Saturday, April 12, 2008
good times never felt so good:
Soon I'll be on my way to the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, where I'll be among people who want to kill me simply for being who I am. For practice, last night I went -- for the first time in my life -- to Fenway Park.

On my way to the airport yesterday afternoon, Megan informed me that the first Yanks-Red Sox matchup of 2008 was that evening, and not, as I had thought, Friday the 18th. Oh, nice, I said, maybe I can convince my friend Colin to watch the game with me at some bar. "Or," Megan replied, "you can get tickets on StubHub. I saw some this morning for like $75."

A dam burst. Seeing the Yankees humiliate the Red Sox... in Fenway. Dare I to dream? Si, se puede!

Thanks to the miracle of my broadband card, I opened my laptop at BWI while I waited for my flight and overpaid on StubHub for bleacher seats for me and Colin. But fuck it, right? I don't think I've seen a Yankee-Red Sox game at Yankee Stadium, ever. And if you're going to walk into your enemy's house, you do it like a man: right to the bleachers. Sadly I didn't think of this while I was packing my bag, or my Robi Cano rookie shirt would have marched into Fenway. My friend Erica suggested that it wasn't too late to get tattooed.

Fenway was angry that night, my friends, like an old man trying to return soup at a deli. The rain didn't seem like it was going to stop. It was as if God was trying to save the Sox, and their fans, for what He had in store. But Red Sox fans are infidels. Everything you've heard about their legendary classiness and respect for others and even themselves? True.

Now, I welcome the hate. I wouldn't respect the fans if they didn't unleash a whirlwind of bile and invective. It's not something I mind. What I mind is the unoriginality. Did you know that Jason Giambi used steroids? Or A-Rod might be overpaid? A charming fellow behind us, who spilled his beer on Colin, an amateur boxer, thought he was insulting the Yankees, but any cop would recognize what he was hollering as clear solicitation. By the fifth I opted to cheer loudly and openly. Giambi's homer? That was roid rage right there, friend.

To preempt an obvious objection: Yes, Yankee fans are also terrible. On Mother's Day 2006 I bought extremely expensive tickets to the Stadium to cheer up my ailing mom. Behind us two i-banker assholes talked incessantly about how inventively they had recently fucked some girls. They did not respond to the stinkeye. But one difference between Yankee fans and Red Sox fans? Sox fans turn on each other. When the guy next to us stood up and cheered in the 8th in the hope of igniting a Sox rally, an ornery type behind him demanded he sit down. He complied, but not before speaking his mind. "I'll wake you up with a two-by four," Ornery offered. Fenway cops ejected three fans -- and the fans applauded the cops, instead of supporting their fellow fans.

Another guy demanded... chowder. (They sell chowder at Fenway. It was cold last night, but I'm not eating Fenway clam chowder. My mom pointed out that Yankee Stadium doesn't sell Manhattan clam chowder.) "Hey! Chowder! Chowder! Hey chowder guy! Chowder right here!" It went on for five minutes. When he finally got his fucking chowder, his friend shouted, "Hey chowder guy! Go get the peanut guy!"

Since this is almost as long as the Lizza post: Wang threw a 94-pitch two-hit complete game. Yanks took it decisively, 4-1, but weaknesses showed through: they stranded a lot of baserunners. Today is Beckett versus Moose, and it's hard to see how the Yanks take this one. An encouraging sign: Girardi let Wang complete the game given how hot he was, and that's something Torre almost never would have allowed, particularly against the Red Sox. And now I feel prepared to meet the Taliban.
--Spencer Ackerman
That's one of your best posts ever. And I'm a Red Sox fan.
Blogger Martin | 7:07 AM

unoriginality no doubt...Johny Demon (yaaawwwn).

I was thinking the same thing last night when Wang emerged from the dugout in the bottom of the ninth. Joe knows.
Blogger Jeff Dexter | 7:54 AM

also, I feel like this story needs an epic montage to illustrate your transformation.
Blogger Jeff Dexter | 8:04 AM

And if the Habs destroy the B's again tonight (likely) and Notre Dame does the same to BC (unlikely), that will be a trifecta of Boston defeat at the hands of traditional rivals.
Blogger Delicious | 10:54 AM

A. I hate you for your hed. I hate that song. Damn you for getting it into my head.
B. I, too, have applauded the cops for ejections in the bleacher seats. We eat our young.
Blogger Megan | 11:46 AM

"Fenway was angry that night, my friends, like an old man trying to return soup at a deli."

That comment made me laugh out loud, though I can't explain why.

Your story of classless sports fans is nothing compared to a story my mom told me. A few years back she and my dad brought their two grandkids, my nieces, to a Giants game at Giants Stadium. Sitting nearby was some sleazy dude and his two female companions.

The women start kissing each other and making out, much to their male companion's -- and many of the male onlookers' -- delight. As if that wasn't bad enough, some dudes started cheering them on and yelling, "Show us your tits!" And if *that* wasn't bad enough, the women complied.

Ugh. Just ugh. I'm no prude, but geez, my little nieces were right there. Fer goshsakes, there's a time and place.
Blogger Kathy G. | 12:57 PM

You find that line funny because it's from Seinfeld. George Costanza said it "the sea was angry that day, etc."
Blogger Martin | 1:31 PM

Kathy, a couple months ago the NYT ran a story about loutish Jet fans turning one of the stadium's corridors into a non-stop gauntlet of sexual harassment. I'm sorry to learn this is the case with Jints fans too.
Blogger Spencer Ackerman | 4:48 PM

I second the "best posts" comment (even though I only read your blog sporadically...usually based on how much I hate TNR on a given week)
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