News Club gave field trips a whole new meaning last Friday, February 6, with our trip into Boston to learn more about sports writing at a Celtics game. The outing was probably the most fun I have ever had on a field trip, and it didn’t even take place during school hours. Our experience began at 3:30, when we all piled into cars and met at the Braintree T station. Besides myself, the game was attended by Editors in Chief Andrea Bilton and David Raab, along with Opinions Editor Callie Macdonald, and writers Jill Drummy, and Eric Carey. Sadly, our Entertainment Editor Lauren Bilton was home sick (we missed you Lauren!) so senior Joe MacDonald, probably better known to you as Joe MacAndCheese, stepped in to take her place. And of course, we can’t forget our first in command Mrs. McHugh and her daughter Amelia. The T smelled especially lovely that day (an appealing mix of trash and sewage), but it was hard to even notice over the chatting and laughter of our group. Thankfully, DRaab has a better sense of direction than I do and navigated expertly from the red line to the green line until we disembarked at North Station, home of the TD Garden.
We had a little over an hour to kill, and not eating in the North End when you are so close should probably be considered the 8th deadly sin. So, we wrapped our coats tighter around us and prepared to brace to frigid winds coming off the bay. After walking for about 10 minutes, we stumbled across a little Italian sports bar that smelled too good to pass up. When our steaming hot food arrived, I knew we had made the right call. My margarita pizza was delicious, and I have a whole new respect for Eric after he downed almost an entire cheese pizza. By the time we all finished everyone was feeling pretty stuffed, but can you ever be too full for Mike’s Pastry? I think not. We made the 5 minute trek along Hanover Street to this famous bakery, and it quickly became fruitful. The only time I have ever been to Mike’s when there wasn’t a line out the door, all of us were quickly munching on calories in their best form (in my case: a chocolate covered cannoli the size of my head). The resulting feeling of nausea was 100% worth it, I think we could all agree. All that remained was the final leg of our adventure, so we set off in the direction from which we had come.
When we finally walked through the doors of the Garden, I couldn’t feel my feet and my nose was the same shade of red as the time I fell asleep in the sun on vacation in Mexico, but my excitement for the young writers conference we would be attending beat out the cold. The conference took place in a private room with tables set up for each school group, and we quickly squeezed in among the 30 or so other people who were there. One of the writers who spoke was Jay King, a Celtics writer for MassLive.com and a freelance writer for ESPN. We also heard from Jessica Camerato, an NBA writer for Basketball Insiders and online sports writer for Comcast Sportsnet New England. Now, I know absolutely nothing about the Celtics and how this season is going, so I had obviously never read anything these speakers had written (though maybe I should start…) Nonetheless, I found what they had to say helpful and particularly enjoyed the Q & A session that followed their advice. Their main words of wisdom were to be persistent, make connections, be prepared to work for peanuts or even free to make a name for yourself, and if you are passionate about your writing, everything will fall into place. I appreciated how this advice about professional writing could be applied to any field because once again, I know nothing about sports.
When we got to our seats in the balcony, I was really excited to see my first Celtics game. As a former in-town basketball star myself in the fifth grade, I could really relate to the pressure the players were feeling (just kidding). I really did have a great time at the Garden, being around so much Boston spirit and happy people puts you in a great mood, and to top off the night the Celtics defeated the Sixers 107 to 96 points. The train ride home felt short, and we passed the time discussing snow days and Mrs McHugh’s daughter’s first middle school dance . . . those were the days. On the whole, our outing in Boston was terrific, and if homemade pizza, Mike’s Pastry, and Celtics games aren’t enough to convince you to join News Club, well, I don’t know what will.