10.21.2004

First in the AL, Last in Peaceful Celebration

And so the Red Sox finally exorcised their Yankee demons of '49, '79, '99 and '03 last night and it was glorious. I admit that last year totally broke me and it wasn't until Johnny Damon's second home run last night that I became a believe again. However, today's blog isn't about faith, God, or Jesus Damon. Finally Red Sox fans around the world are able to walk around with their heads raised, able to say "Yankees suck" and mean it. While the Yankees may suck on the field this year, it's certainly the other way around for fans. Despite it being one of the defining sports moments of New England's entire existence, the result and damage done in the streets following the game is absolutely deplorable.

My only questions to everyone who got to be too rowdy a reveler is "Why? What does it accomplish? What does breaking into Fenway Park or destroying signs and lamp posts and setting fires and knocking down trees or flipping cars over have to do with winning?" Sometimes it's just sickening the lengths people will go just to get noticed in a crowd.

College students want a little respect and a little say in the decisions that their schools make. I know this because I'm a recent college grad and now I work in a college administration. It's natural for one group of subordinates to have a say about their environement, but exactly what kind of credibility can they maintain when 60,000 of them lay waste to a city? Mayor Menino is threatening to suspend liquor sales from bars and restaurants in the Fenway area during World Series games. This is obviously extreme and probably not likely, but the fact that he said it does mean it's a consideration -- how much more destruction will it take before all the fun is taken out of enjoying a baseball game?

There's nothing wrong with going out in the street, hooting and hollering and having a good time for a little bit, sharing in the jublitaion and comraderie of other Sox fans, but sooner or later worse things are going to happen -- both immediately during one of this riots and in the aftermath.

Oh yeah, GO SOX.

ADDENDUM:

Apparently worse things did happen. I wrote the above piece yesterday afternoon before the news of Victoria Snelgrove's death. It was an absolutely pointless death that further drives the point that a small group of maniacs can ruin a happy celebration for 60,000 people. No doubt the debate will rage for weeks over the fact that police used too much force this time around while they used too little force during February's Superbowl celebration that also resulted in a death. What doesn't need to be debated, again, is the fact that Boston cannot control itself, nor handle the spotlight. The blame cannot squarely go on the shoulders of the mayor, the police, the universities or the people.

How many people have died after a Yankees postseason series win? How about Chicago in the 90s? Despite being the bettor of New York in baseball this season, we've once again proved to be no more than New York City's younger, uglier, little brother.


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