Sunday, February 05, 2012


Well, the Super Bowl is over now and the Patriots’ season has come to a
sad end. But I’m a New England sports fan. We’re used to disappointment.  

I know there are some folks who have no interest in sports and spent the day
trying to avoid all the hoopla. But for many people the Super Bowl is a family
occasion when friends and  relatives party and watch the game together. More
importantly, it’s an occasion when memories and family stories are made. There
are families who’ve followed the Red Sox for over a century and others who’ve
followed the Bruins for nearly as long  And of course there are the Celtics and
Patriots fans.

But it doesn’t just have to be following a sports team, it can also be about playing
sports. My Aunt Dot wrote about how my Dad would include her when playing
baseball as kids in Maine:

“Bud never left me out when his friends came to play ball. I could
neither catch a ball nor throw it where I wanted it to go. As for
batting, I always swung at the ball but never hit it. Never-the-
less I was never left out of his games and his friends knew better
than to make anything other than encouraging comments.“

I can remember Dad playing softball at a family picnic and breaking a finger
trying to catch a ball barehanded. Unfortunately it was his ring finger and Mom
wasn’t happy that they had to cut the wedding band off so they could put a splint
on it. And I’ve written here before about Dad taking me to see Ted Williams and
the Red Sox play at Fenway Park, and how he was the assistant coach of my little
league baseball team.

Mom was the most rabid fan in our family. She was the one who stayed up with me
to watch Fisk hit that dramatic World Series home run  against Cincinnati. She loved
watching Larry Bird and the Celtics and would often yell at the referees in the tv when
she felt they’d missed an obvious foul.

My sister got so tired of us watching the Bruins in the playoffs she told us she hoped
\the Canadians won. That was the year a young goaltender named Ken Dryden  shut
down the Big Bad Bruins and Mom would never forget that Cheryl had cursed the
team that year.

My brother Phil could sing the Canadian national  anthem before the American
because of the Bruins games. His favorite player was Phil Esposito, naturally!

I was a camp counselor on Cape Cod during the Red Sox 1967 “Impossible Dream”
run to the World Series, and was listening to the deciding last game of the season
when they won the pennant as I was helping Dad paint the house. I was working
at Morey Pearl’s Bar in Quincy with my future brother in law Peter when Bobby Orr
scored that winning goal against the St Louis Blues in the Stanley Cup Finals.

So while we all know about the ”thrill of victory and the agony of defeat” don’t forget
that sports can give you memories you will treasure for years to come.

((533 words for The Family History Writing Challenge))

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