On November 26 the Wellesley Raiders varsity football team played the Needham Rockets in their annual Thanksgiving game. The teams met for the 128th time, making it the longest high school football rivalry in the country. A storied deserves a storied stadium, right? For the first time ever, the Raiders and Rockets played at a third party venue. Not just any venue, but historic Fenway Park in Boston.
For players, families and friends, watching and playing in the Thanksgiving football game already promised to be a memorable experience. Imagine the added thrill for this year’s participants, however, when they experienced it at Fenway park. I looked forward to experiencing this once in a lifetime event myself.
Still, I do wonder about those who may have been inconvenienced by the change in venue or who might not even be able to attend because of cost and distance.
Watching football on Thanksgiving is a common tradition for American families. According to NBC Sports, America’s most watched TV show during Fall last year were the NFL Thanksgiving football games. The game drew 31.7 million viewers which was one of the most watched NFL games during the regular season. Additionally the Huffington Post reported that on average 63% of Americans spend their Thanksgiving day watching football.
Since watching football on Thanksgiving is such a huge part of American culture, I do agree that it’s important to have the Wellesley-Needham football game in a venue that’s easily accessible for families. Therefore, this change in venue should be a one-time thing. Many Wellesley alumni who come home for the holiday look forward to enjoying the annual event and hate to think the tradition will be broken.
Playing the game at Fenway also attracted more fans than the average Thanksgiving game. Grace Ronchetti ’17 watches the football game every year and looked forward to the Fenway experience. “I’m very curious to see what Fenway looks like with a football field and can’t wait to cheer on the raiders at the famous stadium!”, said Ronchetti.
(Louise Lynn ’17, Arts Editor)