(D. Clarke Evans/NBAE/Getty Images)

So I fly to Providence, Rhode Island on business the night of the crucial Suns/Spurs game, and I arrive at my hotel just before tipoff. Not having eaten dinner, I race upstairs to my room to drop my bags,, then run back down to the hotel bar for a sandwich and to watch the game. The Yankees have just beaten the Red Sox in ten innings, so I figure I should have the television to myself. I settle in at the bar and wait or my turkey club between one guy named Sully, and another named O’Brien. The following is a transcript of our conversation, with a handy pronunciation guide thrown in for you non-New Englanders.

ADAM BEECHEN (to bartender): Excuse me, could you change the television over to ESPN and the Suns/Spurs game?

SULLY: Whaddayou, nuts?

AB: I’m sorry?

SULLY: The Sox (SAWX) game is on, man!

AB: Uh, the, uh, game is over, I thought.

O’BRIEN: Yeah, but the post-game show is on.

AB: The postgame show?

O’BRIEN: Yeah, you know, where they talk (TAWK) about the game? How Ortiz (Aw-TEEZ) can’t hit, and how they didn’t give Lackey no run support (sup-PAWT), and how Francona’s a jerk (JUHK) for not pullin’ Paplebon after (AF-tah) he gave up the homer (HO-mah) to Granderson?

AB: They’re going to talk about all that?

SULLY & O’BRIEN: Yeah.

AB: But you already know all that.

SULLY & O’BRIEN: Yeah.

AB: Because you watched the game.

SULLY & O’BRIEN: Yeah.

AB: So why do you need to watch the post-game show?

SULLY (long pause): Are (AH) you from outta town or somethin’?

AB: Yes.

O’BRIEN: That figures (FIG-yahs).

AB: Look, I’m talking about watching a real-live game going on, not talking about some game that’s already happened.

SULLY: Is it a Sox game?

AB: Well, no, obviously not.

SULLY: Then we ain’t changin’ the channel.

AB: What if it were a Celtics game?

O’BRIEN: The Celtics? Are they still playin’?

AB: Yes! Baseball season just started! How can you have forgotten basketball so quickly? Even the Bruins are still playing…Trying to get to the playoffs, for Pete’s sake!

O’BRIEN: Sox had a guy named Pete, once.

SULLY: Oh, yeah, I remember (re-MEM-bah) him. Couldn’t hit.

O’BRIEN: Yankees used to eat him up.

SULLY & O’BRIEN (shaking heads): Yankees…

AB: Can we change the channel at the commercial breaks, at least?

SULLY: Nah.

AB: Why not?!

SULLY: They run the ticker (TICK-ah) at the bottom of the screen, there. We gotta see if the Orioles lose.

AB: IT’S THREE GAMES INTO THE SEASON!

SULLY & O’BRIEN: (Blank stares)

AB: Okay, okay, look…My team is playing…They’re playing the equivalent of their Yankees, right?

O’BRIEN: Oh, is that so?

AB: Yeah, kind of.

O’BRIEN: Have they been your arch (AHCH) nemeses for more than a century, there?

AB: We’ve only had a team for forty years.

SULLY: Have you gone more than eighty years without a title because you were cursed?

AB: What are you talking about? The Red Sox have won two World Series in the last six years.

SULLY: THAT DON’T MEAN IT DON’T STILL STING!

O’BRIEN: Yeah, come back to us when you ain’t won in sixty years, and then maybe we can talk. In the meantime…

SULLY & O’BRIEN: …we ain’t changin’ the channel!

Mercifully, my sandwich arrives, and I race upstairs to my room and pounce on the television remote. I’d only missed part of the first quarter, and while the Suns were four points down, over the course of my meal, they rally, take control, and wipe out the Hated Ones from Texas behind Steve Nash’s heroics at the end of the first half, Amar’e’s ferocious dunks, and two rather amazing defensive plays by Goran Dragic. When the final buzzer sounds, sometime after 12:30 am local time, I let out a long, loud whoop. A few seconds later, there’s a knock at my door. I open it to find Sully, in pajamas and a Red Sox cap, looking like two popular dwarves mashed together: Sleepy and Grumpy.

SULLY: Hey, could you hold it down? First pitch of the next Sox game is a day and a half away, and I gotta rest up.

He staggers back to his room next door. I close the door quietly, feeling just a little bit bad. After all, if a Sox fan had wandered into a Phoenix bar during a Suns-Spurs game, even if it was the first game of the season, making the same requests I’d made, I probably would have said the same things to him that he’d said to me.

Of course, I would have said them without the weird accent.

  • John

    Great stuff!

  • Mike J

    As a Suns fan living in MA, I feel the same way as soon as baseball season starts! I have to beg my roommates to let me watch Suns games rather than Sox postgame shows…