Friday, October 05, 2007

Mellon's Most Excellent Adventure and a New Hero to Love



Yesterday, Drew took me on a whirl wind trip to see my beloved Phillies in Game 2 of post season play. To get to the city of brotherly love, we hopped a chartered flight out of Leesburg. The plane was a little baby Cirrus that could only carry up to three passengers. I got to sit next to the pilot on the way there. I have to admit that at first I was a tad uncomfortable seeing as the plane's controls were within an arm's reach, and we all know I'm not the most graceful person in the world. I had visions of knocking the plane off course and having to pull the emergency parachute after I'd rendered our pilot incapacitated. Once we were in the air though, I came to realize just how unbelievably cool it was to be sitting there with my headphones on listening to the tower chatter and flying in the clouds. Then--bonus!--when we landed at Philadelphia International Airport, we were in our own little section away from the congestion of harried travelers. Our car picked us up right outside the door. So, in total, I probably only walked 200 steps to board, fly, land, disembark, and load myself into the waiting car in Philly. You can walk 200 steps just getting to the check in desk if you're flying commercial. This chartered thing really is the only way to travel.

Those who know me might say that I have a bit of an obsession with Chase Utley. Not sure where you'd get that idea--it certainly couldn't be the poster I had of him hanging above my desk at school, or the fact that every one of my students was capable of reciting his name, position, & batting average as well as being able to hum his theme song at the drop of a hat. Now, the fact that I named my first born son Chase might cause some to raise an eyebrow, but really Chase is a very popular name these days.

Anyway, Mr. Utley was stalled in a strike-out pattern in game one, and I was really hoping that he'd snap out of it for the game that I was there to watch. His first at bat did not go according to plan; however, and I remember looking around the stadium wondering where his wife was while thinking how hard it must be for her to watch her husband struggling so much in front of a crowd of 45,991. Then I thought, "Duh Laura, you don't even know what she looks like, so you'd never know her even if she was sitting right next to you." So instead of continuing to search for Mrs. Utley, I returned to watching the game while feasting on my Turkey Hill ice cream pint. Despite much towel waving and cheering, the Phillies fell 10-5 to the Rockies. Though I am happy to report that Chase had a couple of hits late in the game, so it appears he's dumped his slump. Back at the airport, our plane was right across from the jet waiting to return the triumphant Rockies to Colorado. You'll be happy to know that I resisted the urge to put a stink bomb under Matsui's seat--although that's mainly because I didn't have one with me at the time.

When we arrived safely home, I remembered my earlier dilemma concerning the need to know what Mrs. Utley looked like for future game spying opportunities. So I called into service that wonderous tool of modern technology: google search. Now, given my devotion to Chutley, I was holding a pretty high standard for his soul mate. I didn't think she was going to be good enough as I was sure that she was your typical high maintenance, gorgeous, self-involved society wife that was only interested in my hero for the fame and fortune. I was pleasantly surprised. Turns out Jen Utley is gorgeous, but not in that obvious, fake way, but rather in a down to earth, girl next door way. And, it turns out that they've been together since 2000, which incidentally is roughly the same amount of time that Drew and I have been a couple. So, she was with him all through that most unglamorous time in the minor leagues thereby laying to rest the notion that she was some sort of gold digger type. That made me feel better, but I still wasn't sold on her 100%.
But then, I found this article. It seems that the Mrs. had been working at a shelter when a dog came in that had been badly beaten and burned by rotten kids. She was so filled with compassion for the poor little canine that she rushed to his aid and is paying all of the veterinary bills for him. Now, anyone can throw money around when they have it, (and Chase does after his very lucrative contract with the Phils) so the fact that she offered to pay for the dog's treatments isn't what got my attention. Rather, it was the outpouring of emotion that she showed in one of the video clips--it's very difficult to fake that kind of compassion. Anyone who has that much empathy for an animal is a winner in my book, and so now I think that I love her just as much as I love her husband. Maybe more.

1 comment:

  1. Teresa7:52 PM

    Wow! What a fun day you must have had! It's fun to have a team to cheer on in the playoffs!
    Go Indians!

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