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Being a fan is work. Going to Fenway is the reward.

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Every trip to the ballpark disrupts your routine, and that's probably good.

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Have you ever seen Gumby pitch in person?
Have you ever seen Gumby pitch in person?
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

On a normal day, let’s say you work until 6 o’clock. This leaves you an hour to get home before the Red Sox game starts; maybe it’s enough time to catch the first pitch and maybe it isn’t. Whatever it is, it’s not relaxing, per se. Yeah, the Sox can take the edge off. But if Drew Pomeranz gives up five runs in the first inning? Yikes. Your night is ruined before it even started, and you didn’t even do anything! You have no control.

This is the problem. Like it or not, our convoluted theories on why what happened when in a baseball game -- Was I sitting in the right butt groove? Was my hat inside out? Should I have ordered pizza?* -- are borne of our need to feel some sort of agency in an exercise in which we basically have none. It might be sad if it wasn’t so damn fun.

* yes, yes you should have

But being a fan is work. If you’re the person racing home for the top of the first you likely feel some sense of obligation to the Red Sox, and every minute you gain on your commute is in service of this obligation. You probably feel like you are helping by caring so much, but you are not. You, are, real talk, only really helping by throwing money at the problem, in cable fees and merchandise sales and memorabilia acquired. It is for this reason that you might think shelling out a few extra dollars to go to a game is an expense too far. This is wrong.

First off, going to a game is not a part of your work of being a Red Sox fan. It is a break from the work of being a Red Sox fan. It is a vacation, and like any well-crafted vacation, it is worth every penny. The experience is yours and yours alone, but it is more than that: It is not simply something that happens to you alone, but it is a thing you do, an experience you can craft to your liking, within limits, at any point -- even before it begins.

Let’s say you’re on that same work-until-6 schedule, but you know a few days ahead of time you’re going to try to see the Sox play the Yankees at 7:05. You ask to get off an hour early so you can meet friends near the park or go in early and see batting practice. You can be inside or outside; you can eat, drink and be merry; you can meet new people, or tell them to go to hell. You are no longer a prisoner to your own routine, if only temporarily.

All of this is before we get to the game itself, which presents itself more naturally in person for several reasons, not least of which is that happens in directly in front of you, with no commercials, announcers or (hopefully) second-screen nonsense you devour simply to feel less alone. The small distractions you might face at home -- a crying child, a neighbor arguing, a television too loud -- are drowned out by a thousand distractions in every direction, so many that they become a feature, not a bug.

For all you single people, those distractions could even come in the form of other single people, if you hear what I’m saying. For all you married people… well, you probably don’t need the hard sell to visit a place where food, booze and baseball are all present. No matter who you are, the hangups are always the same: Time and money. Stop me if you’ve heard it before.

With respect to the both, going to Fenway is worth it because of the time and money you’ve already put in, not despite them. For all but a special few, an in-person game experience is a rare treat, and, ultimately, an optional one. You don’t have to go to a Red Sox game to be a "real" fan, just as you don’t have to go to all of them. And you should probably go to at least one, but you only have to go when you're insEvery trip to the ballpark disrupts your routine, and that's probably good. pired and proactive.

It’s so simple, though, that it can easily fall through the cracks. You were going to go, but you were tired after working on her project. Or maybe Marnie had her dancing thing, and you promised her you’d go. The dog was sick that other time, and then it was the snake. It just didn’t happen.

Well it’s not just going to happen, not now, not ever, but if it’s been a long time, it’s well worth it to make it happen, for you and Marnie, with whom, JFC, enough with the dancing. You need a place to go to forget about your stresses, and the ballpark is the best place in the world. Specifically, your ballpark, as a Red Sox fan, is the best place in the world. So make it happen. Go to Fenway. And sell the snake.


Whether you’re a baseball junkie or casual fan, games are better at the ballpark. Grab seats at StubHub and be part of the action at Fenway Park. And, download the StubHub app to choose the perfect seats with 360* views from your section