It is always nice to enjoy a long holiday weekend. In Boston, Massachusetts, Patriots day is is especially enjoyable. Schools, businesses and state offices are closed on this holiday which officially commemorates the battles of Lexington and Concord, which ignited the Revolutionary War in 1775. Patriots’ Day is also a legal holiday in Maine, which was actually a part of Massachusetts until 1820.
Patriots Day is particularly enjoyable in the city of Boston for reasons related to sports. First of all, the Boston Red Sox always play at venerable Fenway Park on the holiday, but there is a twist. The baseball game is played at 11:00 AM so as not to conflict with the hundreds of thousands of fans who come to Boston on this day not to watch baseball, but to view the running of the Boston Marathon. Strangely enough, Patriots Day has nothing to do with our NFL franchise, the New England (formerly Boston) Patriots.
Patriots’ Day 2012 is shaping up to be rather unique in and of itself. This year marks the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park, the oldest park in Major League Baseball. The Red Sox themselves are even older than the park, having been founded in 1901. This morning the Sox will host the Tampa Bay Rays in exceptionally warm and sunny Spring weather.
It is the weather however, which is posing some trouble for the athletes in the 115th Boston Marathon. The average temperature in Boston in April is the low 50s. Runners like it to be cool but temperatures are expected to approach 90 degrees in Boston today. Such temperatures may pose a health risk to runners. Consequently, the race organizers have taken the drastic step of allowing any runner who has qualified for the race to defer their participation one year until the 2013 race. Also, the finish line will remain open for an additional two hours to accommodate runners who may be slowed down by the oppressive weather. It is interesting to note however, that today’s marathon will not be the hottest in history. In 1905 the temperature actually reached 100 degrees!
The Boston sports mania continues this evening when our National Hockey League franchise the Boston Bruins take on the Washington Capitals in Game 3 of their best of seven playoff series. The series is presently tied at one game apiece. The first two games were not decided until sudden death overtime.
If you are a sports fan from Boston, Patriots’ Day is a very special occasion.