and I don’t know if you don’t know your better half don’t act right

Saturday started off early with some tumultuous and epic gaming that ran until 4:15 PM. Afterward, Serpico and I took the Red Line to Park Street. Underground, we ran into Kate C., waiting for a train of her own to whisk her off to Carmina Burana. “Did you know Bruce Campbell’s in town tonight?” she squealed. “Why didn’t anyone tell me?”

“You’re dating Ryan,” I reminded her. “I presumed you would have picked it up through osmosis.”

The Green Line and a short walk carried us to Boston College, where we found James F., Tom O’ and Casey grilling in a light downpour. I ate a rather watery slice of homemade pizza until Casey finished a new batch of kielbasa. We took turns heaping derision on Greg W., who had elected to avoid the annual football game against BC’s biggest rival because of a mild downpour. James raised Greg’s voicemail on his cell. “The weather’s fine,” he yelled, as rain caused the greasy grill to spout flames into Tom’s poncho. “You still have time to get here!”

Serpico and I wandered to Shea Field, the “elite” tailgating section, to try and find some friends of ours. Entering Shea in the first place requires you to cut through a sea of humanity and get your ticket inspected; this keeps out the riff-raff who would otherwise take the slowest train in Boston to BC, drink in a cramped corner of the parking lot, and then leave without seeing a football game. Past the security guards, we entered a sucking mudhole of humanity. Rows of parked SUVs funneled fans into tiny, filthy corridors. Our shoes squelched as we trudged through a crowd of hundreds, craning our necks desperately for our friends. I can’t imagine it’d be any better on a sunny day instead of a rainy evening: picture a crowd twice as dense with temperatures thirty degrees higher. We gave up after fifteen minutes and slogged back to campus. “I just bought these at the Saucony outlet,” Serpico said of his shoes.

We normally have a little breathing room in our excellent benches, a mere 15 rows back from the turf. But for the BC / Notre Dame game, every seat in the stadium sells and fills. We squeezed in asscheek to asscheek, surrounded by more out of town fans than usual. Tom did not slacken in his usual torrent of hatred, calling Charlie Weis a “fucking baby” about six minutes into the first quarter (for what, I can not recall). Serpico sporadically abused a lone Notre Dame fan six rows down from us, whose only crime (at the moment) was echoing the ref’s “out of bounds” gesture after a particularly bad Chris Crane pass. “What is that?” Serpico asked. “Is that a thing you do? Do you travel to other people’s stadiums and make gestures like that? Is that fun for you?”

A pair of drunk Notre Dame fans got ejected for sitting in the wrong seats. Despite teetering ominously, staring at the events staff in a drunken glaze and waving what looked like a Marine Corps ID card around, the argument did not go their way. Other than those jackasses, I tried to save my abuse for the opposing team (“nice one, Clausen!”), rather than the opposing team’s fans, who came all this way in the rain to see their team lose. I mostly succeeded. Mostly.

“If you get us in a fight,” I promised James, “I am not going to back you up. I’m throwing you all the way under that bus.”

Boston College beat Notre Dame, 17 to 0 – their sixth straight win over the Irish and the first blanking in … years? Decades? Something like that. Even though the game ended in the last four minutes, I stayed until the final strains of “Hail Alma Mater,” then followed Serpico to the Reservoir station. We took a weary train ride downtown, running into Michelle McN and her friends on the way.

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