My Fulbright Story: The Fans

Having witnessed U.S. sports games in person, I now believe that there is a difference between being a sports fan and a die-hard sports fan. For me, I consider Boston fans to be real die-hard sports fans. 

I should preface that my previous experience with watching live sports has been centered around Australia’s summer of tennis and the occasional exhibition football match with European clubs. Suffice to say, I have had a relatively low baseline for what I consider attributes of a sports afficionado.

Having said that, there is no doubt in my mind that Bostonians mean business when they cheer on their home team. 

I’ve had the pleasure of watching this ‘ride or die’ mentality on several occasions as I cheered on the Celtics, Red Sox and athletes participating in the Boston Marathon. 

Boston Celtics

I definitely lucked out on the game I watched. It was Celtics vs Heats and one that would decide the number 1 and 2 rankings for the Playoffs. 

For much of the game, it was neck and neck with Celtics having 17 turnovers and a Brown-Tatum duo scoring a combined total of 51 points.

Yet despite the eventual loss, a packed TD Garden filled with Celtics Fans were with them every step of the way, raising the decibels exponentially higher as the game went on (imagine a person cheering at full blast, then imagine multiplying that sound by 20,000!)


It. Was. Wicked!

Boston Red Sox

I found it quite amusing whenever someone I spoke to about baseball would tell me that it’s one of those ‘social’ sports where you’re mostly there for the food, drinks, and chit-chat while the game is playing in the background. 

There is some truth to it as it seemed like there was a food stall every 10m or so, not to mention the walk-to-your-seat food sellers who might tempt you with all kinds of food like hot dogs, pretzels, clam chowder, chips, hot chocolate and beer. 

Having watched it live, I’d say baseball is one of those games where you can easily be in switch-on and switch-off mode. In other words, there will be many innings where you won’t regret leaving your seat. 

But what I enjoyed most were the small moments – when the player moves from 2nd to 3rd base and you wait with bated breath on whether he can reach the finish line. 

Or what happens for a couple of minutes during the middle of the 7th inning. 

It’s been coined the ‘7th inning stretch’ where fans would get up to stretch their arms and legs. 

This tradition has been known to date as far back as 1869 but the real gem is the accompanying song (or rather baseball’s national anthem) – Take me out to the ball game

Composed in 1908 by Jack Norworth and Albert von Tilzer, this song in ¾ time is certainly cute, catchy, and not at all what you would expect at your first baseball game!

Boston Marathon

What happened in 2013 was unbelievably tragic and heart-breaking. 

And after a virtual 2021 Boston Marathon being held due to COVID-19, the city’s Boston Strong mentality of resilience and strength was again in full swing.

Although I’ve never witnessed a marathon in person before, the Boston Marathon felt like something else. 

I’ve never seen a community come together to cheer non-stop for every single athlete at every stretch and every corner. 

You get the sense that everyone running in the race had a reason to be there and for whatever that reason may be, the city was spurring you on. It was as if you knew everyone running as though it were your neighbour.

You would hear people say things like ‘Come on, lady with the orange hat!’ or ‘Go Kilt!’

And for a city that has been through so much heartache, I hope this tradition never ends! 

What’s your favourite sporting highlight? Let me know in the comments below!

This post is not sponsored. All views are my own.

Leave a Reply