When your friend calls you last minute because she scored courtside seats to a Celtics game, you drop everything and say, “YES!”
So I did.
I had been to a few games in the past, but I mostly sat in the lower balcony at the TD Garden. Never in my life had I sat so close to the players that their sweat droplets could practically land on my face, but that alone was reason enough for me to accept the opportunity to sit on the floor in the second row. And when you think of it, who really wouldn’t want Big Baby Davis to potentially fall on them, knowing that you’d be the one to be crushed by his mass? I couldn’t miss that chance! Not for the world!
We all know that basketball players are big. But from the balcony, you don’t realize just how big they are until the are practically on top of you! I wanted just to reach beyond the bald-headed man in front of us and touch Paul Pierce every time he dashed by us! It took a lot of restraint for me to not jump up and act like a true Bostonian Fan, but I was cognizant of the fact that there are cameras on the court, and because we were sitting soclose to the action, there was a chance we would get on TV (also very exciting for me to contemplate). So I held it together…
Now some of you non-Bostonians out there might be asking yourself, “What is so special about these players, and why is Jaime writing about them as if they they are gods?” To which I will simply explain in three words: They Are Gods.
In our culture, Boston sports players have a certain level of celebrity that many (not all) other cities do not give their athletes. Sure we have movies filmed here all of the time, Hollywood celebrities roam the streets often, and we have a few very impressive hometown heroes (ahem, Matt and Ben ring a bell?), but here, we are a city of champions, and we take that very seriously. All of the Boston sports teams have won MULTIPLE titles over the past 13 years, to the point of some being considered a dynasty. We have some serious, well-known athletic prowess pulsing through our four major sports, and men and women alike swoon in the presence of our athletes. I remember walking by Big Papi on the street once with one of my guy friends and we both were tongue-tied and star-struck!
Now are you about to tell me that you wouldn’t want that kind of celebrity to literally fall into your lap because you were sitting soooooclose to them that if they got pushed, you’d cradle their sweat-soaked head in your arms? I didn’t think so…
So back to the game.
There we were, my friend and I, watching every move the players made, thinking about how lucky we were to score such kickass seats. I mean, of all people to get this kind of luxury! She didn’t follow basketball much at all, and I did to a degree, but it was all so thrilling! I knew that this was one of those times when I’d look back in a few years (today) and say, “Wow, that was pretty amazing that we got to do that…”
So today, I’m saying, “Wow, it’s pretty amazing that we got to do that, and how great was my experience in Boston? Pretty damn’ awesome. I’ve had some truly unique experiences that I don’t know too many others have had, and isn’t it great that I choose to live life in this full way?
Yeah, it is. And isn’t it great that I also have friends who call me and think to ask me to go to these stellar events when they get tickets, or have something wonderful to share? Yeah, it is. And isn’t it just the best to know that I can look back on my life here in New England and know that I really got the full New England experience? Yeah, it is. And isn’t it even cooler that I can tell my kids someday that their mom, when she was a full-blooded Bostonian, got to sit courtside at the Celtics game when they were a pretty decent team? Yeah, it is.”
So, Boston, tonight I salute you, your sports teams, and the hometown heroes that make this city great. Thank you for rocking my sports world, and I can tell you that that is one thing I won’t leave behind!