Click and Clack won’t take my calls on their Car Talk radio show. They think my lack of mechanical know-how has to be an act. Nobody knows that little about cars.
When I was growing up, my Dad introduced me to two of his passions: sports and engines. Guess which one stuck.
Of course there’s always been an intersection of the two, and motor sports have been wildly popular ever since the first guy said to his buddy, “I’ll bet my Model T can get to the end of that road faster than yours.” But until the advent of the “It’s Game Time Somewhere” Tour, I had never really ventured outside of the stick and ball world to check it out.
…Continued from the previous post.
Wait, hold that thought…OK, it’s Japan that’s the premiere team. I mean, Guyana never had a chance to…
Hang on, hang on. Wow! Canada is really putting the hammer down on poor France. These guys are pretty much unbeatable…except by Scotland, who seemed not to have much trouble doing so. Or was that Wales? But didn’t they lose to Kenya? Who lost to New Zealand…and England?
Welcome to the IRB Rugby World Series, and its USA Sevens tournament, in sun-drenched Las Vegas. To become that confused about what countries rule the world of rugby sevens, you’d think I would had to have seen a lot of teams play. And I had.
I mean, I’d been there for over an hour.
But I never contemplated the chances of being victimized by crime. Yet there I was, being robbed. In broad daylight, no less.
She didn’t fit the profile – they never do. She couldn’t have been more than 25 years old. Pleasant-looking. A little on the slight side. I don’t know how tall she was, because she was sitting down at the time. I never saw it coming.
While I’ve had a few years to familiarize myself with the more obvious differences in the sexes, I had to admit that I’d never considered the question in the context of ice hockey. So when presented with the perfect opportunity to come up to speed on that topic, I jumped on it.
I had spent the previous night at a sold-out TD Garden, home of the tradition-laden Boston Bruins and Boston Celtics…and a pretty popular 59-year-old college hockey get-together they call the Beanpot.
On this night I was headed to Conte Forum, on the campus of Boston College, where I would experience that event’s little sister – the 33rd annual Women’s Beanpot.
It’s called the Beanpawt, and it’s held every February at The Gahden. As in “Oh my Gawd, I’m goin’ ovah to The Gahden for the Beanpawt!”
The alert reader will of course recognize that the sporting event du jour takes place in Boston, home of the hypnotic, syrupy sweet accent popularized by postman extraordinaire Cliff Clavin.
I had not been to the Gahden since it was the Boston Garden, i.e. before it became headlined by a series of financial services companies. To get there back in those days, you simply took either the Green or Orange line to North Station and then followed the rats.
If you were attending a game at that time, it was tremendously helpful if you were a “people person”, since you and your fellow fans were all going to be squeezing into seats that conformed to the size of the average Bostonian – the 1928 version. And of course you hoped like hell that it wasn’t an overly warm day, because there was no air conditioning in the building.
People loved this place. No, really – they did.
As far as I know, never in the annals of misguided sports odysseys has this been done before. I refer, of course, to chronicling two sporting events at once.
Not two events in one day. That’s child’s play. Not two events in one day in two separate cities. Yawn…did it.
I’m talking two separate events in two different states. Simultaneously. You tell me one other person doing a sports walkabout that has pulled that off. I’ll wait…
The alert reader may wonder why, given that when the thermometer displays 10 degrees, the description of the weather is never just “cold” – there’s always an adjective in front of it.
My motivation was simple: At the time it was 0 degrees, and I was going to be spending the bulk of the next day outdoors at the Winter Dew Tour’s Killington, Vermont stop. By comparison, 10 degrees would be a huge improvement. At 10, we’d be talking “excruciatingly painful” as opposed to the “potentially rushed to the hospital” I normally associate with 0.
I really needn’t have worried though. I had the Ski Diva on my side.
The Ski Diva started out as a self-professed Ski Chick, but her years of working in the ski business have undoubtedly earned her a promotion. And for her efforts on my behalf she’s now up for Ski Sainthood (assuming there is such a designation).
In preparation for the “It’s Game Time Somewhere” Winter Swing, she had given me a checklist of clothing articles that I needed to think seriously about bringing along. None of which I actually owned, of course.
Like most everybody else, I have only the vaguest of notions of what Hell is like. The whole fire and brimstone thing never actually clicked with me – hey, if it’s warm it can’t be all bad. No, my vision of Hell involves mostly images of cold and dark. And reality television. I’m guessing that Keeping Up With The Kardashians is broadcast 24/7 there.
The reason I bring this up is because the end result of my recent trip to the Bob Hope Classic is a guaranteed reservation in Hades. You see, I snuck a Flip Videocam into a PGA Tour event. And used it. Here is the damning evidence…
To enjoy golf in January in the desert, you have to acquire a taste for sunshine, zero humidity and temperatures in the upper 70’s. It’s not too bad, if you like that sort of thing. As luck would have it, I do – but that was not the motivating factor in including the Classic on the “It’s Game Time Somewhere” Tour schedule. I was actually there to see a celebrity.
Given that I’m a semi-trained, quasi-professional sports-watcher, this is a bit embarrassing to admit. But I have a plausible defense – nobody at the USC vs. UC Santa Barbara dual swim meet I attended recently ever made mention of a winning team. I wasn’t even positive they were keeping score.
Let me tell you about my day, and let you decide if I am guilty of Negligent Spectating…
First of all, I know I’ve previously gone on record proclaiming that ALL aquatic events should be conducted outside – but I was young and foolish then. It was the sunshine and 75 degrees talking. It was now January however, and I was wearing layers to an outdoor aquatic event. Be careful what you ask for.
It was as if the good folks at the U.S. Table Tennis Association had been reading my blog and knew I was coming. They’d thought of everything in preparation for the arrival of the IGTS Tour. I walked into a dream scenario.
Admission to the U.S. Nationals cost just $5, and included a substantial program full of all kinds of handy information – including a full roster of players listed alphabetically and by bib number. It was delivered with a smile and an eager “Be sure to come back this weekend for the finals!”
They dispensed with the obligatory search of my backpack and person. I had all the tools of my trade at my disposal, with no posted restrictions on camera or video use. I suppressed the urge to hug the woman at the door.