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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

FSSG showcases the strength of sports community in Boston

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Kathy Mahoney (far left) and the Kelly Green Team

What does Boston love more than sports? Nothing. Honestly, Boston’s sports teams are a product of love and act as a community — even family — when the city calls for it in times of need. The heart of this city is deeply involved in its relationship with sports. Many will look at professional sports only to be reminded of their former glory in high school; maybe even a lucky few who played in college. These are merely stages in life that have an expiration date, but who is to say that the joy that comes from those days can’t live on?
Sports in Boston are a culture to some and a religion to others. For everything in between, there is a haven; Fun Sport & Social Group, or FSSG. This organization is for people who want to play sports on their own terms, and most importantly, for fun. This particular association includes sports like soccer and, with the help of Hub Sports, also offers softball. There are other leagues, like Social Boston Sports, that offer a more nostalgic selection of sports from the days of middle school gym class like dodgeball and kickball. These leagues are offering not only the physical exertion of sports, but also a more social facet of sharing a drink at the bar that is attached to the sports complex itself. Nothing quite says Boston sports like a cold beer. These leagues are 21-plus and co-ed.
Kathy Mahoney, the founder of FSSG, recalls playing baseball with the boys in her neighborhood growing up, back when girls couldn’t play in leagues. As a result of the revelation that girls could not in fact play for the Red Sox, it then became her dream job.
“If girls can’t play for the Red Sox, I might as well work for them,” said Mahoney. So she did; she channeled her inner Walt Disney and made that dream come true. Even if it was short-lived as it was during the year they went on strike.
FSSG is about to celebrate its 14th anniversary this month. Mahoney herself went to school in Boston and earned a Masters in Sports Management, which, when combined with her own love of sports, makes her more than qualified to run her own sports league. Her graduation from college inspired her desire to create options for those that wanted to continue to play sports.
Mahoney started this organization by herself out of necessity. She brought people from the leagues that she was playing in at the time to her newly formed organization by calling each of them individually; a labor of love. Mahoney participated in a league that was not as vocally opposed to violence and heightened competition as she wanted, which left little room for having fun. This mentality is what ultimately led to the creation of FSSG. At its core FSSG is a violence-free league that also prohibits trash talk, so save it for the Yankees.
FSSG has teams for each level of experience and skill. Last Monday night’s game, the first of the season, featured the Kelly Green A-Team that has been playing together for years. One of the newcomers from one of the other teams at a lower experience level admits, “I haven’t played since grade school”. There is a beautiful balance on the wide spectrum of players over the span of over a few dozen teams.
There are also teams that host players who have never met their teammates prior to playing their first game at the Boston Athletic Center. For people who have newly moved to Boston, or otherwise do not know many locals, they use FSSG as a vehicle of changing that about themselves. Kathy Mahoney receives calls from players saying, “I just moved to Boston for a job, I don’t know anyone”. Mahoney has a place for everyone at FSSG.
It is one thing to say that the league is about having fun, it is altogether an experience to witness it in action. If players get too rough, other teammates will self-police that player. More than that, the players encourage each other; echoes of “Good pass,” “Way to be there,” and “Stay with it” can be heard from the sidelines. It is truly about wholesome fun, win or lose. These are the kind of people that one would want to play a game and grab a beer with. Boston, beer, and co-ed sports—what more could you ask for?