Fun fact: Joel and I have yet to go to a soccer game together. The closest we came was on our Minneapolis trip for the Red Sox series in 2016, but we ended up opting for a nice dinner instead (which after a day of getting roasted in the beating sun was definitely the right choice). It’s not that we dislike soccer, per se. In fact, some of our favorite memories of sitting down for a game in a sports bar have been during World Cup or La Liga games. But I’ve found that soccer fans are a different breed of sports fans that Joel and I just don’t relate to much. First off, they’re probably going to be mad I’m calling it soccer instead of football, but football to us has touchdowns, not goals. Second, most soccer fans we’ve met are only soccer fans. They don’t really care much at all about any other sport. Granted, there are folks who fall into that boat for every sport, but by and large, when we meet a fan at a basketball game, they’re also baseball fans. Or folks sitting next to us at hockey games also closely follow their city’s football team. And clearly, we follow all of the above.
They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, but I’m not sure how much truth there is to that statement, especially when it comes to me and my mom. She’s awesome- selfless, patient, affectionate- and I’m… not. She decorates her house for almost every holiday and/or season, and I had a Christmas tree this year for the first time in four years (because she came over and put it up when I was out of town). Another area where we differ is travel- she has her spots she likes to go to and will go back whenever she gets a chance and won’t fly over water. I, on the other hand, had a conversation with Joel the other night where we agreed we have a lot of places we need to go before we go back to Boston (which is easily our favorite spot) and am planning a trip to Europe next summer.
Taking into account my mother’s travelling preferences, it’s not surprising that a lot of our vacations growing up were to landlocked places we’d repeat, and Seattle was not on the list. So despite it being a direct flight or a terrible but doable drive, I found myself at 27 years old never having been to the Emerald City, and I probably would have made it to 28 or even beyond if not for my younger sister, Bailey. She’d traveled with us on our long Boston/New York trip, so I knew she could hang for a trip with Joel and I, and an adventure seemed like a fun gift for her 18th birthday/graduation. (Remember that note about my mom being selfless? Yeah, a lot of the gifts I give also involve me doing the gift with them. I don’t even leave the “no truly selfless act” argument up for debate). I gave her a few options and thought she would for sure choose concert/Padres game/zoo in San Diego, but she surprised me and opted for a Red Sox series in Seattle. She’d actually been to Seattle before, but as a baby for a heart surgery, so Joel, a frequent Seattle visitor and reformed Mariners fan, was in for a long weekend with a couple of Seattle newbies!
If a stadium changes names, does it now count as a different stadium? I did not factor in this possibility when making my corny stadium chaser rules, but alas, here we are. Safeco Field is no more. Instead, as of this winter, we now have T-Mobile Park. How much changes when a stadium name changes? Obviously, the signs promoting Safeco will change, but beyond that, is there more than your basic upkeep renovations? This is a real conundrum.
Just a couple of sports fans touring the world, one stadium at a time.