Sunday, January 5, 2014

Fenway Freezes Over

Truth in advertising: the Frozen Fenway was frozen.

My future in-laws joined my fiancée and I for the games. We had expected it to be cold (I mean, any group of people that brings blankets to a sporting event is obviously expecting it to be cold), but yesterday’s experience gave us all a new respect for the Weather Channel. While the sun was out, there was enough sunlight to give us all a little bit of surface warmth, but once it went down there was nothing to distract us from the plummeting temperatures. The Weather Channel told us that it felt like 7 degrees. This wasn’t just a hockey game; it was a survival event, like watching the Iditarod, or running it... but while sitting.

Preparations for the cold began an hour before with the installation of hand and foot warmers in gloves and boots. Also, multiple pants. And many shirts (I wore three) and scarves and hats, too. And though there were eight of us, there were at least sixteen pairs of socks in use at the time. Suffice it to say, we were quite swaddled in the heat-retaining materials of cotton, wool, flannel, and imitation goose down feathers.

Like the freezing adventurers that have trekked through the Antarctic, the eight of us huddled together to maintain our warmth. Also like Antarctic explorers, we sent out small groups to search for hot cocoa (always in pairs). Our most elusive prey proved to be the refillable souvenir cup. At over $3 a cocoa, it showed its worth within 90 minutes of its purchase.

Even though we didn’t have the best view, we had a great time. For your own perspective: We could not see the ice, nevermind the puck, from our perspective. The positive side? We had an awesome view of the big screen, so it was like we were there on the ice. (And let’s not forget, bleacher seats are great for Red Sox games and will be great next year for football’s return to Fenway.) There was also lots of dancing in the stands, both out of excitement and the desire to create friction and generate heat.

During the first game we rooted for Providence (home), who had an amazing last period goal that had everyone standing and cheering. During the second game we rooted for Notre Dame (away), whose loss we only saw later on NESN. The games themselves were evenly matched and extremely exciting. For the play-by-play, check the recaps here.

After five and a half hours in the sub-freezing temperatures, though, we decided to reacquaint ourselves with our toes, two-thirds of which we could no longer feel. Is this how Liam Neeson felt filming The Grey?

Frozen Fenway is a hockey experience like none other. It’s hard not to enjoy an event that takes place in a park as wonderful as Fenway, and the fact that you get two great games for one ticket only sweetens the deal. If you want to go, there are still tickets available for the January 11th match ups between UMass Lowell and Northeastern, Maine and BU (psst... check stubhub). And, is predicting 43 degrees.

Should it be freezing, however, know that the bathrooms are the warmest place in the park.

Til next time!

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