Believe it or not, a jaunt to a pub in Cambridge to catch a soccer match was not the sporting focal point of my trip to New England. No, the trip was really an opportunity to catch a couple of Royals road games at Fenway. If you are wanting deep baseball analysis of the two games I saw, you aren't going to get it here. The Royals stunk it up. They started the 4 game series by getting no-hit (a feat I watched on television), and ended the series by giving up two grand slams over the Green Monster in a single game (a feat I partook of in person). Fortunately, a trip to Fenway can still be good even when your team is getting absolutely shellacked.
I'm not afraid to admit that I was a little hesitant to sport my colors in Fenway. I had this picture in my mind that fans at Fenway would be passionate, f-bomb-dropping crazies who dropped their "r's" and would probably try to shoot me. That, my friends, is why you should not watch The Departed right before a trip to Boston.
But I gained new found bravery to wear my powder blue "2008 Royals Season Ticket Holder" hat when I was on the airplane out. There was a guy sitting in the row in front of me who was sporting a Haliburton hat, and I figured that if he could wear that in public, certainly I could rep the Royals. (On a side note, when I saw the man's hat it helped me understand why he was tipping the stewardess in $100's and repeating the phrase "Uncle Sam thanks you". I was pretty confused up to that point.)
To my credit, some of my preconceived notions proved true. Lots of "r" dropping. Lots of F-Bombs. Though to their credit, the F word isn't directed at people most of the time. It's more of a place holder when you need time to think of what to say next. In KC we say "um". In Boston they say the F word. The fans were indeed passionate. But nobody tried to shoot me.
To the contrary, everyone was really nice. Probably because the Royals are pretty non-threatening, but whatev. True sox fans know a lot about baseball, to the point where one guy was accurately breaking down Mark Tehan's career. I thought that to be impressive.
Other highlights included: the clam chowder (chowdah), Fenway Franks, felling like you really were somewhere historic, great seats, and a blossoming passion to visit other parks with my friend Coleman.
My one critique is that for a group of people who understand baseball, Boston fans have a remarkable insensitivity for when it is appropriate to leave your seat. Honestly, people. Baseball is a game with tons of built in breaks. You leave your seat between innings. You leave your seat during pitching changes. You do not make people get up so that you can walk in front of them in the middle of the game.