Forget those New Year’s Resolutions about hitting the gym, cutting back on the pizza and beer, and shedding some pounds. You and I both know that’s not going to happen. So why not find a resolution a lot less taxing (and one that actually encourages gorging on hot dogs and drinking sodas and beer)?
Here’s an idea for die-hard Boston sports fans: resolve to finally check out those local sporting events you’ve always wanted to see in person. Here’s a list of 10 events to check out in 2010.
1. Celtics-Lakers. (January 31, 2010) Just how dominant have the Celtics and Lakers been in NBA history? Through 2009 these two franchises have won more NBA championships than the league’s twenty-eight other franchises combined. The rivalry between the teams was renewed in the 2008 NBA Finals, and now—as before—“Beat LA” reverberates throughout the Garden when the Lakers make their one regular-season trip to Boston.
2. The Beanpot. (February 1 & 8, 2010) Bragging rights in office buildings and classrooms all around Boston are on the line each February when Boston College, Boston University, Harvard, and Northeastern take to the ice for the Beanpot. The four schools and their fans prove the old adage that familiarity breeds contempt. Students, alumni, and pep bands infuse the soldout Garden with boundless school spirit.
3. Bruins-Canadiens. (February 4 & March 2, 2010) When the Bruins and Habs meet on the ice, the gloves come off—literally and figuratively. These bitter division foes have battled for more than eighty years, including many intense faceoffs in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The roar of the Garden crowd right after those final notes of the Canadian and American anthems is deafening.
4. Red Sox Opening Day. (April 4, 2010) It’s amazing how Red Sox Opening Day always coincides with a city-wide epidemic of the 24-hour flu. Well, this year you probably won’t have to worry about playing hooky because the first pitch is scheduled for a Sunday night against the New York Yankees. Not only are World Series dreams renewed on Opening Day, but after a long hibernation, so are the senses. At first sight, Fenway’s Technicolor explosion of green almost blinds eyes dulled by wintertime.
5. Red Sox-Yankees. (April 4-7, May 7-9, October 1-3, 2010) Every game at the Fens is full of electricity, but a matchup against the Evil Empire takes it to a whole new level. Each season seems to bring new plotlines to the rivalry between the Red Sox and Yankees, baseball’s version of the Hundred Years’ War. This year’s storyline will be how the Red Sox respond now that the Yankees have caught up in championships in this millennium.
6. Marathon Monday. (April 19, 2010) Patriots Day officially commemorates the Battles of Lexington and Concord. Unofficially, it’s a celebration of Boston sports. Set your alarm early and head to Fenway Park for the traditional morning start of the Red Sox game as they take on the Tampa Bay Rays. After the game, make the short walk to the course of the Boston Marathon and cheer on the weary runners in the final stretch to the finish line.
7. Cape Cod Baseball League. (Mid-June to Mid-August, 2010) The amateur Cape Cod Baseball League is a baseball purist’s dream. There’s no better way to savor the summer than to head to one of the Cape’s intimate ball fields, spread out a blanket, munch on a hot dog, and listen to the thwack of the mitt and the crack of the bat under the setting sun.
8. Head of the Charles Regatta. (October 23-24, 2010) Every October a small armada fills the Charles River for the world’s largest two-day regatta. Three hundred thousand spectators line the banks of the Charles to watch eight thousand rowers navigate the snaking course, headwinds, and seven bridges. The colorful foliage and crisp weather make this an autumnal Boston tradition.
9. Harvard-Yale Football. (November 20, 2010) It’s known simply as “The Game.” Harvard and Yale have battled it out on the gridiron since 1875. The Game is always the season finale for both teams, and on numerous occasions, it has decided the Ivy League title. Fans dressed in raccoon coats and waving felt pennants are seriously old school.
10. Thanksgiving High School Football. (November 25, 2010) Along with turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie, pigskin is on the Thanksgiving menu for many Massachusetts residents. Sure, going to a Patriots game can be a fantastic (and an all-day) experience, but gathering around high school football fields on Thanksgiving morning to watch timeless rivalries is as much of a communal experience in Boston as the postgame family feast.
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