Yvonne Abraham

Green with idiocy

Email|Print|Single Page| Text size + By Yvonne Abraham
Globe Columnist / June 25, 2008

You're back at your desk now, tapping away. Or you've gone home for a summer as a lifeguard or a retail associate. Or back to your mother's basement to play "Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots."

It has been just over a week since the glorious Celtics win, but your magnificent victory celebration in the streets lives on for all the world to see, thanks to the magic of YouTube.

You know who you are.

You are the fans on Friend Street who are jumping, clapping, and screaming with delight as an Allston man hurls three "Do Not Enter" signs through the windows at Greater Boston Legal Services.

Smash. Smash. Smash.

Woooooooo! You are screaming, holding up camera phones to capture this special moment. Woooooooo!

You are the revelers who have dismantled a squat billboard and are hooting at the laughing guy who triumphantly clambers on top of it, and at the girl who simulates sex with what is left of the structure.

You are the devotees at the Government Center garage, waving your shirts and broken tree branches (leaves are Celtic green!), pumping your fists in unison, chanting for a woman in the center of the crowd to expose her breasts. Only you say it more succinctly.

She declines your invitation.


Elsewhere, you are rocking parked cars, or scraping the paint off them. You are dismantling park benches. You are trying to set fire to trash barrels.

You didn't get arrested, like the 23 guys who showed up in court last Wednesday, charged with disorderly conduct, indecent exposure, assault and battery on a police officer, and malicious destruction of property, among other offenses.

You were mostly bystanders to their high jinks, cheering them on, clogging the streets, and helping to escalate the proceedings.

So there you are, safely back at your cubicles and your cash registers and your joysticks.

And since you're reading this - or having somebody read it to you - I'd like to ask you a couple of things.

What is wrong with you, that your team wins a championship, and you have to respond by behaving like Neanderthals?

Why do you need to express joy by smashing stuff and menacing people?

Why is it necessary for 1,000 Boston police officers to put on riot gear and be paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in overtime to keep you in check?

There was no miscarriage of justice at the Garden. The Celtics won. Just like the Patriots and the Red Sox won in recent years, prompting street celebrations that also descended into ugly melees and, in two cases, led to deaths.

To help make sense of this, I turned to an expert: Dave Czesniuk of Northeastern University's Center for the Study of Sport in Society.

He says you are not unemployed or alienated or angry. He says that some of you plan to bust things up - win or lose - just because you did it last time. He says that all of the police preparations lead to a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy: Authorities expect trouble, so you deliver it.

And he says you're frustrated that all you can do is sit there and cheer, so you find other ways to be active.

He does not mention the most salient fact, which is that you are dumber than bricks.

The windows are still boarded up at Greater Boston Legal Services, where the clients are battered women, homeless families, and refugees.

If you're feeling at all bad about that, you can send a check to them at 197 Friend Street. The ZIP is 02114.

But you're probably too busy recharging your camera phones and limbering up your throwing arms to bother with that.

October is just around the corner, after all.

Go Sox! Woooooooo!

Yvonne Abraham is a Globe columnist. She can be reached at

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