What's the easiest way to have more fun than you ever thought possible while watching sports in Boston? Start cheering against the Boston teams. Seriously.
Go into Fenway Park, wait for the Sox to screw up, stand up, and start clapping as loud as you can.
Go into a sports bar, wait for the Yankees or whoever the Sox are playing to hit a home run, and let out a short shout.
You'll certainly draw attention, and you may draw shouts. But as you soon realize, the more jeering from Sox fans, the better.
I came to Boston four years ago indifferent about Boston sports teams. Back in the fall of 2004, I felt the excitement as the Red Sox won four straight against the Yankees, joined in the riots when they won the Series, and celebrated the end of one of the most storied curses in sports.
But then I had to deal with the aftermath. An entire city of people, obsessed with this team. People who had never seen a baseball game in their life were wearing Red Sox hats. There was an expectation for success and a complete lack of humility that was entirely unappealing as a long-time baseball fan.
This feeling extended beyond baseball too, with the Super Bowl winning Patriots. And that's when I realized that I could have so much more fun here. Here are steps to follow to optimize your enjoyment:
1. Find a place with real fans. If you can't get into the stadium, try a local sports bar.
2. Don't reveal your resentment towards the Boston team right away. Start out being the quiet guy who doesn't like to cheer, flying under the radar.
3. When something good happens for the Sox, make note of the die-hard fans around you. These are the guys who you know will be drunk by the fifth inning.
4. When there's a positive for the Sox's opposition, even if it's just a faint glimmer of hope, let out a single clap. Loud enough for everyone to hear, but not sustained enough to get them looking where it came from.
5. Wait for something big to happen against the Sox, and then stand up and clap, cheer, or do whatever you want to celebrate. Keep going until you get at least one shout back from that die-hard fan that you know you're upsetting.
6. Gauge the sobriety of the die-hard fans. Like most things in this world, the danger you're in can be represented by a normal distribution, so try your best to stay in the tails (where the people around you have either had very little or very much to drink).
7. Hope Boston loses. If they do, you can bask in glory with those few other people around you on your side. It usually won't work out in your favor (such as the last World Series), but when it does, it's worth it (such as the last Super Bowl).