This I Believe…
I Believe In Family
I believe in family. They can be happy with you. They can be sad or mad with you. No matter what, they are always there. There is your biological family and then there is your “other family of friends.” For me, some of my other family of friends is the little group of people I sit with at Fenway Park. I don’t see them everyday or every month even, but I’ve known them my whole life. These people are some of my best friends.
It’s like in Fever Pitch, when Ben brings Lindsay to her first game and knows everyone around him. Al Waterman has known Ben since he was six. Then there’s the divorced couple who still go to games together and the two friends who share tickets. That’s Ben’s little summer family. My family is sort of like that too. There’s Mike and Mike’s dad, Mike, who sit behind my dad and me. Tom and PJ sit next to my dad and Office Max owns the seats next to me. Over the years we have all come to know each other and have developed a very special connection. Part of this connection is that we have lost ourselves in something bigger than ourselves.
Norman Vincent Peale once said, “The more you lose yourself in something that is bigger than yourself, the more energy you will have.” For us, it is being Red Sox fans. The more we pay attention and get invested in the game, the more hyped we become.
It’s the 9th inning with two outs. There’s a man on first and David Ortiz is up to bat. You are screaming along with thirty thousand other people, as if screaming will really change anything. Although you may no know everyone around you, they are part of the Red Sox Nation family. The batter will feed off of the crowds’ energy. Or maybe the pitcher will get rattled by the fans along the 3rd base line and throw a wild pitch, bringing up Manny now with two men on base.
This situation is a perfect example of the way fans act at during a game. An outsider might think that this is crazy. I know I probably would. But I don’t, and no one I know at Fenway does either. We’re not outsiders, we’re veterans. All of the people I have mentioned and the way we act, that’s me and my “family.” We’re part of that. Families have different traditions. For us, the Red Sox and the Fenway experience are ours.
My other family. I get to see them between April through September, and hopefully October. As each season approaches I always think about how exciting it will be to see everyone again. Last year, Mike knew that I had had surgery on my foot that fall. One of the first things he asked me was, “How’s your foot?” We always share pictures of our families and friends with each other. If the weather’s crummy and they don’t make the game, they don’t care if we sit in their seats. Maybe I don’t see them as much as friends usually do, but no matter what, they are part of my family and always will be. This I don’t just believe, I know.
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