Kyle Dorau / The Recorder
Spontaneity is a wonderful thing when it comes to sports and being a fan. Hitting the road to see your favorite team only enhances an unplanned experience. Add postseason to the equation, and it’s a recipe for magic.
I woke up on Sunday and was cruising around online only to see that playoff tickets for the Boston Bruins (of which I am a diehard fan) against the Carolina Hurricanes had fallen dramatically on StubHub. Calling a good friend, we decided to call an audible on our respective Sundays, purchase a pair of tickets, and ship up to Boston.
The electricity in the arena was palpable. There was just a different feel to it. Despite the fact the Bruins lost 3-0 at the hands of a hot Cam Ward, I had a blast. The result didn’t matter. Just being surrounded by many fans who understood our passion for the team was enough to make it such a memorable experience.
There really is nothing like postseason play. It doesn’t matter what sport it is. Whether it’s professional, college, high school, or even in recreational leagues, a playoff game always feels different than the rest of the slate.
We’ve even had our own playoff magic right here in our backyard. The atmosphere for the 2007 Northeast Conference Championship in Detrick Gymnasium was something you could feel. I know I’ve hammered on this point before, but storming the court as part of a sea of blue shirts was a thrill that cannot be easily replicated.
Playoffs help create legends and define legacies. Look at David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox. Struggling mightily this year, would any Sox fan be so eager to see him hit if it were not for his heroics in the 2004 season? Probably not. Look at Bill Buckner, also of the Red Sox. His error in 1986 was a rallying cry for Yankee fans everywhere for the better part of 20 years. The pressure we put on athletes is magnified tenfold come the postseason.
We’re in a time right now where hockey and basketball playoffs are heating up. Magnificent players who are known by singular monikers or nicknames are fighting hard to advance their teams. Kobe. King James. Sid the Kid. Ovie. The winter stars have taken precedence here in the spring.
As writers and broadcasters, we love to assign the term “playoff atmosphere” to regular season games in hopes to give a contest more meaning than it actually has or somehow make it a more dramatic situation.
For CCSU Baseball, there is no need for it to be a more dramatic situation. They are in a tie for first place in a jam-packed Northeast Conference, but have no breathing room to speak of. Mount St. Mary’s, who sits on the outside looking in of the playoff picture, is just a game and a half out of first place. They come to New Britain this weekend to face the Blue Devils in a huge conference showdown.
Obviously it’s a very different feel between baseball and basketball, but it would be great to see some of that 2007 NEC Basketball Championship kind of support for the baseball team this weekend, even on a smaller scale. Grab some friends, head down to Beehive Stadium, and support the Blue Devils in what will no doubt be the biggest series of the year.
There are four games. No excuses. What better way to kick off a Thursday night out than a 7 p.m. game under the lights? That doesn’t work for you? Friday at noon there’s a doubleheader. Two seven-inning games. Catch one, the other, or both. Saturday at 1 p.m., the two teams collide in the series finale, which could dictate the momentum of the rest of the regular season.
If the Blue Devils can make it to New Britain Stadium for the NEC Tournament, that would be an even greater opportunity for fans to show support for Blue Devil athletics. Be spontaneous, take the 10 minute drive, and head to the Beehive this weekend. For all intents and purposes, it is playoff time. I encourage you to go experience the action and help the Blue Devils overcome the Mount en route to an NEC title.