Sox players savor moment, capturing the hoopla on film
The two-hour spectacle was a screaming, sign-waving, dancing, and chanting display of adoration from their Nation of fans that many Red Sox players, coaches, and staff wanted to savor again later. Theo Epstein panned the crowds with a video camera; Dustin Pedroia carried a disposable point-and-shoot. Others used cellphones to capture the scene.
And what an eyeful it was. From a media truck in the middle of the caravan, a reporter shared the view: The multi-colored sea of fans surged and chanted, ran alongside as fast as they could, and stretched as far as anyone on the duck boats could see, dappled by autumn sunlight.
As the convoy lurched along Boylston Street, the players saw revelers climbing ladders and scaffolding, and lining rooftops and windowsills.
On the ground, the fans stood 20, 50, and 100 deep along the 35,000 feet of metal barricades that lined the 3-mile route. Teenage girls in pink caps swooned, college students had painted red faces, suburban dads held toddlers on their shoulders, and a cadre of shirtless construction workers waved brooms.
When The Dropkick Murphys launched into "I'm Shipping Up To Boston," and star closer Jonathan Papelbon danced, cigar in mouth and broom in hand like an air guitar, the crowd that could see the spectacle jumped up and down, sending a visible jolt of energy rippling through the larger throng.
A man riding with the band on its flatbed truck leaned over the railing, craning as far as he could with a video camera to get a view of the boisterous masses, dotted with signs.
"Papelbon dance for me," "Papel, shake your bon-bon," and "We love Papelbon, Boston's Lord of the Dance," signs in the crowd read.
From the boats, the players could read hundreds of signs, all with messages scrawled just for them. "Marry me, Jacoby." "Dustin, marry me." "I have a man crush on Dustin Ped." "Ellsbury is hot." "Marry us, Coco." "Josh Beckett, my new religion." "Mikey stay with us."
When it was over, right fielder J.D. Drew uttered only one word: "Great." And then, as if the singular sentiment didn't quite define the moment, he added another. "Great."
Donovan Slack can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.