USA Today Sports

Setting the record straight about the Red Sox parade beer-tossing incidents

Alex Reimer
November 01, 2018 - 9:46 am

Over the last few years, flying aluminum Bud Light cans have become synonymous with Boston championship parades. During the Patriots’ Rolling Rallies in 2015 and 2017, some revelers tossed cheap beer and nips of Fireball in Rob Gronkowski’s direction, with spectacular results. The Patriots’ tight end chugged the discount-priced booze all the way through the Back Bay, and the crowd went wild. 

Outside of Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, who chastised Gronk for drinking in public and running afoul of the law, seemingly nobody took issue with the frat star antics. Championship parades on weekdays are largely for college kids, anyway. Let them connect with their favorite sports stars through the power of shared Natty Lights.

With that recent history in mind, it’s not surprising select individuals who attended the Red Sox parade Wednesday –– on Halloween, nonetheless –– also tossed some bottled or canned alcohol towards the duck boats. Some of the time, the players caught the beverages and drank them. David Price, Chris Sale, Rick Porcello and other members of the pitching staff particularly shined. 

But inevitably, a few rowdy onlookers took the act too far. Some beer cans were hurled towards the duck boats from afar, rather than gently tossed from close proximity, resulting in some injuries and an irritated Alex Cora. One underaged fan was arrested for hitting Cora with beer, and an innocent bystander went to the hospital for injuries after getting pelted with a can. The World Series trophy suffered some minor damage as well.

After the parade, Mookie Betts voiced his frustration, saying the beer throwing has “definitely got to stop.” It’s apparent there will be an edict during the next championship celebration, which at the rate we’re going, should take place in only a matter of months. 

Given the inherent danger of throwing around aluminum cans, it was only a matter of time before this practice took a turn for the worse. A few people took the newfound tradition too far, and now it’s time to dial it back. Simple enough. But to some, the story doesn’t end there. 

Unsurprisingly, select national media types have used these incidents as another excuse to indict Boston sports fans with boorish behavior. MLB Insider Jon Heyman said Boston is “strangest mix of intellectuals and imbeciles,” while Giants beat writer Henry Schulman sarcastically told the city to “never change” when commenting on a tweet about the beer throwing.

It doesn’t help that last month, a Patriots fan was arrested for splashing beer on Chiefs wideout Tyreek Hill after a touchdown catch. 

Sports pundits who live outside of Boston will always look for ways to demean the city. And frankly, they can’t be blamed. In case you haven’t heard, our teams do lots of winning around here.

So these latest accusations of widespread debauchery are not worth getting all that upset over. But to set the record straight: the beer tossing is not new, nor was it universally rejected. Per usual, some (presumably) drunken dullards ruined it for everybody. This was inevitable.