By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
The cheering is as loud as it has ever been, but it's different. There aren't as many smiles, and the cheers are more likely to come from young men in their late teens and 20s who shout their cheers like accusations. At the same time, stadium police are sent running back to the area above the Family Section: another fight. Now they run to the area around the restrooms above us: another fight. People split time between watching the U.S. put two men on with one out and swiveling their heads to find the next outbreak. It comes to our right, in a stadium tunnel. We can't see the combatants, but soon the tunnel's perimeter is lined with young men hanging over the edge, egging on the participants. They shadowbox and mouth "Boom! Boom!"
Suddenly it seems anything could happen, especially if the U.S.' Vernon Wells gets a hit now to tie or even put his team ahead. But, just as quickly, it ends when Wells hits into a game-ending double play. The crowd roars. I take Jack and head toward the aisle, pausing a moment to shake Victor's hand in a rather formal, end-of-a-successful-summit manner. We walk briskly, eyes forward, most everyone else doing the same.
We arrive at our car quickly, only to sit in it for nearly an hour, not moving at all. To our left, some female Mexico fans dance, draping themselves in the tricolor. As they dance, a man wearing an American flag do-rag wanders by. He stops and stares at them, shakes his head a bit and then, quickly turning, catches my eye and heads toward our car. My window is down, and I figure rolling it up would be construed as insulting. So I brace for what he is about to say and how I am going to explain it to my son afterward.
"Hey," he says, smiling, "you got any spare beers in there?"