After watching the Red Sox in Detroit for three nights on TV, Steph and I got to go to Fenway last night to see our beloved boys win the pennant in person. It was a tense night until, all of a sudden, it wasn't tense anymore and it was just plain raucous celebration. My throat is still sore this morning from all the screaming, and I smashed my knee into the seat in front of me when I was jumping around like a lunatic. To envision the scene of 38,823 Red Sox fans upon watching Koji Uehara throw that last strike, use your imagination and then multiply it by a bazillion.
If you zoom in on this panoramic photo, look at the pole below the press box, then go to the left two poles over on the first-base line, and you will see Andy's parents, me (with a "B" tag), and Steph. We are right next to the pole that says "15/16." We are crediting last night's win to the fact that we wore the same shirts and sat in the same seats as last week when Buchholz beat Scherzer. And the beards, of course. And something about a Flyin' Hawaiian grand slam.
For those who have asked why it's always Steph and I who go to these games: Andy and Pete would prefer to watch at home on TV because they like to listen to the play-by-play and color commentary, watch the replays, see the graphics, etc. They think all that is worth the trade-off of the Fenway experience. (They're wrong. So very wrong.) As for Julie, she just isn't all that into it (yet?), and also does not have any interest in staying up late. She's been to a few day games and likes those well enough. But Steph and I love going!
Speaking of watching on TV, I can't stand watching games on Fox. For one thing, I would throttle Tim McCarver if I had the chance. Second, as noted above, one of the benefits of watching at home is the handy graphics ... except that Fox hardly has any! All season long when we watch on NESN, they have that cool little strike zone thingy in the lower-right corner for every pitch. They also have all the info you need right there on the screen for every batter. Fox has none of that. They show the strike zone only for controversial calls. The only interesting feature they have is that purple swoosh that shows the trajectory of a pitch, and only sometimes. TBS is slightly better, and at least they don't have McCarver. So I'm annoyed the World Series will be on Fox. But it won't matter for Game 1, because ... I'm going to Fenway! It will be my first World Series game! (Steph and Pete went in 2007.)
Another highlight of last night was watching Boston's own Celtic punk band Dropkick Murphys perform the national anthem, which they did beautifully. Afterward they played "Shipping Up to Boston," which was a blast, and they had Irish step-dancers too. I'm trying to find a video on YouTube but so far have come up dry; you can read more about it here. UPDATE 10/21/13: Finally found some videos: This one has both songs and shows the step-dancers; this one has just "Shipping" but a better view of the Murphys, as well as the Parkington Sisters on fiddle.
Meanwhile, I neglected to mention that last Wednesday was kind of a big day around here, Sox notwithstanding. How big? Well, it was our 25th wedding anniversary. Really. 25 years. (Which is weird, because as you all know, I'm only 37 years old.) We had a dinner reservation for last night at Mistral, but Andy agreed to postpone it until this coming Saturday so that I could go to Fenway. That just gives us an extra week to celebrate, right?