boston commoner.
welcome home


Now That They’re on Their Way

Filed under: — jen d @ 10:17 am

Compared to games 5 and 6, last night’s final stand-off at Yankee Stadium was almost a snoozer. In the bottom of the 9th, when Sox victory seemed, at last, imminent, an announcer reminded us that our team had never managed to actually beat the Yankees when it mattered ; but for once, it was the Yankees in a funk, who couldn’t pull their act together at the crucial moment. They didn’t gleam like the winning machine they usually are; they fumbled. They seemed disoriented, like they weren’t sure why they were playing, after all. Meanwhile the Sox let a calm and collected Derek Lowe do the defense on the mound for the better part of the game, and rode in high on an offensive victory set off early with a 1st-inning 2-run homer by Ortiz (series MVP) and Johnny Damon’s surprise grand slam in the second. Damon was the next player up for redemption last night; he’s been taking media heat for weeks, now, unable to deliver the slightest advantage at the plate. If there’s ever a time to prove you’re worth your contract, it’s in a historical game 7 in the ALCS series, against your all-time rivals, and on their turf.

So without extra innings or torturous late-game dramatics, the Sox won the pennant and are bringing the World Series home to Boston for the first time since 1986. If they manage to clinch the World Series, it’ll be the first time since 1918. As it is, they’re well on their way to breaking major losing streaks: the Sox haven’t won a pennant in New York in a game 7 for an entire century.

But could Boston handle that? Boston, in the true sense, certainly could. But what about these “knuckleheads” (the reigning media term for college-age fools who use major and improbable, exhilarating sports victories as an excuse to set cars on fire and embarrass the city in front of the entire nation) who insist on turning a good thing into a source of fear and humiliation?

My neighborhood was fairly quiet last night after the win; there was some serious whooping and hollaring resonating from apartment buildings and a good deal of horn-honking announcing the victory. No problem. It was nice. But apparently across town, Kenmore Square was virtually ablaze. The same thing happened when the Patriots won the Superbowl: the bars emptied out and a bunch of drunk, over-priviledged, white college students flooded the streets and started destroying things.

But they’re not the real fans, in my opinion. The real fans (and I admit that I can’t fully claim membership in this special club, as I’m relatively new to this whole sports scene as it is) are the guys and ladies who’ve been holding on to an improbable dream for decades, who’ve lived and loved this city and the players who’ve made it legendary, for good or bad; they’re the graying, blue-collar workers who’ve passed on the tradition of hope for generations, who’s grandkids may have moved away, but who manage to call home and whoop it up whenever the Sox manage a win. They’re the business execs who get off work and hustle to get last-minute bleacher seats or standing room, who have no problem mixing with the common folk for a good, old-fashioned 9-inning heart-pounder and a giant Fenway Frank at the end of the day. They’re the Regular People who’ve been waiting and watching this team for years, who ought to be allowed a chance to celebrate in the true sense, without criminal activity or the threat of it dampening their victory flame. The real fans are not the rich little college brats who’re just passing through, who know little or nothing about this city or the team outside of what it means for the satisfaction of their blood-lust. During the post-superbowl victory riot, one student actually lost his life. You’d think that would make some of them think twice, but alas…

Mayor Menino said on the air this morning that he was planning to make examples out of some of these punk kids. Since most of them were smart enough to brag about or even committ their crimes for TV cameras covering the events, they shouldn’t be too ard to track down. Menino talked about getting them dragged out of school; I hope the biggest offenders are prosecuted, and that their daddies aren’t allowed to bail them out this time. I can’t speak for all of them, but my gamble is that these are the kinds of kids who are raised to know NO consequences for their actions, to have NO respect for other people or their property, and to NEVER be denied what they want, when they want it. These students may not have to come to Boston to actually learn anything, but I think it’s time Menino made good on his word and initiated them into some real-life education. I hope the rest of the city, the real fans who make up the vast majority, back him up. I hope we can actually enjoy the World Series when it gets here; no one should have to fear the fall-out of his home team winning.

As it is, my mother has commissioned me to try and get some tickets this afternoon when they go on sale. You can only get them by phone: no box office or internet sales allowed. I have no idea if I’ll be able to secure any, but it sure wouldn’t mind if I could. We’ll see…If I’m there, seeing them play with the World Series emblem under their feet, it might actually sink in that they really, truly did it. Either way, here’s to Boston, and to history in the making.

Powered by WordPress