Monday, December 08, 2008

An ALDS-mas Story

I have a great fan story from this year's playoffs that I forgot to tell you. It was the ALDS, game number three, at Fenway Park. My mom and I are in the right field grandstand, way out in section 4. As I've mentioned before, the people out here, to me, are the truest fans in Fenway. So far from the action, with seats situated such that you need neck surgery the next day, yet they're the ones that start the rhythmic clap, the Let's Go Red Sox, and even the rare Here We Go Red Sox, Here We Go, sending it down the baseline toward home plate like an audio version of the wave.

So at one point, a very young child decides he's gonna start a Let's Go Red Sox. Now, the usual pace of this chant is pretty brisk, but this kid came out with it way too slow, about half speed. Usually everyone, as long as it's the right moment, claps along, then chants along as the words come up a second time, and soon everybody's doing both clap and chant, at the normal speed. But after we all responded to the boy with our first set of claps, he said his line at the same, slow pace he did the first time. People tried to join in at the regular rate, but he was so loud, his voice echoed through the grandstand forcing us all to just wait for him to complete the line.

Soon it was just the one kid, saying the words at half-speed, all by himself, followed by thousands of people clapping--at the regular speed, then waiting for his cue again. It was amazing. He had the floor. It was dead silence around him as he sang Let's Go Red Sox each time. Instead of everyone doing both chant and clap, it was the 6-year old on lyrics, and the masses on percussion.

We turned what could've been an annoying moment ("stop screwin' it up, kid!") into something incredible--more like what you hear with the ever-synchronized crowds of Europe.

I wish I had this on tape--it's just that it seemed like it would end as quick as it started, but the kid kept going and going, with us under his spell. Had I reached for the camera immediately, I would've had time to capture the end of it--but it just didn't seem possible the phenomenon would last. It did.

Great story Jere.

Your comment is a milestone. I opened my laptop, opened a new window, went to Blogger, and approved the comment...entirely with my feet.
Monkeys frighten me.

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Location: Rhode Island, United States