Monday, June 20, 2011

Rally Day (and another trip to Fenway)

While we did have a very good time, it could have been a whole lot better for us if the Red Sox game hadn't been moved from 1:00 to 7:00.  Initially we were going to go to the parade, walk over to Fenway for the Sox game at 1:00, then head to New Hampshire to hang with friends for awhile; but since those friends had tee times while we had five hours to kill, we did a lot of "sightseeing" instead.

We hit the road at about 6:30 in the morning.  One of the first memorable things to happen was that a car passed me rather quickly on the left, then within a minute I was passing that car back, which always frustrates me since I drive with the cruise control on.  So I turn to my left and literally say "Make up your fucking" -- when Cuz and I realize it's one of our friends who's heading down to play golf.  He didn't know we were going to the parade but saw my #32 Don Sweeney Bruins sweater hanging in the back and figured it out.  That sweater plays prominently in the day's events.

We get down to the northernmost T stop to park the car and take the subway in.  As soon as we approach the T stop in Malden, we know it's going to be a very crowded day...people and cars everywhere.  You could see people backed up waiting at every stop we passed on the way to North Station, which is where TD Garden is and where the parade was to start.  Originally we thought we would see the players leave on the duck boats from TD Garden, then get on the train to a stop along the parade route close to Copley Center, where we believed the actual rally was to be held.  We decided against that because we didn't think we'd be able to get back on the train (we were right) once the parade started.  So we transferred at North Station and got off one stop short of Copley, then walked along the parade route to a good spot a couple of blocks from Copley, arriving at 9:30.

Well if we had known we would've waited there for 2 1/2 hours and that the player speeches were going to happen back at TD Garden, we would've done this all differently.  As it turns out, we had that long wait in the hot sun on the hot pavement until nearly noontime before the duck boats get to us, and we somehow missed seeing the Cup.  We were told afterwards by other people who were there that it was with Chara and Thomas in the first boat.  Well, we saw Chara and Thomas but not the Cup.  So at the time it passed us, it must have been with whoever was on the other side of that particular boat.  (Cuz is going to peruse the pictures he took to see if there's a glimpse of it)  Back to the wait for a moment:  Cuz and I have mostly nothing else to do but chat and watch the very plentiful eye candy.  At one point someone walks up behind me and taps me on the shoulder, where I see a smiling young lady who says "Look at my sweater" and turns around, where lo and behold I see a newer version of a #32 Don Sweeney Bruin sweater.  She has a friend with her, who has us turn our backs to her, look back at her and she takes a picture.  Thanks, Jenni!
Later on when the duck boats are passing, we see the one that has Don Sweeney on it (now one of the club presidents).  So I start hollering repeatedly "Hey Donnie" and turn around and keep pointing at my back.  Mark Recchi is on the same side next to Sweeney and spots me, tells Donnie, who then sees me and gives me two thumbs up and a big smile.  Seeing me there was nothing compared to parading with the Stanley Cup but you could tell he got a kick out of seeing at least one of his sweaters on the parade route.  I only saw that one other the whole day, which is saying something since the crowd estimates are at a million and a half, and I'd dare say half of those were wearing Bruin sweaters.
Click "read more" below to read about the rest of the day, including the Red Sox/Brewers game.

Side note about people watching:  A couple of the better T-shirts we saw -- "Bite Me, Burrows!" and "The Sedin Sisters -- two girls, no Cup."  I haven't yet purchased my official Cup t-shirt yet, since the best price I saw down there was $30.  I'll get one though.

Boston has a well-deserved reputation as a hard-working, hard-partying, blue collar town; and the city and the Bruin fans should be praised because with that many people along a 2 or 3 mile parade route, nothing could have contained them if they'd wanted to raise hell.  I never saw anything, not a single tussle, nor have I heard any reports to that effect.  Take that, Vancouver!

Once the parade gets by us, we, like everyone else in Boston, start walking toward Copley, where all we saw were a million people and a bunch of news trucks but no rally.  We eventually decide to work our way slowly through the sea of humanity and make our way down to Fenway to find a place to get a cold beer, some food and get off our tired feet.  Well, because of the time change, we weren't the only folks down there five hours before the game looking to do the same thing.  We did eventually find a place and spent an hour there.  Now we still have 4 hours to kill and no energy or ideas.  We basically stayed around Fenway and shot the shit and watched people from a shaded bus stop that no one ever came to use.  I'll leave the "flag boy" story for Cuz to tell when he posts his blog with the pictures he took.

When the remaining tickets went on sale for the Sox/Brewers game (hey Rick, you missed the one the Brewers won!), all I could get was standing room only; and I wasn't worried about that because I was taking my buddy who'd never been there (so we'd likely spend a good bit of time seeing the inside of the ballpark and stopping at various places to see the game) and a Stanley Cup parade on the same day was not part of the equation.  Well, given the way things transpired, SRO was the worst thing for us, having been on our feet most of the day.  So after Lester gives up two leadoff homers to the Brewers and the score is 4-2 Milwaukee at the end of six innings, given that the Sox don't appear to be solving Randy Wolf and given the fact that we need four hours to get home, we decided to strike out at the end of the sixth, getting back home at roughly 1:00 AM.  Oh Rick, you'll be glad to know that the Brewers travel well.  There were audible roars when the Brewers did well and there were many, many Brewer jerseys and t-shirts in the park, and a group of guys dressed up like Robin Yount.

People who know me would find my interest in going to this rally curious but I thought it was a good opportunity to do something like that once, since we were going to be down there anyway.  Despite the inconvenience brought on by the time change of the game, we still had a very good time and I think it was worth it this once, though I am bummed about not seeing the Cup.  Hey Cuz, what was the final tally on "Cool Don Sweeney sweater, you're old school!" comments?


Robyn said...

That sounds awesome. Did I ever tell you once upon a time I had a Cam Neely jersey? It was around 1990 I think.

Aaron (Cuz) said...

First off I lost count at about 12, but I'd bet it was twice that.

So I talked to Andy (guy from work who went to the parade). He was at TD Bank North. There were no speeches there that he could hear. So either it was an exclusive thing inside the Garden or done somewhere else completely. Other notable thing from his experience is that it took him 2 and half hours to get on a train back to Lowell where they parked. He said the parade started about 11:15, was past them by 11:30 and they stood in line until 2PM.

Shel said...

Sounds like a memorable day! Glad you both had the opportunity and I am sure your feet will recover. Great post.

Greg DeBeck said...

Zeb, too bad you weren't at Sunday's game for the Bruins tribute. It was GREAT!!! We had sro seats alsop and saw the Cup go by on the duck boats on their way into the ballpark and again when they took a lap around the warning track. All the players got out and threw out the first pitch. It was awesome. I took a ton of pics and will put them on facebook for ya when I get them off my camera. Fenway with the Sox AND Bruins, Sox won, and got to spend time with my kids! What a way to spend Father's day!!

Zebster said...

This post has been updated to include a picture.

Anonymous said...

Great pic, Mom

Zebster said...

Getting ready to go to the game against the Leafs tomorrow night and ended up here rereading this post, and it occurred to me that I've never mentioned where I got this Don Sweeney sweater. I purchased it at the pro shop at the old Boston Garden when Bro and I went there to see a game in the old barn's last season. So you can see another reason why this sweater is special to me.