There isn't another word for it really. It's why I didn't bat an eyelash last week when a number of memory-impaired commentators, even in our own town, gave up hope. It's why three years ago I brought the trash talk with a Yankee fan friend of mine in a similar situation.
And it's why I knew that up 2-0 in the fifth with Lester on the mound that it was time to get my ass into Boston. It's why I knew that when someone on a cell phone in the crowd said that Papelbon was coming in to close the door on a 4-3 lead in the eighth that there was nothing to worry about.
It's not lost on me that I became more of a sports fan after I kicked my Catholicism habit. Selah. At least the Sox don't try to pollute the political discourse.
I rolled into Kenmore Station, a few blocks from the ballpark, at around 11. The riot cops were already making the blockade. "We're not," one of them insisted, "fucking around here"
Which is about as close to an admission I've heard that they fucked around last time. Three years ago a young woman was killed because some dipshit excuse for a police officer accepted an anti-riot weapon that he had no training for. It seemed the Boston PD was pissed at the fans for that.
"Get the fuck out of here," he said, and pointed in a direction. I started walking. Another cop said, "You can't go this way." and pointed back the way I came. The first cop had given the same instruction he'd given me to a group of students who I walked past, and then asked me what the fuck I was doing. The whole group of us were told to go around, down the alleyway
I found a group of students, mostly from BU, all of whom came in under the same faulty assumption I'd had; that the area wouldn't be locked down until the seventh. And actually that may have been the best. I did see video later of some fans crossing the line and some officers crossing it as well. The group I was with were peaceful. We were loud, yes, but fortunately I managed to find the people who wouldn't be tipping cars and lighting fires. There were three hundred of us at first, and as people realized that they wouldn't be making it to anyplace with a tv screen, it grew. When the final out was recorded, we were on the move. At some point on Boylston Street a group near me was trying to remember the words to Tessie. That I could speak afterwards actually quite surprised me.
It was a fantastic wave. Most of us had grown up being told that we would never see it happen, and here we were, celebrating the second championship in four years. It was a shared high that would hurt no one so long as no one fucked it up. And I didn't witness a single person getting hurt or arrested. Given, I wasn't able to see what happened all over the city.
A mosh pit formed at the intersection of Boylston Street and Ipswitch. I found myself catching people taking (sic) stage dives from the Don't Walk sign. One or two didn't quite get the concept and jumped feet first and I had to catch them solo. Soon the crowd was moving me toward the streetlight.
Ok, so they didn't have to force the issue. Amazing view from up there. I raised my fist aloft, fell forward, and sprung outward. And a photographer from Northeastern managed to capture it.
I weigh surprisingly (to some) little for my size (which itself means I get more hands on me), so I got a pretty good ride out of it before my brother put my feet to the ground. Soon after the police came in on horseback and the crowd retreated up the block. I made a conscious decision to stay in the middle, where someone handed me an uprooted NO PARKING sign. I could only assume that he didn't think he was doing anything with it that was quite interesting enough, so the only logical thing to do was to clear a space in the crowd and balance it on my chin.
Obviously. Though oddly enough he seemed surprised.
High fives and hugs abound, from strangers in varying levels of sobriety. It was all about the love. Though I could be grasping for straws saying that. Whatever. It was a hell of a lot of fun, and from what I can tell, no one got hurt. An official rally rolls through at noon tomorrow Dropkick Murphys are playing.
If you're a baseball fan of any stripe, and even if you aren't, you gotta tip your hat/raise a glass to John Lester. A year ago he was diagnosed with lymphoma, and he came back to clinch the World Series. 5 2/3 innings of shutout ball. Might have lasted longer if Francona didn't have a quick hook. Excellent story.
And you know it's a good day in Boston when the Patriots pummeling a well respected Raiders team 52-7 to improve to 8-0 is the footnote in the sports page.
All in all? Well worth walking the 8 miles back home after the subway shut down. As a plus, now I know which way to go.