Rarely can I say with 100% certainty that I know my dad would have loved to be here for an event. Wednesday night was one of the exceptions. After growing up in the Cambridge projects and later moving to Medford, PVQ was born to be a Red Sox fan. When he’d humor my requests to tell me stories about “when he was little,” Fenway Park was a frequent setting for his memories.
At this moment, I cannot claim to be an avid fan of any sport, if I’m being completely honest. In fact, my dad probably dismissed me as a lost cause sports spectator a long time ago. In retrospect though, I’ve watched a lot of games over the years thanks to him. Though I certainly didn’t know what was going on the majority of the time, chances are that if he was posted up in our living room cheering on a team, I was probably sitting on the couch reading/crafting/playing my Gameboy.
I don’t think I realized until last Wednesday how much I’ve missed being the spectator of a spectator. With each out in the ninth inning, I could practically hear the sharp claps that customarily would have been coming from his chair. With the final strikeout, I half expected the furniture to rattle because someone had jumped out of their chair. Though the absence of all that certainly made me miss him, the win reminded me of just how special sports can be. Sports bring together people from all walks of life and all corners of the globe. The common love of a team can in the moment erase the distinction between friend and stranger. Sports also tend to outlive a lot of their fans, allowing for a passed down tradition of support.
I can only imagine how happy this year’s World Series would have made my dad, but I feel so lucky to have such a concrete, certain picture to imagine. Without teams, both college and professional, that would not be possible. After 22 years, maybe I’m starting to like watching sports after all.