(it should be stressed that Boston pedestians are hardly the only persons to have shouted obscenities at a guy wearing a “Manning, No. 10” jersey)
The Globe’s Matt Viser sent a guy donning an Eli Manning jersey around various congested public places in downtown Boston “to test a theory that local sports fans are getting complacent in victory.” The results were somewhat less than shocking.
Drivers rolled down windows to hurl expletives, pedestrians wearing Patriots garb stopped in mid-step to point, yell, and snicker at the loser in the jersey.”Take that off!” yelled one man wearing Patriots gloves, hat, and coat.
“[Expletive] you!” said a man outside Boston University, pointing, smiling, and chuckling with glee as he climbed into his silver sedan.
One woman simply made eye contact, then stuck out her tongue. A cheery-faced man trying to collect money for a children’s charity on a Downtown Crossing street corner avoided shaking hands, saying only, “Giants? Giants?”
“Eli Manning sucks! Peyton Manning sucks! Even Archie Manning sucks!” yelled one man about 100 feet away from the store. “That’s right. You heard me.”
“What bet did you lose?” asked Scott Smith, a 31-year-old construction worker from Dorchester who has Patriots season tickets. “You’re lucky I don’t have any drinks in me.”
Near Copley Station, a truck window lowered and out came, “Giants suck!”
“You got a quarter, bro?” asked a panhandler outside of Wendy’s in Copley Square. “Hey, Eli Manning sucks!”
Though the rivalry with the Giants is barely a rivalry at all, it fits into the larger feud between the Capital of the World and the Hub of the Universe. Boston has always had a chip on its shoulder, sporting victories aside.
“We just want respect,” Bryan Puglia, a 23-year-old tuxedo salesman from Wakefield, said near the steps of the Old South Meeting House. “People should respect what we’ve done – and Spygate has nothing to do with it. We’ve proven we can go 18-0 without cheating. We’re the team to beat, we’re the elite.”