that he thought the coach was saying "no, no, no" instead of "go, go, go". Unfortunately Red Sox fans of a certain age will get this reference. Luckily, unlike Denny Doyle, he scored. As he came off the field, one of his coaches pulled him aside and spoke to him privately about the blunder. I respect the fact that it was done privately and I was happy to see it done at all. Please don't misunderstand. I don't want my kids to be publicly embarrassed, but I do want them to be corrected when they make a mistake. In my opinion there is far too much emphasis these days on praise and not enough on constructive criticism. God forbid you dent their self esteem. We all got a chuckle at the Fockers' wall of mediocrity, but if we praise kids for what should be expected of them, aren't we fostering that mentality? You don't learn by doing everything right, you learn when you do it wrong and then correct your mistakes.
"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."
Yesterday, my husband and I went into Boston for the Red Sox home opener. We didn't have tickets, we just went in to soak in the atmosphere. We had a great time with great weather, maybe a little chilly but not a cloud in the sky. From the size of the crowd in Game On during the game, we were not the only ones with the idea.
Today, we got to enjoy another opening day: our town league. I know that sometimes I come down hard on youth sports but I have to say what I saw today represented all that is good with youth sports. It was a glorious day and to see the community gather to celebrate this annual rite of passage was really heartwarming. The day began with a parade through town. Does anything say suburbia quite like hundreds of kids walking through town in baseball uniforms?
The game itself was well played and competitive and there were ample instances of good sportsmanship and teamwork by all the players, coaches and onlookers from both teams. All in all, as far as ways to spend a beautiful Saturday afternoon, you can't really beat it.
If you would like to see pictures from opening day, please click here.
It is the last day of March after a long and miserable winter. The opening day of the 2011 Major league baseball season in a region that compares Fenway Park to a cathedral - without a trace of irony. And what happens? Let's just say that we can't trade our snow shovels in for baseball bats just yet.
Since I am going to be doing a weekly feature on irony in our culture today, then I absolutely need to address the issue as it regards to youth sports. I want to note that when I discuss youth sports, I am specifically referring to sports before high school.
Isn't it ironic that prevailing wisdom dictates that we spend thousands on the kid's "career": equipment, sign ups for multiple teams, travel costs, the team sweatsuit, the team bag, etc. to win a scholarship when in reality we could just use that money towards college?
That we need to make a commitment to the team but the team or league has no problem at all scheduling games or rescheduling a "rain date" at inconvenient times, such as Mother's Day? To take this to the extreme, I once listened to Tim Kurkjian explain on the "Mike & Mike" show why he wasn't going to go to dinner at the White House because he had to coach his 8 year old's softball game (luckily his wife was smarter than he was and they went to the White House).
That we sign our kids up for sports for the good reasons: teamwork, exercise, and sportsmanship but then we come across teams where one kid is the superstar while others barely get to play, and games where people are yelling and even swearing at refs?
Many of us have gotten caught up in all this without even realizing what is happening. We've become so overloaded and overwhelmed by all the decisions we need to make about everything that sometimes we just go along without giving it too much thought. Because in the long run, it's just easier that way. And that, my friends, may be the biggest irony of all.
I would love to hear what you all think about this. If you have anything you would like to add, please comment below or on my FACEBOOK page.