…Citizens Bank Park.
If you’ve never been to Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park, home to the 2008 World Champion Philadelphia Phillies, you’re missing out. (And by the way, can we stop prefacing “Champion” with “World”? Seriously, I don’t recall the Phillies taking 4 of 7 from the Chunichi Dragons en route to their Series win. And for that matter, this applies to all major sports in the United States. Sure, we may put the occasional hurt on a Canadian team from time to time, but last I checked the world expanded beyond the US and Canada, no?) Not only is the place littered with the stench of urine and garbage compliments of Philly’s finest, but its tailgating outside the stadium is second to none. Well, unless your this guy.
In all seriousness, Citizens Bank Park is truly one of the more spectacular sports venues I’ve visited. The park itself is beautiful, and the amenities are great. (Hell, did you even see the picture of me above? That didn’t happen by accident.) The night in question occurred this past summer, when the Phillies happened to be hosting my beloved Boston Red Sox (who, by the way, are now on my shortlist of things I hate; well, Red Sox fans, anyway). As my cousin, Matt S., my buddy, Matt B, and myself are all huge Sox fans, we decided it a fine idea to see them square off against the Phills in the City of Brotherly Love. (Again, this needs updated; Cain and Abel were closer siblings.)
Like any other Philadelphia sporting event, we, too, got to the stadium early in order to tailgate, thus eating “hoagies” (I despise that word; it’s a “sub”) from Wawa, drinking copious amounts of beer, and playing game after game of Baggo. The numbers are foggy, but that evening Matt B. and I teamed up to win somewhere between 7 and 11 straight games. Maybe next time our competition will remember to put on their lipstick after we’ve played. In any event, that many games of Baggo should give you a fair indication of just how long we were in the parking lot before the first pitch was ever thrown out. I’d like to say I spent my time drinking water and exotic, herbal teas, but that of course would be ridiculous.
I’m not sure when it happened exactly, but at some point during the game the air grew cooler and my eyes heavier. Just follow the progression:
Honestly, I don’t remember much more from that evening. The Phillies lost and I made it out of the stadium and home unscathed. I do recall waking up the next morning and eating the leftover half of my sub, wondering A) how it got home; B) how my drunken pals showed enough restraint not to eat it themselves; and C) how lucky am I to have friends who are at least good enough not to “chief” me^.
A few days after my “nap” at Citizens Bank Park, the above pictures surfaced. It’s always weird, really, to see pictures of yourself sleeping, or in this case passed out. Somehow it’s like an invasion of privacy, like someone caught you at your most vulnerable moment and captured it for all of time. Eh, if nothing else, shots like these are appropriate for my memorial service. Or my new business cards.
Having seen the pictures above and thinking this evening behind me, I went about my business this summer and merely chalked it up to yet another night in the life of The Wandering Jew. To my surprise, though, this was not the last I’d hear of it. See, I commission a fantasy baseball league along with my brother, and the two of us — and only the two of us — have access to all the “behind the scenes” stuff on the site. One of the “bonuses” in our league, if you will, is to allow the owner who attains the highest score of the week to submit to us a picture to post on the site, which stays there for an entire week. Typically our owners send images, questions and all other league-related information to my attention. So, imagine my surprise when, on a Monday morning after Matt S. had posted the week’s high score, I found this on our site:
Is that a peace sign or are you indicating the number of times I passed out that evening?
That’s a picture of me from a reverse angle, being somehow mocked by Matt S.’s wife. My favorite part of the image is not me slouching, but the obvious joy in her face. Finding this on our website didn’t make me angry; rather, it simply shocked the hell out of me. Clearly Matt S. sent the image directly to my brother and bypassed me altogether. Well played, Sir.
That’s it for this installment. Until next time, have at it, you vultures!
^ Not all of my friends are so nice, but I’ll save that for another entry in the series.
* Thanks to, um, someone for snapping the pictures.