Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Final Day

Every fan is tied to their team in a way that is both inexplicable and inextricable. The events of their lives are driven and marked by the events of their team's history, and although this may hold true in their minds alone, it is very important and very real.

Sunday, September 21, 2008 is my final day as a nonworking man, at least until retirement. It seems simple enough, but really, I'm leaving behind a major part of my life. Sunday, September 21, 2008 is also the final day that Yankee Stadium will host a baseball game. So to punctuate the end of my pre-professional life, and the end of the most important venue in sports, I will be sitting here on the couch of my Boston apartment between Back Bay and Fenway, watching ESPN's tribute to the Stadium all day, dressed in as much Yankees gear as I can possibly wear.

For those of you who don't understand the ties between fan and team, perhaps you can relate to the chills I feel watching televised montages and panoramic shots of Yankee Stadium. As Winston Churchill said, "We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us." I'm just about 23 years old, and I won't presume to offer any worldly comparisons or advice. But I've seen the Colosseum. I've stood by the Pantheon at night. I've been up the Eiffel Tower, walked around the Louvre and the Vatican, and I've run the track of the Circus Maximus. Yankee Stadium is none of these things -- it's younger, it won't be found in your history books, and let's face it, it's a building where they play baseball games and nothing more to a lot of people. But to all the players and fans, to all the popes and government leaders who spoke there, to everyone who feels tied to the Yankees, it's ours. And it always will be.

I'll always remember Yankee Stadium's final day. Because it's my final day too, in more ways than one.


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