It was a grueling adventure for me yesterday that went a little something like this:
7a.m.: alarm goes off
7:45: taxi to the Amtrak station (which doubles as the bus station)
8:25: depart for Albany
9:15: arrive in Albany, book freelance gig
10:00: depart for Boston
1:25: arrive in Boston, sort out taking the T to Oak Grove
2:15: get picked up in an ’88 Mercedes convertible, driven by Mitch Jagger Corbett, and a get a private tour of his Stones collection (which completely rules, by the way)
4:00: eat my one meal of the day, a terrific meatball sub from Anthony’s in Stoneham, while sitting on the back patio at Chez Corbett
5:00: leave for Fenway
6:00: meet friends in the bleachers’
6:30: get to my seat just in time for the kick
8:45: get out of Fenway, land at The Baseball Tavern on Boylston, meet more friends
10:30: get in a cab headed back to south station
11:15: depart via the Chinatown bus for NYC
2:45: arrive in NYC, grab one more cab
3:00: arrive back at the home base in Brooklyn, to a very confused bark from the Mugs.
It was nuts, but totally worth it. We had great seats for the match. It seemed like Liverpool fans outnumbered Roma fans about 5-1 so I felt obligated to buy a Roma shirt. Unfortunately, I was in a hurry, and just grabbed a Large, not considering that it was a European Large. I managed to squeeze into the thing anyway. One friend quipped,”What? They were all out of Extra Mediums?”
I think it was good karma for the Giallorossi though, as they played an entertaining match and came away with the win, with American Michael Bradley netting the first goal. That was particularly cool because I was able to cheer with full enthusiasm despite being surrounded by the wrong shade of red . . .I’m no Roger Bennett but the match itself was a loosey goosey affair, marked by careless midfield play by both sides and some ropey finishing, especially in the first half. But it super entertaining all the same and the many goal chances kept the crowd pretty into it. I was thrilled to see my guys Roma hang on to win 2-1, though some tiny part of me would have liked to see the crowd reaction to the Penalty shootout that would have occurred had Liverpool netted the late equalizer (a good idea to avoid draws and ratchet up excitement for the American audience, I think).
Roma look like a team who should improve this season, especially without the “distractions” of European play. As for Liverpool, you probably can’t read too much of anything into the play of their B side in a friendly. My overall impression of them was just being impressed by how many supporters they have stateside.
Fenway is a weird venue for soccer, a bit of a round peg in a square hole, but it made up for in vibe what it lacked in fan proximity to the pitch. I love these International Club Friendlies that have become so popular the last few years, and I’d go to more of them if they didn’t conflict with Saratoga. Heck, I may start going to more of them anyway. . .
BANKROLL PLAY OF THE DAY
Race 1: $50 to win and place on #9 SERGEANT KARAKORUM
I like to support the sticks racing at Saratoga but I have a legitimate angle in here as well. When I wrote my Winning Saratoga Angles piece for Horseplayer last year (I think there’s a PDF of it in the archive), one of the most profitable things I found was Jonathan Sheppard layoff horses at the Spa, the idea being that when he picks out a target and aims for it at Saratoga, he wins even more than his ample fair share. Well, that’s the case here as the horse looks like he was put away for this race and he’s one of the ones on form anyway. Giddy-up.
MEET TO DATE RESULTS: $-225