With Friends Like These…

The story of two dudes rescuing the Red Sox AL East Championship banner is the only one that matters today

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Today is one of those days on the old Twitter machine where it sometimes feels like it would make more sense to toss your phone and/or your laptop into the sea than continue scrolling. Oddly enough, most days are kind of like that. Even crazier is that we even keep using Twitter. I don’t know. Maybe it’s not all that great of an idea?

Either way, today was looking pretty bleak until this tweet started showing up in my feed.

I’m not going to lie. This thing turned my entire day around.

What’s going on here, you might be asking yourself. I’m so glad you asked.

It seems like our two heroes, Louie Iacuzzi (the dude in the red t-shirt) and James Amaral (the fella in plaid) were driving around one morning. They had had their coffee and were driving in a town I couldn’t make out in the video, but thanks to Google, figure it must be Somerville, which is close to Malden, where Iacuzzi lives. Both towns are outside of Boston, home of the Red Sox, a team that is on the cusp of winning the American League East. Now traditionally, when a team wins their division, they hang a banner somewhere in the stadium commemorating the accomplishment. No one knows where those banners come from. They just drop from the rafters and that’s that.

Now the Sox have not yet clinched the American League East, but that has not stopped them from getting a jump on the banner. Unfortunately, while we must applaud their efforts when it comes to preparation, we must shake our heads disapprovingly at their skill at logistics, as the banner in question did not make it to beloved Fenway Park. Not yet at least. First, it ended up on McGrath Highway Monday morning, which is where Iacuzzi and his buddies spotted it, where Iacuzzi bravely navigated three lanes of traffic and grabbed the banner and where Iacuzzi and his buddies left with it. Yet Iacuzzi didn’t originally know what it was.

“We brought it in the car. We had know idea what it is; wrapped up in a brown paper bag,” Iacuzzi says. “The first thing I says is, this belongs to the Red Sox. This is for Fenway Park.”

Okay, that does lead me to my first question. Does Iacuzzi make a habit of running in the middle of a busy highway during rush hour to retrieve items that he does not know what the contents are? Because let’s be honest, it kind of seems that way. When you first see this story, you think, oh, that dude saw the Sox AL East banner on the street, ran and grabbed it, has a great Boston accent, and that’s that. But hold the phone kid. He didn’t know it was the Sox AL East banner. All he knew it was something and apparently that was all it took for him to jump out of his car, presumably after putting his coffee down, which was definitely from Dunkin Donuts or Cumberland Farms, and dodge cars to go grab it. It being something he had no idea what it was. It was big, it was there and that was enough to compel Iacuzzi to put his life in danger to go grab it.

Moving on.

I mean, I’m still thinking about how Iacuzzi felt the need, felt like it was civic duty apparently, to run “through (expletive,) like, three cars” to get this object that was in the middle of the road. And come on, that expletive was most certainly “fucking.”

Iacuzzi (L) and Amaral with the recovered banner

Having realized what they rescued, now our heroes are ready to return the banner to it’s rightful owner, to it’s home, beloved Fenway Park. But it’s not like they’re going to do just do it for free, which leads us to perhaps my favorite part of the video above.

“We want to give it back to them because it belongs to them,” Iacuzzi says. “And it doesn’t belong to us. But, in recipication, (psst, I think he means reciprocation, although it’s debatable if even that’s the right word for this situation) we would like to go to you know, a nice playoff game.”

“Yeah,” Amaral adds.

“We’re looking for something. We don’t want to just hand it over. We need to negotiate here. We want to…we’re looking for like…”

“We’re working too,” Amaral chimes in again. “I mean, my man had to run across three lanes of traffic.”

This dynamic duo go on to point out that they were told by the Red Sox (or someone, this isn’t made very clear) there was only one banner made, so it’s A) even more valuable and B) complete baloney if another banner were to somehow appear at Fenway somewhere down the road.

“We’re hoping they do the right thing,” Amaral says, in regards to the Red Sox possibly pulling a fast one here and simply getting another banner made as opposed to paying Iacuzzi and company for the banner they found. “We did the right thing,” he adds. “We could’ve kept it. We could’ve put in on E bay. You know, we got connections where we could’ve reselled it to other sources.”

Stop right there. No don’t stop right there. I want to hear more about Amaral’s connections in the black market of sports memorabilia. I kind of want to know more about a lot of aspects of both Iacuzzi and Amaral’s lives. Iacuzzi apparently works at a convenience store in Malden, but little else is known about Amaral. Does he also work at a convenience store in Malden? He seems a good deal younger than Iacuzzi, who is 44. How are these two friends? Are they neighbors or something? No really, Amaral looks like he’s maybe 25 or 26, so what’s he doing hanging out with a 44 year old? I’m not passing judgements, I’m just curious.

As of Wednesday, it seems as if the matter remains unresolved between the Red Sox and Iacuzzi. I suppose if a Boston Red Sox American League East Champions – 2018 banner shows up on Ebay at some point this week, we’ll have an idea how things ended up.

 

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