Friday, April 20, 2018

Jillian Zucco Visits Section 36!

Section 36 has another visitor! Jillian Zucco is a singer, a Red Sox fan, and the current Miss Massachusetts. We've been trying for
some time to get schedules to allow her to visit with us. I'm glad we were finally able to make it work, and I hope you enjoy what she had to say as much as I did!

So, let’s see what happens when Jillian Zucco visits Section 36!

After finishing as the runner up in the previous two Miss Massachusetts competitions, what was going through your mind this year when it was down to just you and Summer Foley in the final two?
Actually, we don’t narrow the winner from a Top 5 in Mass. We announce the runners-up and winner from the top 11. (It’s nice because the 1st runner-up still gets her moment. It’s an important position!) After they called the first runner up, I just kept telling myself that what’s meant to be will be. Regardless of the outcome, I was truly so happy with my run in the Miss Massachusetts program. I found best friends, earned loads of scholarship money,
and had so many incredible experiences. It would have all been worth the 5 years of competing even if I hadn’t won. However, I was hoping to fulfill my dream of performing on the Miss America stage. I believed I was ready and that I could do it. I had faith that this would be the year I won. Then I did, and I was elated!!!

How did you celebrate winning the Miss Massachusetts crown?
My family and I went out for sushi the next day. I love my family, and I love sushi. I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate. 😍

As a talented singer, you have been able to perform the national anthem at many venues, including Fenway Park, Gillette Stadium, and the TD Banknorth Garden. Of all the anthems you’ve sung, which one stands out the most?
Singing at the iconic and historic Fenway Park stands out the most
for me. The energy in Fenway is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. The fans are one big family. I felt that energy tenfold while standing out on the field before singing. There’s something special about singing "The Star-Spangled Banner” to kick off America’s pastime in the birthplace of America. 

We were all so excited to see you compete for Miss America. What is your best memory from that experience?
I cried when I walked onto the Boardwalk Hall stage for the first
time. I’ll never ever forget that moment. I’ll also never forget every second I spent laughing, eating, and lifting weights with my Miss America roommate, Chelsea Dubczac. She is Miss Iowa and is now one of my best friends!

Your platform is “Choose a Cause, Make a Difference.” Why is that important?
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the United States’ volunteer rate has been steadily declining for over a decade. With tight budgets, nonprofits and charities cannot afford indifference by the public. Volunteering is an American core value. The “right to form voluntary associations” is actually included in the US Constitution. Volunteerism builds communities, strengthens a volunteer’s skills, offers networking opportunities for the volunteer, and is FUN when you involve your friends and family. We need to inspire MORE people to volunteer before this becomes a serious national issue. 

You work full-time as an Registered Nurse. Is it difficult to balance that career with the duties of being Miss Massachusetts?
I’d be lying if I said that it has been easy.  Thankfully, my
supervisor  has been so supportive and understanding, recognizing that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity!  To keep up with my responsibilities and projects, I make a ton of lists, keep a paper calendar, and try to get to bed at a decent time when possible.

What is it like for you to watch Chris Sale pitch?
When I watch Chris Sale pitch, I know I’m watching history in the making. Incredible. Also, his teammates AND opponents have made positive comments about him as a person, not just as a player. That says a lot. 

Is the Benintendi-Bradley-Betts outfield the best you’ve ever seen?
I loved Johnny Damon, Manny Ramirez and Trot Nixon together.
They were so great. I was 10 in 2004 and remember being glued to the television screen or in awe going to games with my Dad. I’d say this outfield is the best we’ve had since 2004.

Last season, the Red Sox seemed to miss David Ortiz’s presence, much like fans did. What is your favorite Ortiz memory?
Every walk-off hit! 

How will the Red Sox do in the 2018 season?
They’re going to be World Series contenders, for sure!!


That sure makes sense to me!

As always, I want to give a huge thank you to Jillian for taking the time to visit with us. I also want to thank her for setting me straight on how Miss Massachusetts is awarded. Ashamed to say I even watched her crowning, and still missed the fact that the stage was full of people. Another big thank you to her for providing the wonderful pictures to go along with the interview. There are plenty of them, and they definitely made the post much better.

As Jillian finishes her term as Miss Massachusetts, be sure to keep track of her on all the official Miss Massachusetts social media accounts: TwitterInstagramFacebook, and even Snapchat

Thanks again for the visit Jillian!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Real Competition

It's a pretty standard argument for the EEIdiots. Sure, things are going well now...but when they face "X", their weakness will be a problem. "X" can be a specific threat, like a lefty starter, or a general overriding doom, like a playoff team. I don't really know where this constant counterpoint comes from.

Are they just trying to be negative? Is that just easier? After all, there's always something to pick on somewhere. "I'm concerned about the inconsistency of their fifth starter. In September that could come back to bite them." Of course, ignoring that every fifth starter is inconsistent. That's why they're fifth starters. Or, are they just playing the odds? After all, chances are that in any given year, the Red Sox aren't going to win the World Series. Only one team gets to. So, if you keep saying that the Sox aren't a championship team, chances are you'll be right more often than you're wrong. Heck, even the Patriots have "only" won the Super Bowl 5 times in the last 20 years. So, if you point out a flaw every year and say "this makes me nervous about their chances..." you'll be right three times as often as you'd be wrong. Those are good odds.

Which is why they do it all the time, even to the Patriots. "Sure, they won, but an elite quarterback will chew them up." Of course, ignoring that there are, like, three elite quarterbacks in the leagues, and they have one of them. Honestly, most teams don't have players talented enough to take advantage of any Patriots weaknesses. But there's always that flaw radio hosts can hold over their heads. "If they face a crushing running back." "If they face a fast secondary." They just ignore that those things they fear don't really exist.

Which is what's happening to the Red Sox and their amazing start to the season. Sure, they're 15-2. But, who have they played? Will they be in trouble when they face actual competition?

Now, I'll be the first to admit that starting the season with nine games against the Rays and Marlins was an incredible gift. And, if they were 5-4 after those games, I wouldn't be crowing about their winning record. Even if they were 6-3. But, 8-1 is pretty dominant no matter who you're playing. Still, people were cautious. Let's see when the "real" season starts against the Yankees. 

Then, the Sox took 2 of 3 from NY.

Ok, so one series. They won one series at home against a good team that's been struggling a bit. Let's see if they can keep this up.

Then they beat the Orioles in a winter storm. Geez, it was just the Orioles. Wait until they face the Angels and their 13 wins. This'll be the test!

Then the Sox outscored the Angels 19-1 in the first two games of the series. 

Well, maybe the Angels aren't that good. After all, they've played Oakland a lot early in the season. Maybe their record is inflated. They're not the measuring stick they thought they were.

So, the Sox are still waiting to see what happens when they play this mythical "good" team. 

But, which team is it?

Certainly not the A's this weekend. Toronto? The Astros at the end of May?

It seems to me that if you're waiting until the end of May until you're facing your "real" competition, that's not a flaw in your team. It's because you have no real competition.

It's because you're a really good team.

We knew this going in, because last year they were a really good team that battled some injuries. This shouldn't be shocking anyone. Oh, sure, the sheer level of domination is surprising. But, they're a first place team.

No matter the competition.

Travel Team

After tonight’s game the Red Sox will travel north to prepare to play the Oakland A’s. Traveling to the Bay Area, of course, reminds me of this blog’s favorite Bay Area travel agent. You may remember Bernadette from the many pictures she has submitted to the blog. 

Naturally, as a travel agent, she’s taken many pictures while traveling. Like these. 

Of course, while in town the Sox might have the opportunity to attend a special event. Which is perfect since another one of Bernadette’s talents is as an event planner! 

Bernadette also writes a wonderful blog detailing her life. Her life, her travels, her fitness. It’s all covered and most definitely worth the read. 

So if you’re looking for a travel agent, or are hosting a Bay Area event, get in touch with Bernadette. You can find her on twitter here or here. Or on Instagram here or here. And read her blog as much as you can. Be sure to tell her you saw her on Section 36! 

It won’t do anything for you, but it’ll be more fun for me!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Feel Good About Looking Good

Many of you will recognize Bryanne from her many contributions to this blog. She’s always been willing to send in pictures for me to post, whether she’s watching a game in Fenway or climbing New England’s highest mountain. The sheer volume of quality pictures she’s sent in has definitely been a godsend to this blog. In many of those pictures she has been shown sporting a Section 36 tank top. Again, she seems to wear it everywhere which is just awesome from my point of view.

As it happens, Bryanne will be running in Muckfest Boston next month. If you don’t know, Muckfest is a five-mile obstacle course that raises money for MS research. As part of that, Bryanne is raising money to donate through her team, the Lucky Muckers.

With such a great cause being supported by such an asset to the blog, I felt Section 36 should try to help. Taking my cue from her willingness to frequently wear her Section 36 tank top I’ve decided that all my profits from sales of Section 36 gear for the rest of April will be donated though her Muckfest team. That’s 15% of the purchase price!

Even better for you, the Section 36 store will be having a sale starting today and running through the weekend! It’s the perfect time for you to get the gear you’ve been thinking about getting at a lower price, and help support a great cause at the same time!

So head on over (HERE) and get a tank top of your own. Or a tee. Or a hoodie. Or even a sticker or coffee mug! You can feel good knowing that 15% of that purchase price will be used to support Bryanne in her efforts to help find a cure for MS. (You should also check out her Muckfest team page to find other ways you can help.) It doesn’t get much better than that.

You really can feel good about looking good.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Way Out West

Usually I like West Coast games. Well, at least I enjoy them more than Midwest games. For games in California, I know there's no way I'm staying up for the whole thing. There's not much chance I'll be up for more than an inning or two. So, I don't even have to try. I can just go to bed, and wake up to find out the score. It's nice to have all the decisions made for you like that.

But, this week it's different.

For one thing, the Sox are on fire. I hate the idea of missing a chance to see the bludgeon another team into submission. They're just too much fun right now to be happy about missing a game or two.

Second, David Price is on the mound tonight. I hate missing a chance to see one of the Sox aces do his thing. Especially after I was robbed of a longer outing by him last time he was on the mound. I hate the idea of missing this one too.

Third, Shohei Ohtani is on the mound tonight. There's lots of excitement around him right now, so I wouldn't mind seeing him before it fades away. Which I can only assume it will. Right now, Ohtani reminds me of Randy Moss. When he was drafter, he had some character questions that caused him to slide lower in the draft than you'd expect for a guy with his talent. Minnesota took a chance on him, and he went out to have a massive rookie season. People started crowing about how the Vikings had taken the gamble and won. No. Everyone knew he had the talent, and could have a good season. The issue was spending a first round pick on a talent that may wear out his welcome. The first year wasn't a win. The tenth year was. The same, I feel, goes for Ohtani. Yes, he's playing well. Everyone know he could play well. The question that stopped teams from offering the big bucks was the long haul. Can he keep up the pitching performance over an entire season while he's hitting three times a week? Can he hit when he's spending so much time not hitting? The April numbers weren't the question. (Well, weren't as big of a question.) It's the September numbers that people wondered about. That's when the Angels can brag about being right. 

But, I'd still like to see what all the fuss is about.

So, I'm actually disappointed about missing tonight's game. 

I can't wait to read all about it in the morning!

What people are reading this week