Last night my plan was to study and go to bed at a reasonable hour in preparation for an early work-out class. Though, my plan didn’t last long when the screams and sounds of cheering filled the air. It was like a surround-sound, unison cheer from the whole campus. I could hear cheers next door, down the hall, the floor below me, the dorm hall next door, and from every other inch of the campus. My friends and I had originally planned to attend the festivities until we realized we had exams and other papers due. So as I listened to the cheers and screams of the Red Sox‘s victorious win, I persuaded myself to try and go back to bed. Only then did I hear feet running quickly down the halls, and then the stairs. Doors were swinging open and people were rushing to the stairs. Out of curiosity I peered out my window to see people rushing from dorms and sprinting towards downtown Durham. Fleeing from everywhere it seemed- people running over lawns, jumping benches, doing whatever they could to get downtown.
Well at this point I had seen enough to be coerced out of going to my morning class. Banging on my neighbors door, I dragged her downtown with me to join the crowds. It was a sort of euphoric pandemonium. The street was filled with people jumping up and down, climbing on friend’s shoulders, trees, and everyone was singing and chanting. The ecstatic energy was contagious and I too was screaming out the lyrics to “Sweet Caroline.” Now, this is where I intervene and say that I, in no way condone any activity that involves police involvement and I’m not encouraging any illegal activities. I’m instead stating the plan and simple, juicy, exciting facts of what happens at a New England university when the Red Sox win the World Series. When the police showed up. it was because the road was blocked due to some rowdy students damaging property. Because it was so late, I began to feel like I was in a movie seeing police in black uniforms with plastic shields, arm-in-arm. The police soon formed a lined wall across Main Street and slowly began encroaching on the massive crowd. People began fleeing, jumping over cars and screaming with laughter and in fear when cans of pepper spray were released. After a few minutes of crazy pandemonium, everyone retreated back to their dorms, smiles on their faces.
Again, I’m not encouraging behavior that would call for police disciplinary action, but what I am saying is the college environment for an event like the Red Sox winning the World Series was incredible. Friends of mine posted videos from Plymouth State, Keene State, and University of Massachusetts of their post-game student gatherings. Let me tell you, University of New Hampshire was the most exciting. The other schools seemed like a discombobulated crowed of angry students cheering senselessly, damaging property, but thankfully UNH has spirit. The energy was infectious, everyone was grinning and celebrating together. Everyone was friendly, cheering and singing, arm-in-arm. An amazing spectacle of the true Wildcat spirit.