As the Celtics-Heat game neared Wednesday night, both my body and mind told me to stay home and watch on TV, but my heart told me to go to TD Garden.
For starters, it was raining raining, and I had to walk to the T and take an hour-plus ride to North Station amid a sea of, well, T-goers.
I was also extremely run down. I was in a serious car accident in October and am still having lingering concussion symptoms. I’m OK, but it’s not ideal. For instance, I still see a rainbow halo over headlights behind me when I drive at night. Super random, and rather disconcerting.
I also got my COVID booster and flu shot Tuesday and was still feeling side effects from those. I’m the kind of person who almost never says no. I hate feeling like I missed out on something, and I love maximizing life. Even I knew it was probably the right call to stay home and write the recap from my living room.
But that little voice inside my head – the one that shapes my life, for both better and worse – told me to go. Covering Celtics games has been a lifelong dream, and I’m very grateful to the wonderful folks at Celtics Blog for giving me a regular opportunity to do so.
So I meandered through the streets of Quincy with my umbrella flailing everywhere, sat next to a bunch of unseemly folks, patiently waited through the expected hiccups and made it to the Garden.
Once I got to the press area, I heard a rumor that Prince William and Princess Kate were, in fact, in the house. Tweets started to trickle in, and it became clear that it was true. I’m not necessarily into all that stuff myself, but anytime you’re in the company of worldwide celebrities, you start to feel a little jolt of energy.
I sent a few tweets about William and Kate, and as I checked my computer periodically, I noticed that one of them was starting to go viral. That’s not why I tweet, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t exciting. As of Thursday morning, it has over 9,000 likes and counting. Super random, but I’ll take it.
While that was happening, Jayson Tatum was putting on a performance for the ages. I’ve been coming to Celtics games since I was a young kid, and this was one of the best games I’ve seen from an individual in person.
The part that stuck out to me was just how easy he made it look. It didn’t really seem like he was exerting all that much energy, and yet he was pouring in jumper after jumper while also finishing inside. It felt like he could have had 60 if he wanted to.
As Prince William succinctly put it, “He’s very good.” It’s true. He is very good. As Kate put it, “He’s only 19?!” It’s true. He is only 19. OK, that one’s not true.
For defensive-minded old-timers, Wednesday’s game was a borderline nightmare. For offensive-minded, 3-point happy youngsters like myself, it was a delight. I love those grotesque 86-83 playoff games as much as the next guy, but in the regular season, give me a 134-121 game all day.
As Tatum went off, and fans chanted “USA!” when Kate and William appeared on the Jumbotron, this felt as much like an event as it did a basketball game. It felt like the place to be.
While Tatum spewed liquid hot magma, my fiancée texted me saying that our power went out. It was pitch black, and she couldn’t see at all. Not fun.
I, of course, felt bad and wished I could have kept her company, but I was also grateful that I didn’t stay home. If I had, I wouldn’t have been able to watch the game and would have started the recap and and not been able to finish. I would have missed Tatum’s brilliant performance.
I was planning on attending the game and skipping the press conference to prioritize getting some much-needed rest, but I changed my mind due to the palpable buzz in the building. However, as I finished up the game story, I just barely missed the world’s slowest elevator. I tried to take the stairs, and in doing so, I inadvertently ended up among a rowdy bunch of fans exiting the building. Whoops.
I couldn’t figure out how to get back to the press room, so I decided to finally listen to my head and body. I had listened to my heart earlier, and it paid off, but this was right call. Best of both worlds.
The T was a mess getting home, but hey, it stopped raining. I’m sure there’s some symbolism in there. At least I hope so. My head has hurt for a while now, so it would be nice to not have it hurt anymore.
Regardless, this was a night and an experience I’ll always cherish. It was one of those moments where everything falls into place. You never know what you’re going to get when you head to a sporting event. There’s nothing quite like it.
So next time you’re on the fence about whether or not to go, do it. You’ll be glad you did.