Something strange happened last night on the T. I left my internship around 5:00pm as usual and made the trek to Government Center. I swiped past the turnstiles without a problem and proceeded downstairs to the outbound track. I stood and waited for the train with room to breathe and stretch my arms. When the train arrived, I got on the train without getting punched in the face or shoved aside or slammed into the door. I took one of the many open seats and enjoyed a rather brief and uneventful ride home. I got off at Kenmore with a couple other people and easily made my way to the escalator and rode it up to ground level.
And that was it.
This, my friends, is what a T ride is like without Red Sox fans. Well, let me rephrase, as I’m sure a hefty percentage of the people on board were indeed Red Sox fans and I even saw a couple of hats, but this is what a T ride is like without Red Sox fans going to Fenway.
It is a glorious thing.
The Red Sox season is over…in all ways that really matter. (Please oh please oh please do not let the last series against the Yankees be a complete disaster. At least give the Rays a good chance at beating those bastards!)
We now head into an offseason that will probably be more full of more drama and finger-pointing than ever before.
I must say I enjoyed this stress-free ride. Without having my face shoved into other people’s various body parts. Without people stepping on my feet or inadvertently whacking me in the face. Without 87 tourists shouting across the train, “HEY JOHNNY, WHERE YOU SAY WE’RE GETTING OFF AGAIN?” “KENMORE!” “WHATMORE?” “KENMORE!” “HOW MANY MORE STOPS IS THAT?”. Without little kids whining to their fathers, “When are we going to get there???”
And the knowledge that the rest of my rides for the next several months will be equally roomy.
It is a wonderful thing. Wonderfully bittersweet.
I want to pretend that I don’t really care. I mean, our season’s been over for months now. We knew we wouldn’t make it to October. We knew we didn’t deserve to. But now it’s really here.
The yellow HAWT DAWG, pretzel and PEAnuts guys who roam Fenway (with killer calves and arm strength) are heading home to their families to enjoy extended periods of having the night off.
Jerry Remy’s is trying to figure out how to keep bringing people into the bar Monday-Saturday.
The souvenir shops along Yawkey Way are catching their breaths.
The cab drivers are probably angry that the Patriots don’t actually play in Boston, think of all the business they’d get!
And the Red Sox and company are going home to think “What the hell went wrong?”.
This is the current state of Boston.
Sure, the Patriots are just getting started (and are elated at the news of the real refs finally coming back!) But that’s about it right now. It’s a quiet time in the sports capital of the world. Because even when the Red Sox weren’t worth watching, Fenway was still worth visiting.
And now we’re in a lull. The Bruins won’t be starting. The Celtics regular season is a good month away. And we’ll stand by watching (or more likely for me, hear in passing) the results of the World Series Playoffs and let out a sigh of contempt. It’s been so long since we’ve enjoyed that feeling. Sure, we had 3 playoff appearances (all losses) this year with the Pats, Bruins and Celtics. But when’s the last time you could feel the buzz around Fenway Park as we entered into Game 7 with the Rays or the Yankees?
It’s been a long time.
And I don’t foresee it happening again in the near future. Who knows what next season has in store for us, but dear God please let it be better than this one. It’s been a rough 390ish days for Red Sox Nation and we still have another 180 days to go before we can put it all behind us and start over fresh.
I’ll be spending the next 180 days enjoying my evening ride on the T, praying for the end of the NHL lockout, trying extra hard to care about the Celtics before the Playoffs, and wearing my Giants jersey with pride. I don’t care who stays or goes over the next 6 months, but please!
Bring back the Red Sox we know and love. The Red Sox that were 3 outs from being swept in the ALCS Championships when they came back to win 4 games in a row against the Yankees. And eventually the World Series.
I want them back.