“Regrets, I’ve had a few, But then again, too few to mention…” sang Frank Sinatra back in 1968. And those are the words I’m saying to myself now, as I have had two regrets within the past few months (and really, only a handful in my lifetime). Last year, when major league baseball started to play again and I saw some people in the dugout with masks while others didn’t have any on, I was irritated. Where was the logic? Did that make sense? And cardboard people in the stands, what was that all about? I decided that I wasn’t going to support the teams. It made NO sense to me and to give my time & energy to something that wasn’t logical just didn’t flow with me. So, when the 2021 season began and they took the All-Star game from Atlanta, I continued my boycott of MLB. That was kind of a big deal to me. I’ve been a lifelong fan, going to my first game at age 10 (Red Sox game) and loving the game ever since. Since being in Atlanta I’ve fallen in love with the Braves and have been a season ticket holder for several years … so to turn “against” the team was odd yet at the same time it felt right. Some of it was lack of interest and some of it was because there were so many other things going on. I didn’t watch a single game.
As this season went on, I saw things changing and friends started to go to games. There were no masks, no cardboard people in the stands & things appeared to be normal again. But I still stayed away, I just wasn’t interested. In September I started to give in & began to watch some of the games. The season ended and the Braves were in the playoffs, so I jumped on the bandwagon and was a full-fledged fan once again. I went to game 1 against the LA Dodgers and then Game 2 of the World Series, the 3-2 victory against the Astros. I was back into it but not as much as I could have been since I hadn’t followed the team all season. It was a little bit of a bummer. They are my hometown team, but I do feel like I jumped on the bandwagon. I regret getting back into it so late. I wish I had followed them earlier. And a friend asked me to go to the Tuesday night game, to watch it from the Battery. I was not interested; I was tired and just wanted to watch the game from home. And as I watched game 6 from my living room, I was wishing I was sitting in that stadium watching it on the big screen of Truist Park. Dang, two regrets in one month. While this World Series victory was sweet, it could have been sweeter if I had been part of the team all season. I watched game 6 with my kid, and celebrating with him was surely a good memory, yet the deep love for this team was missing.
And now Friday is the parade, and I don’t want any more regrets. In 1983, I remember skipping school to go to the Celtics world championship parade and had an incredible time with my friends. We then went to the parade again a few years later when the Celtics won a second time. When the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, I closed my office and flew to Boston for the parade. I was not going to miss that one. That was the last parade I’ve been to. I missed every Patriots parade, as the timing just never worked out. And here now the parade is 20 minutes from my office. How do I miss that? How do I take away that lifelong memory for my 13-year-old? So, on Friday we will head down there, get caught up in a crazy mess of traffic and people, perhaps we will not see anything, but we will be in the excitement and energy of the victory. And from experience, I know how magical that can be. I don’t want any more regrets.
It’s been a crazy 18 months — a stressful, unhealthy, ridiculous swing that we’ve all been on. This past month has seemed normal, and I was hoping this victory would shift things around. It was like a slap in the face to MLB for taking away the All-Star game, like “payback” as my kid would say. It happened on election day, a day when things could again shift. And I sure hope it does. People are tired of this mess we are in, and the only way to get out of it is to fight. To stand up for what you believe in, and to NOT have regrets. I do not regret any of my feelings or statements from the past year. I do not regret standing up for what I believe in. Can you say that? If you think what is happening is wrong, stand up, talk to me, don’t be scared. There are more warriors out there than you think. Minimize your regrets to be about baseball or something similar. Don’t have regrets about your health or your life. You only live once. Make it worth it.