Every summer since 2000, a group of friends dedicated to baseball has set out on what we call The Great Baseball Road Trip. This is a guys’ trip, with a rotating cast of characters but some core members, and it typically lasts anywhere from four to eight days.
It is all about sports — baseball primarily, of course, but with rounds of golf and even other sporting events sprinkled in for amusement.
This should be good enough, one would imagine, to satisfy my sports travel needs. And living in a major metropolitan area with the NBA, NHL, MLB and NFL minutes away, in addition to major college sports and a whole host of other options, means most of my days are already brimming with sports options.
But it’s not enough. It’s never enough. And so it comes to pass that I book travel with my wife, ostensibly for a vacation that has nothing to do with sports. Initially, that seems more than reasonable. Yes, we will just go somewhere and enjoy the fine weather, the fine company of friends and the many fine things to do wherever it is we land. This is probably what normal people do.
At some point, though, a mixture of curiosity and sickness gets ahold of me. It’s the reason we wound up at a Giants game in San Francisco this summer as part of a trip that had nothing to do with baseball. It explains a day spent in New York many summers ago seeing the Mets play in old Shea Stadium. And yes, it explains how we wound up watching jai alai one day in Florida a few years back.
On Wednesday, I was doing so well. The house sitter arrived. We made it to the airport, again with Florida as the destination for a quick getaway from the Polar Vortex. All I cared about was sunshine and relaxation.
But a funny thing happened as soon as I turned on the in-flight Wi-Fi — a “casual” search to see if any of the nearby professional teams were at home during our stay.
Tampa Bay Lightning ... nope, out of town. OK, what about the Orlando Magic? Sure, they’re terrible, but ... oh, they are at home Friday against the ... Milwaukee Bucks. Another terrible team. As a matter of fact, they are the two worst teams in the entire NBA.
Maybe that will finally stop my madness. Or maybe it just means good seats will be really easy to get?