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The Boston Red Sox have an uncanny ability to bring together people in ways beyond sports.

  • Posted on: 5 November 2013
  • By: MauriceW

Even as the red hot Red Sox got hot I thought, “This can’t possibly last long.” The team had bigger ideas which surprised us all.

1.Can't agree on anything around here.
Nowadays the chatter is all politics.  It confronts us on the airwaves and internet. With all the counterpoints of view, Its hard to be united for anything these days. Do I like this candidate, that candidate etc. etc. Do I like the Affordable Care Act, do I hate it; do I like this politician or that one? Especially with all the special elections we in Massachusetts have experienced, its citizens are well within their rights to be suffering from decision exhaustion.  However there is one thing Greater Bostonians and New Englander can agree with; The Boston Red Sox.

2.Red Sox have an uncanny ability
Red Sox nation seems to encompass the entire city and beyond. People may have differing nationalities and languages, especially in Cambridge, but the Red Sox somehow have managed to bypass all cultural barriers. Sometimes, I think people realize when they first set foot in the Boston area they say to themselves, “I better support the Red Sox, otherwise I’ll stick out like a sore thumb.” Other times, people believe Bostonians are obsessed with only this baseball team and simply refuse to be part of the herd. I fully admit up front my support for the Old Time Team faded a bit after last year’s bad season. And with the events earlier in the year of the Boston Marathon, my mind was elsewhere.

3.Bombing affecting Boston and Cambridge ties
April 15th’s Boston Marathon bombing affected us and still effects us today. An otherwise innocent day brought home the realization terrorism can and will exist in all countries including the U.S. going forward. The horrifying outcome of the Boston Marathon bombings and its ties to the city of Cambridge, left its citizens wondering who among us can be trusted. Today, when people go out to gatherings where large crowds form, the calm the citizens possess is replaced with fear and suspicion. How would people go to sporting events? Would people be able to go to concerts or rallies of any kind?

4.Yesterday on Cambridge-side
Yesterday went a long way to answering some of those questions. After the
Red Sox finished off the St. Louis Cardinals in the best-of-seven series, four games to two, the true test of trust and safety would be realized. As is the custom for Boston sports championship celebrations, at least in the past 15 years, the Boston area would have a Duckboat rolling/aquatic rally through downtown Boston and parts of neighboring Cambridge. I got a chance to put my fears to the test by attending the parade.

5.Met people from neighboring cities.
I boarded the Red Line at Central and headed into Kendall Square. I have to admit some of the younger more exhuberant fans on the T had a head start shall we say embibing on some courage. And yes, they were very vocal. Based on whether I would watch the rally from the Cambridge-side or not was slightly in doubt. I thought perhaps the area behind Science Museum would be the best vantage point.
Where I wound up viewing the rally celebration was decided for me by the simple taking of a digital photo.

6.Exchanged close neighborly information
As I tried to take a picture against the Boston skyline, a very friendly young woman, who was camped out with her family against the Memorial Drive side railing offered to take my picture. We began having a friendly conversation about things Red Sox and the unusually beautiful warm day. Its one of those rare occasions when everyone is happy. It is believed the unexpected gift of the baseball team’s triumph served to help many New Englanders heal. For many citizens this will most likely be a very hard holiday season due to the tragedy just six months earlier.

7.Left and went our separate ways hopefully closer
People waited patiently outside for the duckboats to arrive. Kids and parents, friends and strangers talked joked chanted, “Let’s Go Red Sox!” There were even a few attempts at the wave from the Memorial Drive side to the Longfellow Bridge. Even though there was happiness, the reminders of the changing times were also visible. Local and State law enforcement made their presence felt from land, sea and air. The exhibition of law enforcement and their reasons for being their were discussed mostly as a mixed blessing to many. To other rally goers they were an afterthought. The day primarily was about feeling good and united release.

8.We can only hope Sox make us look closer at ourselves
The boats passed and as my pictures can attest those duckboats were might close to the Cambridge-side shore. Players, trainers and everyone associated with the Red Sox organization floated by and provided New Englanders a healthy distraction from the everyday political gridlock, poverty and violence we face; at least for a little while. As I headed back into the tunnel to go back home, I personally hoped all citizens could remember this day and apply those feelings going forward.