Monday, November 04, 2013

Rolling Rally Photos (From Our Pal (Ryan) M.)

I got to live vicariously through a few generous readers, and I will, in turn, vike all of you, by posting their pics and thoughts from the 2013 Boston Red Sox World Championship Rolling Rally this past weekend. First up is longtime reader turned real-life friend and fellow Provident "(Ryan) M." The pics are all his (click to enlarge, you should have learned this on the first day of the Internet), and the words are his too, but I will interject on occasion. I hope he doesn't get mad like the way the guy from Weezer was pissed that Spike Jonze put a break in that "Buddy Holly" song in order to include a "to be continued" gag in the video. Take it away, digital Ryan!

Got up at 730 despite having been at a halloween party the night before. Walked (very groggily) down to the 835 commuter train not quite knowing what to expect—found that they had doubled the trains, and each was a double-decker car. It was full of people in Sox apparel. Before the first stop, they made an announcement that the train would be proceeding directly to Boston, and anyone who wanted any of the intermediary stops should get off in Attleboro and get on the 2nd train which would be making those ones. A cheer went up in the car and no one budged until we got into the city. Everyone, including me, got off at the Back Bay stop, and a "Let's go Red Sox!" chant started as we came up the stairs in the station. I was disoriented because I didn't really know this part of town, but people were streaming towards the parade area from all directions, so it really didn't matter.

The plan was to get down to a portion of the route near the Longfellow bridge, so that after the "one if by land" portion, we could go down to the Charles and catch a second round during the "two if by sea" part. This involved walking most of the parade route before it started, which was definitely a highlight. It sounds obvious now that I'm writing it, but it was the largest conglomeration of people decked out like they were going to Fenway that I've ever seen. I mean, it's Boston, but there is something about walking for MILES through a street completely packed with people, and EVERYONE you see is in a hat or a jersey or a t-shirt with the beard configurations of this team, that just feels overwhelming after a while. People had some pretty inexplicable symbols as well.

There was a high density of Arubans around the Commons for some reason. They must have an email list or something telling them to meet up there for the 'Xandxanity' portion of the route or something. [Xandxanity took me a sec, but I love it. --Jere]

Also managed a probably not too surreptitious shot of this troll guy around there (reminder: this is Massachusetts in November, at 10 am).

And of these people with flags. One had a stool surrounded by stars and was being carried by some jockish guys, the other bumped into me, and apologized profusely, to which I replied "You're alright, Hawaii." He was so thrilled that I recognized the Hawaiian flag that I just let him talk about it for a couple minutes without remembering that Victorino was from there. (Or at least claims to be, the jury is still out until he releases a birth certificate).

I got a few shots that show how packed the Beacon Hill area was—they were the hardest areas to get through.

It got better around the lovely Boston City Hall, where we saw an obviously underage kid emptying a bunch of Natural Light into a drain under the watchful eye of a cop. Hopefully, this was due to poor taste in beer as much as the lawbreaking aspect.

Spotted some characters near the end of the official parade route, such as this spoiled youth, (who, having never lived through a era where New England sports teams didn't win championships, will never truly appreciate victory like us: the resentful husks of human beings whose alienation and fatalism has permanently embittered us, preventing us from experiencing any positive emotions). A friend of mine said this brat was on local news. That must have been nice for him, another thing going his way. (Cool it Ryan, every little thing's gonna be alright...)

[Ha. And let's talk logos. What a chance this kid had to give everyone a recent history lesson, showing the contemporary logo of each champion. Instead he goes with pre-2009 Red Sox for all three Sox wins, pre-2007 Bruins for the Bruins win which was after that, and really old Pats which wasn't around for any of those wins, although that one is regularly used in a throwback fashion. --Jere]

Also got a photo with the official human embodiment of the 2013 trophy. [This is one of the funniest things I've ever seen. --Jere]

Having reached the end of the route, decided to find a decent spot to watch the parade from, chose the elevated lawn of the West End Church, so there are iron gates in front of some of the parade photos I took. Such as...

...this one of a 7-year-old who seemed to have some personal beef against Adam Wainwright for some incomprehensible reason. Take that, Wainwright! A 2nd-grader from the greater Boston area went out of his way to stick it to you!

First float was the owners, plus the guy from that famous ALCS Game 2 picture. He was happy to strike his signature pose for us.

[Castiglione! --Jere]

The green monster had somehow grown some non-green facial hair, and was accompanying the Dropkicks as they played one of their three three-chord songs at not-safe-for-hangover level.

Nava, Double H (or the Walking Dead extra who's been playing him for the 2nd half of the season), and Lackey (whose post-season performance has moved him down my 'Most Punchable Face in Baseball" list a few notches) looking good.

They had beards on the floats as well, as if we hadn't gotten it at this point.

The Front Office float had the most extensive Fenway design aspects, so it looked pretty cool even though nobody on it was recognizable.

The boat with the David Ortiz sign had a decoy Ortiz, facing away from the crowd while talking on the phone.

It was followed by the "closer" boat and then...

The REAL Ortiz float was 2 later, whereupon the most beloved human in 6 states stood in a circle of heavenly light while his servants blasted the crowd with confetti and thumping hip-hop. The picture doesn't really convey how enormous he looked—if I'd realized he was on his own MVP float, I would have taken video instead. He's an 8-foot tall demigod, and his float was a multimedia tour-de-force. As it passed by, all women in a half-mile radius spontaneously became pregnant.

With some effort, we managed to cross the street and get over Storrow drive down the riverfront. We passed by 3 different people *scooping up confetti* from the dirty street as a keepsake. When someone tells you that [insert team name] has a more devoted fan base, refer them to the fact that in 2013, many people in Boston literally collected worthless paper that had, at one time, been in proximity to baseball players, and then take advantage of their stunned silence to leave the table without paying the check.

I got some pictures of the water-bourne Socks, but they're essentially the same, but with water instead, so there isn't much to say about them.

For various reasons, I was unable to attend the '04 and '07 parades, so I took this one in with the relish of someone who might have to wait until he's 106 to see them win again.

[Awesome! I didn't think seeing the pics would make me feel like I was there and got to celebrate with everyone, but they totally did/do! Thanks, Ryan. (Here's a link to Ryan's blog.) Stay tuned for more from other readers. P.S. Ryan shared the below picture with me as it plays into my obsession. The MBTA is officially added to "the list." --Jere]

Just realized I added that "Old City Hall/Ruth's Chris Steak house" picture by accident, and only took it in the first place because I couldn't figure out why there was a sign for that most stupidly-named of all restaurants in front of a building that definitely isn't a steak house. Oh well.

Also in that area (which we used to get around from the densest part of the crowd) there was a Starbucks full of people using laptops and doing typical Starbucks things. Since it wasn't very residential-looking around there, I imagined that the people there had gotten up early on a Saturday to force their way through mobs of sit a block away from a thrice in a lifetime event, ignoring it and working on their terrible screenplays.
I figured you put it in because of the special menu. I remember Mad Dog reading the copy for ads for that place. He has trouble with even the most basic of words, so it was hilarious to try and hear him navigate through "Ruth's Chris."
Mom here:
Thanks, Ryan, that was great.

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Location: Rhode Island, United States