It is the middle of October in Missoula, which apparently means ’tis the season to shoot things all week and don Grizzly maroon sweatshirts on Saturday afternoons. Don’t get me wrong—there’s nothing wrong with the great outdoors or college football. I love both. Just not during October. To a transplanted New Yorker, this month can mean only two things, one very good, and one very, very bad: there are the Yankees, and there are the Red Sox.
I have been watching The Rivalry, The Series (the World Series will inevitably pale in comparison) with—gasp—two Sox fans. I would be lynched if I admitted as much at home, but the pickings here are slim. The Boston boys and I easily identified each other from amongst the Press Box’s throngs of pseudo Yankee haters (none of whom were around for the nine-hour debacle that was games four and five, of which there will be no more mention in this article). The Boston boys are legit. They wear Yastrzemski jerseys and they reverently place a red towel reading “Believe” on the bar in front of them. They have that pained, warily hopeful, at times desperate Boston fan look in their eyes.
I dread Saturdays. I loathe them. The sports bar is absolutely overrun with Griz fans. If I showed up at eight in the morning I wouldn’t be able to secure my lucky seat. I tried to persevere through the madness two weeks ago, as the Yanks and Sox battled for first place. My view was obscured by a drunk bikinied girl who had “F—k UNC” written on her stomach; she was dancing with a man in a wheelchair, trying unsuccessfully to spin him and blocking the game. I obviously can’t watch at another bar. You watch from your lucky seat or you don’t watch at all. Not in October. In Missoula, my lucky spot is next to, God help me, two Red Sox fans.