“I made the hat for the Patriot’s Day game in ’94. I thought of it after a few beers on a Friday night. For the [’99] All-Star game, I wanted to turn things up a notch. It was like, ‘What can i do?’ I’m sitting there at work and I’m bored at my cubicle. All of sudden, “Wait a minute, I could paint my big fat belly.’ I was like 30 to 40 pounds lighter at the time. But I still had a pretty good size belly. So I took the Red Sox bumper sticker off my cubicle wall, enlarged it on the photocopy machine like three or four times and made a stencil. Now I’m so fat it takes a helluva lot of paint and you gotta reach way around. I learned you gotta kind of paint from this side to this side or else you smudge it. [Director] Peter Farrelly came up to me and said, ‘I want to put you in a [“Fever Pitch”] scene. Can you handle carrying two beers to the concourse?’ I go, ‘Peter, look at me, it’s like I’ve been rehearsing for this moment for the last 25 years.’ We did a dozen takes and I didn’t spill a drop.”
Mike Shuster, Foxboro, Mass.
“I’ve been here since Saturday at 3 o’clock. …I study chemistry, math and pre-med at Simmons College. I’m just dropping off my tent and my sleeping bag and all my homework that I’ve been doing all weekend. Someone has to get a pen and give everyone a number or else people just cut overnight or be like, ‘Oh no, I was in my tent, you just didn’t see me.’ So we went down last night and gave everyone a number on their hand so then in the morning when it’s time, and you say, ‘You were in the back,’ they say, ‘No I wasn’t.’ and you say ‘Where you number?’ So people don’t start riots or anything. I give out the numbers. I’m the number person.”
Katherine Centrella, Harwich, Mass.
“We’re doing the color guard today. There’s about 25 of us, all from recruiting stations within the Boston district. Of course [I’m a Red Sox fan], I’m 31 years old, so I guess [I’ve been a Red Sox fan] for 31 years. I’ve been in the Marines eight years. This is the first time that I’ve actually done the flag ceremony. I’m very motivated for the color guard ceremony and the game. I graduated in ’93 and I didn’t go into the Marines straight out of high school. I wish I would have, but I worked at Federal Express for a couple of years first and then wen into the Marines in ’97. I graduated from Putnam High School in Springfield. When they drape the flag, we’re gonna catch it and keep it from touching the floor.”
Sgt. Damon Zeigler, Springfield, Mass.
“I’m sort of a pseudo-celebrity myself. I’ve done commercials, movies, stuff like that. Like the iPod commercial, I’m one of the silhouettes. I’m a big fan [of Opie and Anthony]. I’m a character on their show. They call me the donkey sausage girl, which has a lot of different connotations behind it. WOW is Whip ‘em Out Wednesday. But it also means Whip ‘em Out Whenever. So if a guy says it, you have to pull up your shirt. I’m actually from Jersey. So I’m a New Yorker. I don’t really have a hometown. I would say New York City cause that’s where I was born. I’m half [Red Sox fan] and half [Yankees] fan. I used to live here in Boston. I’m truly a Yankees fan, but you can’t beat the Sox. Can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, right? That’s what they say.”
Corinne Rizary, New Jersey.
I’ve been a Red Sox fan since forever. I left here in ’86 to go [to Las Vegas] and I run a sports book now. I make the odds for the sports book in one of the casinos. [The Red Sox] are 5 to 2 to win the pennant and 4 to 1 to win the World Series. The Yankees are the favorite. 7 To 5 to win the pennant and 5 to 2 to win the series. The Yankees are favored [in today’s game] with us right now, the Yankees are favored minus 125 the red sox are plus 115. Now obviously the odds in Boston are different because everyone is going to bet the Red Sox. So instead of minus 125 it might be a pick ‘em game because it depends what city you’re in. [Everyone in Boston picks the red sox today] because they’re excited to watch the game, they won the World Series. They feel they can’t lose. This is the greatest city in the world as far as I’m concerned. But you can’t bet with your heart, you have to bet with your mind.
Brian Adamaitis, Las Vegas, Nevada.
“I grew up in L.A., but I live in Cambridge. We were here for two of the World Series games. And for the New York Series. We have season tickets. We’ve been fans since the 1986 World Series. Up ’tip then we were Dodgers fans, and we just got intrigued and kept watching. So I’m not a life-timer. I’ve been to games in Seattle, Baltimore, Chicago, but that’s it. I’m a little skittish about going to Yankee Stadium.”
Valerie Bradley, Cambridge, Mass.
Dad (Stephen Papazian): “This is their first game.” Mom (Peggy Papazian): “We didn’t tell them until this morning…and then they didn’t believe us.” Dad: “I’ve been to [about] five [opening day] games. My brother’s been to about 15, 16 straight, maybe even more. So it’s exciting.” Danny, 7, and Robbie, 8: [What’s your favorite part of Fenway?] “The green monster!” [Who’s your favorite player?] Jay Payton. Jay Payton. [What was your favorite game of the World Series?]: “The fourth game…against the Cardinals.”
Papazian Family, Shrewsbury, Mass.