It’s not so much of a secret that I’m not a big sports fan. I will very frequently call extra innings “overtime”, and my eyes usually glaze over while watching major sporting events. But it is always exciting when my city is gearing up for a major playoff series. And in the 8 years I have lived here, it has happened quite a few times. The whole morale of the city picks up, and the good mood is infectious.
The last time the Red Sox won the world series I was a sophomore in college. The school had sent out numerous emails about not going to Fenway if the Sox won, trying to avoid having too many of us arrested and subsequently expelled. At my freshman orientation they had actually brought in an ex-student who the year before had been arrested for climbing a light post after the 2004 Red Sox win. So needless to say I was scared to death, so I decided to be a good girl and stayed inside.
This year I really wanted to be part of the action. Fenway is an awesome stadium, tucked right in the heart of the city. Even being at the bars and restaurants around it you can feel like you are part of the experience.
A few of us decided to go to Yard House, because it has over 100 beers on drafts and big booths with lots of TVs to watch the game. We knew it would be crazy but though if we showed up an hour or two before the game we should be fine. When our friends got there around 5:30 the line to get in was already around the block! Luckily they got there when they did, and we were actually able to get a table right before the game started.
Yard House had tight security and didn’t allow a lot of people in. It was nice to be able to use the bathroom, get to the bar, and stand without feeling like I was on a rush hour train. We all got appetizers, and most really enjoyed the deviled eggs, chicken nachos and truffle fries. I think the majority of the table was less enamored with our actual entrees, but the beer was good, and our waitress was amazing. Around the 7th inning she had to come around and collected everything off the table that could be used as a weapon. No more silverware for us. But the mood of the bar was getting more rowdy as there were only 9 more outs between the Red Sox and winning the World Series. Better safe then sorry.
No one was in their seats as the last Cardinal went up to bat, and the bar erupted as Uehara threw the last pitch. High fives, hugs and screams were shared by all, strangers or not. Then the majority of the crowd took to the streets, and the bar emptied within ten minutes. From inside we could see the masses of people on the streets as we paid our bill.
I was pretty nervous about what it would be like getting home, especially after all of the horror stories from college. But when we stepped out on the street it was just a crowd of happy Bostonians, headed away from Fenway. I think that the Boston Police did a good job of setting up their barricades and patrols far enough away from Fenway that people watching the game could get out and the area didn’t turn into utter chaos. About three blocks down from the restaurant was the barricade on Brookline Avenue. We walked by as masses of people tried to get as close to Fenway as possible. But I was happy to walk by and head for the train. It was way past my bedtime, and I had a meeting first thing the next morning (#employmentproblems).
There were reports the next morning of car flipping and smashed windshields, and that is really unfortunate as the majority of what I saw were happy people with a lot of pride in their city and their sports team.
I may not be a die-hard fan, but I’m am a Bostonian and being there with the rest of my city to watch such a joyous event was a great feeling. Here’s to hoping for a few more celebrations like that in Boston’s future.