Red Sox fans cause campus stir

Maria Brachelli

When the Red Sox defeated the Cardinals in game four of the World Series on Wednesday night, students gathered in the Quad for a rowdy impromptu celebration.

Fireworks, leaf throwing and chanting ensued when resident students from South and Main campuses poured into the Quad.

“Let’s go Red Sox,” “Yankees suck” and “The curse is dead” were a loud refrain among the excited fans, eager to commemorate Boston’s victory after 86 years of failed attempts.

“I will remember this forever,” said sophomore Dave Pribaz. “Tonight, my life is complete.”

His friend, sophomore Peter Gross told of his superstition about his yearly purchase of a Red Sox cigarette lighter. This year’s lighter lasted the entire season, in what he said was an omen of the victory.

Other students lit a garbage can on fire in front of Sheehan Hall, and Public Safety quickly put it out with a fire extinguisher.

Freshman Mark Allen was approached by Public Safety.

“They thought I was trying to light a fire, but I was actually putting out a cigarette,” he said.

Rowdy but generally nonviolent behavior has continued throughout the past two weeks in the run-up to Wednesday’s final game.

Rumors circulating around campus included visions of streakers, vandalism, fights and excessive drinking parties, though these rumors hold little truth according to Public Safety reports.

Junior Melissa Hardy reports that some students from her hall in Rudolph went to the trouble of setting up a projector and screen against a wall outside of the apartments to watch game three of the World Series.

“I have some friends who are Yankees fans, and all I heard when we were down 3-0 was ‘1918, 1918,’ over and over again. It would be so great to yell back at them ‘2004, 2004,'” she said.

“Everyone likes the underdog,” senior engineering student Matt Ell explains. Ell experienced firsthand the Red Sox craze during game one of the World Series in Boston.

“When I was in Boston, the atmosphere was like nothing else,” Ell said. “I think most of the craziness stems from the fact it has been a long, long time since we’ve won. You see other Sox fans going crazy at UMass.”

Ell has not seen comparable behavior at the University. “I think the stuff that has happened here is very mild in comparison,” he said. “The streaker may have even been a Yankee fan who lost a bet.”

Though there were rumors of streaking on campus related to the game, one case on Main campus and one occurring on West, Director of Public Safety Jeff Horton reported only one incident of streaking on campus the night of the last Red Sox – Yankee game. Most likely this was an act of initiation for a fraternity. The several men involved in the offense were caught running around the quad area, slightly intoxicated and diaper-clad.

“We don’t believe it had anything to do with a baseball game,” Horton said.

“Yankees fans yelled at us from their dorm rooms,” recounted freshman Tim Davenport, describing his run from South to Main campus following the Red Sox victory over the Yankees with a group of other freshman.

“Even if the Sox lose I would much rather support a team like the Red Sox, who play because they love the game, than the Yankees who put their team together solely by outspending other teams,” Davenport said.

Other incidences reported were all considered to be minor, such as the fight that broke out on main campus. It was “a minor assault,” and is being handled by Public Safety, “No arrests have been made,” Horton said.

Horton said he is surprised that this kind of unrest is occurring as a result of baseball.

“Usually, this type of excitement is associated with basketball” Horton said.

“It’s a case of celebrations getting out of hand, and we didn’t experience that here.”

Even with homecoming last week, Public Safety had reports of very minor problems. “We should all be proud that we can all act like adults when celebrating,” Horton said.