Is seeing every baseball stadium on your Bucket List? If so, hear about the stories from a guy who gets to travel with the Boston Red Sox and Boston Bruins
Q+A with Bryan "Bryguy" Brennan, Sports videographer
Q- Holy smokes! Your job is to travel with professional athletes! Is it as glamorous as it sounds? Tell us a little about the pros and cons of following a sports team on the road....
A- I know it sounds like the most amazing thing ever. Traveling with pro sports teams?! What could beat that?!
Honestly, it's funny how much traveling with sports teams has made me appreciate traveling commercially. When you're with the teams, they have nice planes, and you get real food, which is pretty awesome. On the flip side, most travel is done after the games, and we won't get into a city until early the next morning. Nothing is worse that getting to the hotel and seeing the morning papers already out at hotel room doors!
Everything is taken care of for you, which is pretty sweet. You finish shooting post game, get on the bus, the bus brings you to the airport, you get on the plane, and there is a bus waiting for you in the next city. It's great, but when I travel commercially I like doing everything for myself, and making all the choices as to how and when I will get to and from the airports, and hotels. I might be the only person who feels that way! I like being independent.
In the end, we are guests on their plane, and are lucky that they allow us to be there and tag along. I try to enjoy it, but also realize that all the great things are not really there for me. It's for the team.
Q- How do you make the road feel a bit more like "home"? For example, do you take something with you that reminds you of home? Or do you make sure to keep any routine -like a morning workout- that you would do at home?
A- That's a good question. Anything that I can do that is my decision makes me feel a lot more at home. So much is taken care of for you that you could easily get used to that and just go with the flow. Depending on what city I'm in, I'll come up with a routine that makes me feel better about being away so long. When I was in Cleveland, most of the games were day games, so I tried to hit the gym after the game, and then find a new place for dinner every night. When I'm in cities like Seattle, San Fran, or Chicago, I try to get out of the hotel early and walk all over. I don't want to go to a great city and spend time in a hotel gym.
Social media is a great tool for me to keep reminding myself that not everyone has the opportunities that I have, and I should get out of the hotel and take advantage. I used to not post a bunch of my adventures on social media because I felt like it was boasting or bragging. In 2012 I went to the Super Bowl in Indianapolis. My cousin is a Patriots season ticket holder, and he asked me to document every step I took because he would never be able to go to a Super Bowl, and he wanted to see what I was doing. I took pictures of everything that I found entertaining. When I got home he said he has so much fun seeing all my posts, and that even some of his friends started following me on twitter, and also had a blast. I realized that maybe it's not bragging, it's allowing others to tag along with the strange life I lead, and maybe interject a laugh or two into their day! So whenever I'm tired in a cool city, I force myself to get out, go be a tourist, and document it. If I don't, then I feel like I'm letting someone down.
Q- Which baseball stadium is your favorite?
A- The best part of traveling with the Red Sox is seeing all the parks. Top 5 in no particular order:
Target Field: Minnesota
One of the newer parks in baseball. It takes little bits of other parks in baseball and kind of pays homage to them. I also like that it's not a huge park and it's right in the middle of the city.
AT&T Park: San Francisco
San Francisco is probably my favorite city in the US, and the ballpark might be tops on my list as well. Just a beautiful view of the bay, and some quirky things like the Coca-Cola playground in the outfield.... but the view... honestly, it's the best.
PNC Park: Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh is the most underrated city in the US, in my opinion. It's such a beautiful little city, and from almost anywhere in the ballpark you can see the landscape of it. It looks as if the city is perfectly framed in the outfield.
SafeCo Field: Seattle
This might be the biggest park I've ever seen. It's gigantic! That being said, it has some character to it. I love how the roof comes over the field, but it continues to be an open air stadium. I wish more places were like that. No rain delays!!
Fenway Park: Boston
Obviously Fenway is such a cool park. They did such a cool job of adding seats, and sections that are unique and not just more places to charge fans money. The monster seats and the right field roof deck are two of the best places to watch a baseball game.
Q- Did you always want to have a job that allowed you to travel?
A- I didn't travel a lot until I got the job. I was kind of a homebody. I really started traveling a lot more once I got the job both for work and for pleasure. As I said before, it's made me appreciate everything about travel. I'm that strange guy that doesn't mind getting to the airport early. I like to avoid any and all stress as much as I can. I'll get there early and people watch. I think people always think traveling for a job can be amazing, but it's not really the case. It can be exhausting, and lonely. You really have to be OK with being alone, and I personally think it's very important to force yourself out of the hotel and go see the cities. I find it helps feel like I'm taking some control over the trip, rather than just working. The job was a great way to kind of be thrown into the fire as travel was concerned. Traveling can be intimidating if you haven't done a lot of it. Having to do it for work forced me to get comfortable with it. Now when I travel for vacations it's even more relaxing. I don't have any camera gear, and half the bags!
Q- In addition to being a videographer, you are also known as "The King of the Selfie". Do you have a signature selfie that you take in each city?
A- The selfies have really turned into a crazy thing. Now when I see people at Fenway it's the first thing they ask for! When I was growing up I would go away on school trips, or to friends summer camps and come home with pictures to show my family. My dad would look through the pictures and say, "Great, but if I wanted a picture of that I could go buy one! I want a picture of YOU at that place. I want to see YOU enjoying yourself." I think that's where it really started. I always tell people it's not just a selfie, it's me documenting the good times... and I happen to have a lot of good times to document! I suppose that means life is good!
I don't have a signature selfie. I just like to have fun and take pictures. Favorite selfie is tough one... at Fenway I basically walk around with a wireless camera and get fans on TV. Sometimes it can take an inning or two to find a spot for them in the show. You can get to know people pretty quickly while hanging out. So I love taking a selfie and posting it on social media. I usually tag people in the picture and we all follow each other. I've met some great people along the way, and they always reach out and say hi if they're in town. I've also found over time that I don't want to meet celebrities. I would actually rather take a selfie near them and say that we're really close friends.
I constantly get people tagging me in studies about how selfies are narcissistic and how people with brain damage take selfies etc, etc, etc. The thing I love about the selfie is that it forces people to gather close together and make silly faces and be goofy pretty spontaneously. If I pull out the camera and say, "Let's take a selfie!", people immediately show their funny side. If I hand my camera to someone and ask them to take a picture of us, we will all stand predictably and smile. Very nice on certain occasions, but if all pictures look like that...... BORING! So no one should be ashamed of taking a selfie! It's better than not taking a picture at all!
If YOU want to follow the Red Sox through the eyes of Bryguy,