Friday, September 09, 2011

Foley Field Reopens

First game on the new astroturf....Bloomfield 42 - Belleville 7...Go Bengals!! A video clip can be seen here.
Bloomfield's Fitness Guru, Steve Crooks, wrote up his impressions of the event for his forthcoming blog:

This is what it looked like and felt like to me...
Like they say, "If you build it, they will come." Boy, those Friday-night lights were outstanding, weren't they? There could not have been a more perfect game to open not only the season, but the whole new era of Foley Field. I mean, it sounded like a great game; but to be honest, from where I was standing I couldn't actually see much of the action. And besides, there was as much action, energy and excitement in the crowd as there was on the field. It was everything vibrant and vital about a town like Bloomfield, people of all ages and shapes and sizes and walks of life. Kids big and small, engaging in that kind of life-celebration that, I'm sorry, but an I-Phone or a video game or texting your BFF just can't provide. Older folks with that look on their faces you only see in churches or movie theaters sometimes, as if something has been born and reborn, right in front of their eyes; something they never really believed they'd see again.

And more than that, there was a clear and visible lesson for our times: do the best with what you've got. Use a table for a ticket booth; use a tent for concessions. And the stands? Well, there'll certainly be more than just rented aluminum bleachers in Foley's future, but hey, as a fitness professional, I think people sit too darned much anyway. And to be honest, without any real stands to plant themselves in, there was a lot more mingling and neighbor-to-neighbor socializing going on.

Galvanized like a thrilling human chain of community, in the bleachers, against the fence (where my son and I first tied our red ribbons on a rainy Sunday morning a couple of March's ago), out along the ticket line, through the local blocks and parking lots, and iron-straight all the way up the column of Broad Street traffic; it was everything I could've imagined from the time I started imagining the revitalized Foley Field at all, how it would bring together and anchor all the diverse districts and neighborhoods and citizens of our fascinating town. (My 'social barometer' for the evening? The shopping-cart-collecting kid I spoke to later on that night at the Brookdale Shop-Rite, who said simply, "No one was here!")....

Steve's complete post can now be found on Baristanet.

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