Today, emotions were high at Fenway Park as the Red Sox were set to take on the Royals. The first game at Fenway since the day of the marathon bombing was sure to have an inspiring pre-game ceremony. Add in the fact that authorities were able to kill one of the bombers and arrest the second bomber last night and you get a very strong feeling of pride in Boston. Early this morning, the Red Sox tweeted that their home jerseys would be a little different today. Attached was this picture.
The Red Sox home jersey says just that, “Red Sox.” But today, they would read BOSTON for the city they so pridefully represent. On a day where fans came to use this mass gathering to show their pride as well, the team’s undisputed leader addressed the packed house after a touching tribute to the victims and first responders.
David Ortiz stood in the infield in his special BOSTON jersey with a large American flag draped over the Green Monster behind him, and he spoke to the fans and to a national TV audience. Ortiz explained that their jerseys did not say Red Sox today but instead Boston. He went on to thank the Mayor of Boston, the Governor of Massachusetts, and the Boston Police Department. He then said “This is our fucking city and no one is going to dictate our freedom.” He thanked the crowed and yelled “Stay Strong” as he walked off the field. League Commissioner Bud Selig was probably not too fond of Ortiz’s speech but the crowed went absolutely wild. Maybe using the F word was a little unorthodox but I think it showed passion and it made it clear that Ortiz is not just an athlete getting paid to be there. He is a Bostonian even if he’s not originally from Boston.
What happened in on April 15th was terrible. But it was Patriots Day in Boston and it is only fitting that we feel Patriotic about this amazing country and its amazing resolve. Maybe things like the Bruins game the other night and today’s Red Sox game seem silly to some people. And after something so terrible happens, you realize that these are just games and they are not that important in the grand scheme of things. But I’m a New Yorker. I screamed my lungs out when Mike Piazza hit the game winning home run against the Braves in the first game in New York after September 11th. I also stayed up late into the night to watch three amazing World Series games in the Bronx that October/November. Sports, at a time like this, may not be that important but they serve as a distraction. More importantly, they give us a reason to cheer again.
Below is a link to a video of David Ortiz’s stirring pre-game speech.
This Is Our F**king City