My NBA and NFL Game Experience


Makayla Bast, Journalist

One of my greatest birthday and Christmas wishes was granted this past December as I got the opportunity to see my favorite two teams, in their respective sports, live in person. No more TV broadcasts, this time I got to be in the stands. I’m prepared for any backlash, but I say confidently that the teams I got to go and see in stadium were the Boston Celtics and the New England Patriots.


Despite the state our world is in, sports persist as a sense of normalcy. This was very evident in my experience and made it all the more special. One of the greatest lessons this trip gifted me was to not let outside circumstances stand in the way of your excitement for things that you may never get to experience again. In my example, players who took the field and court may not wear the same logos on their jersey after this season, but I got to take advantage of the time when they were on my team by having the best trip ever with my dad. Covid will try to stand in the way of sports and memories, but our resilient world will never let it win that battle, which this adventure out east reminded me of.


My trip began on the 29th and after a 6 hour flight from PHX Sky Harbor, my dad and I landed in Boston’s Logan Airport ready for a week of sports fan mania. 


Our first game was on December 31st in Downtown Boston. We navigated the old streets (and very confusing, might I add, for our Arizona resided GPS) until we found TD Garden, home to the Boston Celtics. Ironically enough for this Arizona duo, my dad and I witnessed the Celtics play our hometown Phoenix Suns. After we finally found the parking garage for the stadium, we paid an excessive fee of $54 and weaved our way through the myriad of cars and people dripping in green until we parked. Masks were required for all fans so we masked up and made our way to the elevator to be lifted up to the Garden.


The doors for the 1 o’clock tip off opened at 12 so our arrival was prompt. Upon entering the stadium we were funneled into a line and the sea of green to present proof of our vaccination cards. This was TD Garden’s protocol and was surprisingly a very smooth process. Next we had a workout as we headed up heaps of stairs. We emptied our pockets, took off our beanies, and went through the security efficiently. 


We had by this point completed the process of getting into the stadium, and went straight to concessions for the stadium cups flaunting the star Celtics. We found our seats, sodas in hand, and enjoyed an energetic game where the 9th seed Celtics toppled the best team in the NBA and extinguished the Suns. The game was in the Celtics pocket from the start as at one point they pulled a 25 point lead. The Suns never gave up, though, and pulled a trying 2 minute run where the stadium became tense. Luckily, the Celtics pulled out the win and I simply believe it was because my dad and I were the lucky charms.

If the impact of Covid wasn’t felt enough in our vaccination requirements and the mask mandiation, my favorite player and Celtic star, Jayson Tatum, was out of this game due to Covid protocols. Of course, it was the one risk I had due to getting the tickets in the summer. Fortunately, the Celtics accomplished the win, but I was still longing to see another game after this experience because the jersey on my back wasn’t on the floor. If you are waiting to see an NBA game, keep this in mind, but be ready to have an amazing time, full of dedicated crowds and lots and lots of baskets.

Me and my dad at TD Garden for the Celtics game!

Part 2 of my trip was over in Foxboro, Massachusetts where Gillette Stadium houses the team dressed in red, white, and blue. This game had kickoff set for 1 pm just like the basketball game, but now on January 2nd of this new year. One of my favorite things about this game was that the stadium allows the crowd to funnel in two hours prior for the chance to see the home team warm up. Me and my dad hung out in the strip mall next to the stadium called the Patriot Place and had breakfast around 9 am. We toured the Patriots Pro Shop as I got hooked up with an awesome new beanie and we took a time machine back through the Patriots Hall of Fame to see the rich history the club possesses. At about 10:30 am it began to rain, which meant ponchos were the holy grail. 


We got into the security line not long after and once 11 am hit they efficiently started scanning everybody through. Again, my pockets were vacated and my ears got cold as I had to forgo my beanie and walk through the metal detector. After passing though, my tickets got scanned and it was time to break out my gloves as it seemed like the temperature was dropping. Dunkin Donuts is huge out in New England so we scored two large hot chocolates in the memorabilia cups and did a lap around the stadium to make sure our toes still had feeling. 

We found our section after we lapped back around and set our ponchos on our wet seats to make sure our pants could stay presentably dry. As music was bumping the players made it out to the field for their pre-game warmups. My dad and I filled the front rows with the rest of the fans and got to see the people we’ve watched every Sunday on TV, yards away from us. 

One of the best parts of football is the livelihood of the crowd and the fan to player interactions. During warmups I was a few people away from securing an autograph from one of my favorite Patriots players, but ultimately still got to see him super up close. I also got to play catch with one of the players who’s pregame ritual is to toss the ball with fans. That is something I’ll never forget! The crowd was great as well and we befriended some of the people in the seats around us, sharing the love for the home team. That made some special memories for my dad and I to hold onto. It didn’t take long until the kick off commenced. 


The crowd roared as the New England Patriots faced the Jacksonville Jaguars and their 2021 1st overall draft pick Trevor Lawrence. The Patriots handled business pretty handedly as the halftime score was already racked up to 28-3 for the boys in the red, white, and blue. The Patriots didn’t slow down as the final score ended in a 50-10 W. Despite a rainy and messy day, it was one of the best games of the season to witness and was the home game season finale for the team. I couldn’t have asked for a better gift, and the memories in those stands will last me a lifetime.

Me and my dad at the Patriots game!

Ultimately, Covid has changed the world we live in. Uncertainty brews in all aspects of life, yet one thing prevails: the home teams win when my dad and I go to the games (based on my limited sample size). Getting the privilege and opportunity to go to these games has been amazing and truly has allowed my love for the games of basketball and football to grow.


If you are considering going to watch an NBA or NFL game in person, I’ll tell you there is nothing quite like it. The roar after an electric touchdown or game sealing 3-pointer will ring in your ears for years to come. And though Covid longs on, in my experience, it did not implicate the fun I felt during these two respective sport outings, and hopefully will remain the reality in the time to come.