Thursday, October 21, 2004

My wife works at a hospital near fenway park, and got off her shift just as the sox won game 7 of the ALCS. We met near fenway, because she was advised not to drive home (that was excellent advice). The walk to and from Fenway was amazing. Every car horn blared, every person smiled. Complete strangers were high-fiving and clapping for one another. It's a cliche, but the crowd was electric and completely spontaneous. People just walked out of their apartments and started cheering; the crowd naturally streamed toward Fenway. The spontaneity made the night fun for me, but I think the complete lack of direction ultimately made the crowd dangerous. Morons and hoodlums take advantage of moments like last night. 98% of the crowd is just caught up in the moment, jovial, and full of camaraderie. Because the crowd's energy is undirected, the bad actors in the crowd tend to pull everyone into trouble. For the World Series, the city needs to plan more than police presence. They need to plan a direction for the crowd -- something for everyone to do besides milling around in the streets. That way, the police will be better able to remove the riff-raff from the crowd. When was the last time someone lit a fire inside Fenway? Most of the crowd is focused on the game, so the morons are easy to eject. The city shouldn't expect things to be safe if they are just going to watch as people "have a little fun". Everyone knows that Kenmore is the place to be after a series victory -- so the streets should be closed in advance, and police should be in control of the crowd as it forms. A successful plan would keep things tame and prevent the need for riot control techniques like the one that killed Victoria Snelgrove. Boston.com / News / Local / Mass. / College student dies after police shoot projectile into postgame crowd

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