A Post By: Michael Gallo
Ladies and gentlemen, I have been to the land of milk and honey. I have been to the promised land, and folks, it is good. I can now die a happy man. This past weekend I watched the New York Yankees play the boston red sox in what most people considered to be a “meaningless game”. It was far from meaningless. Not only did the Yankees win, they demolished the red sox. They embarrassed them. We made every red sox player, if only for a moment, reconsider a career in baseball. “Maybe I can sell used cars,” John Lester thought to himself after going 2 2/3 innings. A struggling red sox team limped into New York and took a solid punch to the teeth. Joe Girardi stood in his usual spot, arms crossed, a calculating semi-grin on his face as he watched the red sox take a beating worse than Jay Cutler. But this article isn’t about the actual game itself. No, this article is about the environment surrounding it.
My father and I woke up Saturday around the crack of dawn/9:32 am. I put on my I Hate Boston t-shirt and looked myself in the mirror. Today was going to be a good day. I could feel it. Then I realized that feeling was actually the Kwong Ming I had eaten the night before. I ran to the bathroom. From that point on it was going to be a good day.
My father really wanted to see the World Trade Center memorial. On a typical day the E train would take you straight from the Bronx all the way down to Ground Zero. Not today though, it was Saturday and that meant metro construction! So instead we took the D to Houston street, hopped onto the R, got onto the 2 train only to see a sign that the E was running, just on the F tracks. Fucking thing sucks. Mind you, the 4 train would also have taken us straight from the Bronx to Ground Zero, but keep in mind it was early. Almost 10:45 am at this point. We we’rent thinking clearly. Since this is a comedy blog I won’t go into specifics, but the trip to the memorial sucked, it was sad, and I hated it. But it was game time soon. Not only that but at this point I had taken my picture with two random people on the street because they liked my shirt. One of the people was a young, Indian girl who said, “I’m from Boston!” I laughed in a weird way and wouldn’t put my arm around her in the picture.
My dad and I hopped on the four train and settled down for a lengthy ride. I sat on the familiar orange benches with a white guy on my left and a black guy on my right. It’s New York, that isn’t too odd. However, the white guy was dressed like the boss from Office Space, and the black guy was trying as hard as possible to dress like Wiz Khalifa. The Wiz wannabe was writing in a notebook, bobbing his head. For whatever reason each word took up two lines in the notebook. Periodically, I peeked at the pages. At one point he rhymed “my take” with “piece of cake”. No argument from me, this guy was good! The white guy was reading a book which contained a chapter called “Communism”. the Communism chapter started on page 11. The white guy was on page 11 for 25 minutes. At one point I was convinced he was illiterate but held a book on a subway so people would think he knew how to read. While the Wiz on my right was rhyming “two” with “you”, the white guy was trying as hard as possible to soak up the same 225 words. I frequently looked at his eyes, thinking he had to have fallen asleep. Nope, wide awake. To each their own I guess.
When the train pulled into the 161st St. stop I stood, getting ready to exit. I found myself face to face with a guy in a red sox hat and a red sox shirt. He read my shirt and laughed. “That’s pretty funny,” he said pointing to my shirt. I didn’t laugh, there is nothing humorous about it. I hate Boston. This wasn’t a joke shirt, like those funny shirts you buy at Kohl’s that say cute things like, “My day’s been great since I got released from prison”. Stupid chowderhead.
While my dad got a dirty water hot dog, I got McDonalds. Through the front windows you can see Yankee Stadium. Inside, everyone was wearing Yankees shirts. The walls had pictures of Joltin Joe, the Babe, and the Mick. Every fifth person laughed at my shirt and gave me a high five or a fist bump. This is surely what heaven looks like. It was packed so I ate my food in a booth next to a homeless looking man who was foaming at the mouth. God, I love this place.
After lunch my father and I joined the masses outside of Gate 4. It was 1:30 pm. The gates opened at 2 pm. The crowd was getting restless. At one point, a heavy set man in full red sox gear walked through the crowd, yelling and pointing to his Ortiz jersey. The entire crowd starting booing and yelling obscenities at him. A guy next to me was kind enough to explain the sexual tendencies of the red sox fan’s mother to the entire crowd. Apparently, this individual had partaken in certain activities with this fan’s mother just last night. It’s a small world I suppose. At 1:58 the gates opened/the crowd decided it wanted to go in. We walked by security guards and multiple signs that read, “If you see something, say something.” I was in.
Once inside, my father and I made a bee line for Monument Park. There’s more history in the first ten feet of that place than most ball teams have in their entire existence. From one side of Monument Park you can see all the players on the field, shagging fly balls during batting practice. Terry Francona came out to center field. A guy with an FDNY shirt welcomed Terry to New York in the nicest way possible and was told by a stadium employee to not curse. Yeah, okay.
Next, we went to the Yankees museum. Again, this is a comedy blog so I won’t tell you about the tears I shed for Thurman Munson’s eternal locker, or Lou Gehrig’s home jersey. There’s just no place for it.
During the game, the crowd showed no mercy. “Boston sucks” chants broke out every ten minutes. If a boston fan stood up to get food or go to the bathroom, the entire section would point at the fan over and over again chanting “asssshole, assssshole, asssshole”. I loved every minute of it.
In the second inning, when Jeter hit the 3 run home run, the crowd went nuts. I high- fived everyone standing around me. I high-fived one guy, and in that moment we knew everything about each other. For that split second of contact, we were closer than family. Then he yelled, “fuck you Lester, you punk bitch!” I was truly home.
After the scoring frenzy the entire stadium decided to go to the bathroom. Inside, each urinal had around 8 people in line behind it. Randomly, someone would scream something about the Yankees/playoffs/how awful boston is/how unbelievable that inning was. In the bathroom, a Yankees chant started. It started slowly, but soon almost every fan in the bathroom was chanting “Yankees, Yankees, Yankees”. As soon as it died down the man in the stall ahead of me said, “go mets!” The bathroom went silent. “Huh’s” and “what’s” rang out from the packed bathroom. The mets fan peed for a solid two and half minutes. The guy behind me said, “What are you doing in there? Checking mets scores?” When the mets fan walked out of the stall, a half full beer flew by his feet and sprayed the wall next to him. The mets suck.
After the bloodshed, my father and I made our way out of the stadium. It had been a good day. The weather was warm, I had beer in my system, and I was surrounded by maniacs just like me. People ran down the stairs screaming about the Yankees going to the World Series. I saw a man who was celebrating his bachelor party get whipped in the face by his own belt (he was in the Top 10 for most intoxicated person I’ve ever seen). As my father and I walked down River Avenue, past 37 muffler and tire shops, I thought about both my love for the Yankees and my hatred for the sox. Both capable of leading to my incarceration. Happiness comes in many forms.