As I have long been suspected of not actually existing, a theory several people (including certain ex-girlfriends, SG commenters and Denton) continue to perpetuate, I felt an unusually healthy rush of adrenaline as I headed off to last night’s game at Fenway, where I watched the goings-on from the Budweiser deck. “At last,” I thought, “a chance to prove to the masses that there is a Red, and that he does drink, throw down and work the banjo like a demented genius.” Equipped with several Sharpies, a stack of 8×10 glossies and some copies of Surviving Grady: The Book, I entered the Park, ascended to the roof deck, took my place at the railing, and waited for my first “official” interaction with the public.
As of 8:15am this morning, that interaction has yet to happen. But when it does, I’ll be ready. Also, as an FYI, I’ve since moved from Fenway to the corner of Mass Ave and Beacon, where I’ve set up a little “meet the blogger” stand.
Anyway, I first want to say that the Budweiser deck is a frighteningly awesome place to experience a game, offering the perfect combination of a cool vantage point, dedicated restrooms, and enough “Hey, look over the railing” areas to inspire vertigo in even the most intrepid adventurer. Staring down the two-hundred foot drop between the deck and the bleacher section, I got that same slightly uneasy feeling I get when standing up in the last row of the Garden. And after a few beers, it’s even cooler.
Later, when the heavens opened and the game went into rain delay, about two-thirds of the crowd hit the bricks, enabling me to snag a front-row table for the last couple innings once play resumed. If you ever have a spare $500 bucks, these are the seats to get.
As it turns out, on top of all this, I got to personally experience one of the games of the year, including the first great donnybrook of 2009. I couldn’t appreciate the full scope of Youkbacca’s fury until watching the NESN replays, but I will say that the whole scene evoked the classic Amazing Spider-Man cover I’ve posted above. In fact, I can’t imagine Sam Raimi casting Spider-Man 4 without at least considering asking Youk to audition for the villain’s role in full Rhino get-up. This is Marketing 101, people.
The brawl clearly shifted the balance of power. After the dust cleared, Jason Bay greeted replacement pitcher Chris Lambert with a three-run homer that, at the time, evened the score. And in a truly spectacular example of serendipity, Youk’s ejection made way for Lowell, who clobbered two home-runs off the bench, drove in three runs, and, one can only assume, went on to service both Youk and Lambert’s wives for an encore.
Watching the intensity and craftsmanship on display, it was easy to forget that this was the same team that, just a few days ago, left the Bronx on a stretcher. Even though the Yanks pulled out their game last night, I stumbled out of the Fens convinced that everything’s gonna turn out just fine, and that our boys aren’t going down easy over the next couple weeks.