On Sunday, I visited Fenway Park for the final game of a Red Sox/Yankees series, and while the Yanks were unable to pull off a sweep, I saw and heard many interesting things. I will preface all derogatory statements by saying this was my first professional sporting event, so behavior like this most likely occurs at arenas/stadiums/baseball fields across the country. Also, I am a card-carrying Red Sox Hater, so suck it, Boston fans! (I kept this vitriol to myself on Sunday night, for fear of bodily harm.)
1. No matter how cold it is, people will gladly and repeatedly shell out $8 for a beer. Despite it being May, I was bundled up like it was late November, and I couldn’t finish the one beer I bought because my hands were too cold to hold the cup. This did not deter anyone around me; one girl had eight beers during the course of the game. Yes, I counted. This girl spent upwards of $60 in a three-hour period. This is mildly concerning.
2. Kevin Youkilis has questionable taste in facial hair and at-bat music. I could be very wrong, but from what I could hear over the incessant shouting (more on that later,) seemed to be Biz Markie’s “Just a Friend.” Really, Youk? Out of all the songs in the world, you choose this one to announce your presence at the plate?
3. “Sweet Caroline” was a bit of a letdown. Maybe it’s because I had it built up to be this big spectacle, but it was just like drunken karaoke en mass. It was still cool, but not as memorable or mind-blowing as I hoped.
4. Red Sox fans chant “Yankees suck!”…even when the team they’re playing isn’t the Yankees. Obviously I didn’t experience this firsthand, but I heard about this at the game, and many people have since corroborated this fact. Again, I’m fully drinking the Red Sox Haterade, but does anyone not think this is incredibly pathetic? I get it…you eternally hate the Yankees and their 27 World Series wins, their players’ high salaries, etc. But to chant “Yankees suck” when you’re playing the Braves or the Marlins? It just makes you seem petty and bitter. Be a little more creative.
5. Some people don’t shut up. At all. I had the pleasure of sitting near a young gentleman who spent the entire game, and that is not a hyperbolic exaggeration, shouting at the top of his lungs. He yelled negative things at the Yankees (“Swishah! Yah mom’s a whore!”) and positive things at the Red Sox (“Don’t pull a hammy, JD! We need you!”) I have never wanted to wire someone’s jaw shut so badly. It was just non-stop shouting for nine innings. He wasn’t the only one, of course; there were thousands of others joining in to create one loud, Boston-accented ruckus.
6. There were so many physical altercations in the stands that the game could have been called WWE Raw: Chowderheads Edition. In the sections surrounding me alone, there were three scuffles in the bleacher seats, a girl-on-girl fight that involved major hair-pulling, and an incident where a guy spit in another guy’s face from point-blank range. The latter two skirmishes happened within 10 feet of my seat. I assume this is a common occurrence at Fenway, possibly made worse by the heated rivalry playing out on the field and the free-flowing booze, but it was still ridiculous. It got to the point where people around me stopped paying attention to the game and started scanning the crowd for fights.
7. Wally the Green Monster apparently has a female counterpart, who just looks like Wally in drag. You can just barely see her near home plate in the picture above, but Internet research has not led to any conclusive information on her name or why the Red Sox need two terrifying mascots. Although I’m one to talk; the Yankees’ former mascot, Dandy, is the stuff nightmares are made of.
8. Based on the cheers, David Ortiz and Kevin Youkilis are the favorite players among Sox fans. Alternately, A-Rod got the loudest boos and Derek Jeter got the least, so I take that to mean he’s the one Yankee player they can tolerate. Some of the A-Rod taunts were a bit off-base; a guy next to me kept shouting, “Hey A-Rod? How’s Madonna?” It appears this man stopped reading gossip columns in 2008.
9. Sox fans (and the few Yankees fans in attendance) love them some Lady Gaga. “Poker Face” came on between innings and the place went nuts. Beers were raised in the air, fist bumps were exchanged and everyone was loving it. I didn’t see that coming at all.
10. I squealed like a teenage girl at a Justin Bieber concert when Joba Chamberlain and Boone Logan appeared in the bullpen. I’m shameless.
Regardless of all the nonsense, Fenway is a historical landmark and a unique sports experience. Having taken in the luxury and splendor of the new Yankee Stadium last season, it was interesting to visit Fenway, arguably on the opposite end of the baseball field spectrum. There’s something very cool about an almost hundred-year-old ballpark in the middle of a big city, and I’m glad I got to experience a game there, especially one as high-profile as Red Sox vs. Yankees.