Monday, November 05, 2007


This is a story that revolves around a football game, but it is NOT about football. I feel compelled to state such a thing right at the beginning. This is because some of you hear me start to talk about sports and you immediately go running off to some other blog that has sewing or gardening as its main thrust.

(Not that there’s anything intrinsically wrong with sewing or gardening, you understand. I was just searching for the least manly-man blog subjects I could think of, in order to illustrate whatever point it was I felt I had to make there. Hey, it’s 6:30 on Sunday morning, I had five beers last night, and I’m 50 years old. Cut me a break.)

The actual story here can be boiled down to the following three lines:

Last night, I went to see a football game. Even though the team I was rooting for lost, I had a good time. This is because I went to the game with good people.

You know me, though; I'm going to get about 7,500 words out of this. It will run in five parts, finishing on Friday.

(And now I have to tell you that there is a back-story you need to hear first, before I get into the actual accounting of what happened last night. Good Lord, I am one of the most unorganized writers on the planet. How do you put up with me? Oops! I'd better shut up; I see the back-story coming. Why, here it is now!)

Last year, Boston College was playing Brigham Young University at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. My very good friend, Fred Goodman, invited me to accompany him to that football game.

Fred’s employer, W.B. Mason, sponsors many sporting teams. As a result, they have game tickets to hand out to their customers. Since I work for a company that buys office supplies from Fred – and since we’re good friends and softball teammates for 20 years - he offered me one of the tickets he had for this football game. I readily accepted, because I’m a big fan of BC football and also a big fan of Fred Goodman.

Fred is the type of friend who is perfect for an asshole like me. Unlike some folks who can’t remain friends unless they see each other 5 or 6 days a week, Fred and I have managed to maintain a friendship while seeing each other perhaps two or three times a year outside of those occasions when we share a softball field.

Fred is gregarious and outgoing, traits well-suited for his career as a salesman. On the other hand, my default setting is staying home and reading – or maybe typing up a ridiculously long blog that is almost 500 words by this point and still HAS no point. In other words, Fred is more-often-than-not the instigator of our meetings, and I thank him for understanding my temperament well enough to do that.

Anyway, I accepted his offer to accompany him to the football game. I was to meet him at his house in West Roxbury and we'd go to the game from there.

When I arrived at his house, I found out that another friend of Fred's would also be going to the game. I'm not a great one for meeting strangers, but Fred is such a good storyteller, jokester and host, that I never feel uneasy meeting anyone while in his company. I can be outgoing or quiet, as my feelings dictate. It doesn't matter. Fred fills the gaps and nobody is ever uncomfortable.

Introductions were made. During the course of the ensuing conversation, it became abundantly clear that I was the only real college football fan in this trio. Fred and his friend followed the sport only from what they gleaned reading headlines in the newspaper. No problem, though. They were both good company. Knowledge of the game was not a prerequisite for enjoyment of the afternoon.

Since Fred's company was a major sponsor, Fred was able to show the two of us a very good time. He had a parking pass for the field where tailgating took place before the game. His company had a hospitality tent wherein we could (and did) sate our munchies, wolfing down lovely sandwiches and sweet desserts. We received free posters and programs. And our seats were nice - near the 30-yard-line.

The game got underway, and it was a good one. BC and BYU traded scores, both quarterbacks putting up some hefty numbers passing. I was enjoying it immensely. Meanwhile, Fred and his friend were scoping out the cheerleaders. In other words, all three of us were happy.

As the two of them discussed the many and various things they'd like to do with the cheerleaders, I continued watching the game. Fred's conversation was littered with many takings of The Lord's name in vain. Somewhere around the end of the first quarter, he realized that he was at a football game between a Jesuit college and a Mormon university, and that it might not be the most politic thing to be blaspheming so routinely, especially since we were sitting in the middle of a BYU rooting section. He turned to the crowd surrounding us and made a blanket apology for his transgressions, pleading Jewishness as a defense. There were more than a few smiles. Fred can be charming when he wants to be.

To make this short story that I've intentionally made longer shorter, I'll tell you that it came to a minute or so before halftime and Fred decided that he had had enough of college football for one day. He wanted to go. He asked his other friend and me what we wanted to do.

I wanted to stay. It was a good game and I was enjoying myself. His other friend wanted to go. I was outvoted 2 to 1. If I stayed, I'd have no ride and have to make my way back to West Roxbury by myself to pick up my car. So, I left under protest.

We got back to Fred's house and I picked up my car. I drove back to Watertown, arriving at my house in time to turn on the TV and see the fourth quarter - and also the TRIPLE OVERTIME that decided the game.

I gave Fred hell the next time I saw him. He offered me a ticket to a game, then made me leave the game at halftime, and it turned out to be one of the most exciting college football games of the season, going into triple overtime to decide a winner. I told him that he owed me, big time. Being a gentleman at heart, Fred agreed.

Fast forward to this year. Boston College is having an undefeated season, is ranked #2 in the entire country, and they are playing Florida State. Fred calls to offer me a ticket.

"Fred, I'd love to go to the game, and I love you. But I don't want to see half a game."

"Sully, I'll stay for the entire game this time. I promise!"


"You have my personal guarantee!"

So, I said that I'd go to the game. All that remained was to work out the details.

Tomorrow: Working Out The Details.

* NYJB = New York Jew Boy. That is my affectionate nickname for Fred. He calls me a Boston Mick, among other things. It's all good. We love each other.


Merisi said...

This must have been hard, twice over, having to leave the game, and then find out what a game! :-(

Brian in Oxford said...

there's a reason why public transportation is a good deal to go to games traffic to beat, and you can drink all you want legally!

Anonymous said...

The question must be asked, what did Fred do after the game?

Suldog said...

Merisi - Yes, it was. However, Fred made good, as you'll see in the upcoming parts.

Brian - Indeed. I usually trust the T to get me to and from BC games.

Charlie - I don't know. I was so intent on getting home to see the end of the game, I didn't inquire. I think we can rest assured in assuming it was something... fun.

David Sullivan said...

I thought NYJB stood for New York Jets Blow!!!

Suldog said...

Cuz - Well, since Fred is a Jets fan...

david santos said...

Suldog, Please!

Send an email to the Brazil embassy your country and report the injustice that the brazilian courts are making with this girl
Release on Flavia’s accident and status of the process.

The resignation is to stop the evolution.

Suldog said...

I was going to make a flip comment about the above, but I went to read his blog and it is an interesting read. If anyone wants to write a letter...

endangered coffee said...

This one looks like a four-parter to me.