Fenway to Install Swear Jars for Opening Day

 

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Fenway officials have been reporting a steady rise in game-related quarrels at Fenway Park throughout the past few years. Understandably, this hostility has become a cause for concern among parents who intend for a wholesome day at the Park. The frequency at which the f-bombs fly is too often for the wellbeing of the littlest Sox fans, and tensions easily escalate from an exchange of curse words to a beer-spilling, sticky-fisted brawl.

giphyGiven this growing concern over game-day safety, Fenway Park has initiated a strategy to make Red Sox games a more family-friendly experience. Just in time for Opening Day, Fenway will be installing Swear Jars designed with Smart Technology throughout the park. Designed by current MIT undergrads, the digitally-encrypted Swear Jar will emit a high-pitched squeal until the offender places a dollar bill inside.

Key figures of the community have begun to show their solidarity for the Park’s newest amendmentDunkin’ Donuts will be offering a tasty incentive for those who comply with the provision. After swear-free games, DD’s has pledged to give away free coffee to local Bostonians. Even Mayor Marty Walsh weighed in on the initiative, expressing his disgust for the current state of the park, and demanded the debauchery come to a screeching halt. “Boston is a world class city,” the Mayor said at a recent press conference, “it’s about time we started fakin’ acting like it.” Screen Shot 2016-03-25 at 1.13.37 PM

Since the Red Sox riot in 2004, Fenway’s Board of Directors have been busy brainstorming ways to buckle down on game-day raucous. In early 2007, members of the committee attempted to enact a “dry-park” policy, but later realized that fans would sneak in a fresh brewski one way or another. Not until recent years did they agree that curtailing offensive language would be the most viable solution in reducing the risk of altercations amongst fans.

When we reached out to hear the fans’ opinions on the no-swearing policy, we ran into Sean Sullivan of Medford. Sullivan was seen protesting the new ordinance on Lansdowne Street, holding a sign reading “NERDS SUCK.” When we interviewed him, he had a lot to get off his chest. “Lemme tell yah somethin’ ‘bout these dorky li’l MIT kids,” Sullivan took a drag of his cigarette, “me n’ my cousin Donny’ve been comin’ to this fakin’ park since I was a freakin’ twinkle in my dad’s friggin’ eye and no Cambridge nerd’s gonna make a fakin’ stupid li’l beepin’ box tellin’ me I can’t enjoy myself.” Crushing his cigarette under his New Balances, Sullivan raised his head to look up at the back of the scoreboard, ”it’s just wicked fakin’ stupid.”

Although we can’t agree with Sean’s sentiments exactly, we believe that censoring the fans may censor the experience. Could Fenway be overstepping their boundaries this time? What are your thoughts?

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This is a fictional blogpost. Have a great fakin’ day.

Get Prouder of Your Chowder

February 25th is a day to commemorate. It’s National Clam Chowder Day, a joyous holiday where New Englanders celebrate and remember the trials and tribulations clam chowder has overcome throughout the ages. With endless battles waged over the evolution of its ingredients, like pork, tomatoes, and even the clams themselves, clam chowder hasn’t always been the culinary masterpiece we enjoy at The Fours today.

 

Fours Blog_clam chow

Will the real clam chowder please stand up?

Though chowder (a.k.a. “chowdah”) dates back to the sixteenth century, the addition of potatoes, clams, and maybe even tomatoes if you’re willing to pick a fight or two, has made it a modern staple of northeastern life. But how did it all begin?

If you’re asking yourself, which came first, the chicken or the egg–you’re probably thinking of egg drop soup. And besides, it was pork. The oldest chowder recipe in print, in fact, called for pork, a version we don’t see much anymore–but we’ll try anything once. By 1796 the cookbook “American Cookery” by Amelia Simmons listed bass and potatoes in its recipe, but by 1836 Lydia Maria Child finally tossed in clams and beer, officially making it our favorite.

Because clams were so easy to get on the shore, they caught on quick, and to this day remain the main ingredient in most variations of that thick, creamy goodness we can’t get enough of. But what are these “other” variations? (See also: imposters).

For starters, there’s Manhattan Clam Chowder, which has tomatoes, an ingredient we New Englanders would prefer stay in our tomato soup. Long Island chowder, however, combines both the cream and tomato-based broths into a concoction only Long Islanders could call clam chowder. At The Fours, like the true New Englanders we are, we always stick to a bowl of the classic creamy, tomato-less stuff.

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Manhattan Clam Chowder, (cough) you’re doing it wrong, (cough).

In fact, New Englanders take their classic recipe so seriously it was almost legislated. In 1939, Maine representative Cleveland Sleeper tried to legally ban tomatoes from all clam chowders in Maine, going so far as to draft bills around this grave chowder injustice. His proposed punishment for breaking the ban? Digging clams at high tide–a near impossible feat for even the most experienced of clammers.

And so the Maine Hotel Association did what any sane and chowder-pious New Englander would do in the situation: hosted a chowder contest. To no one’s surprise, Sleeper’s classic New England recipe beat its reddened rival from Manhattan, and all of Maine could rest easy.

With this rich history in mind, we celebrate the momentous day with a spoon in hand and pockets full of extra crackers, never prouder of our chowdah. May we never forget the ingredients our ancestors fought ladle and pot over and may we always consider New England Clam Chowder a regional treasure. Happy National Clam Chowder Day!

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Waiting for you at The Fours

How to Explain Your Love for Tom Brady to Someone Who Just Doesn’t Understand.

 

You know, mama always said green wasn’t a flattering color.

If we are being completely honest with ourselves, we all know the internet doesn’t need another blog post fawning over the cannon-armed deity. We get it, you get it. We all get it. He’s a two-time NFL MVP, a ten-time Pro Bowler, a (count ‘em) four-time Super Bowl champion (three of which he claims Super Bowl MVP). The jawline that has captured the hearts of countless Americans has also thrown over 30 miles worth throughout his career. Dare we mention that our sweet Tommy boy has more Super Bowl wins than the entire Manning family? Oh, we do. we do dare.
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Now, if you’re not already convinced, let’s throw some appreciation toward the man behind the mouth guard. 

First and foremost, he’s the classic underdog. After graduating from University of Michigan in 2000, with an appropriately fluffed résumé for the average post-grad, Brady was drafted by the New England Patriots in the sixth round at #199, a compensatory pick. If you remember, Brady was chosen after Giovanni Carmazzi. What ever happened to that guy, anyway? Oh right. He’s now a yogi, herding goats in the California countryside. A decision so regretful there’s even a documentary about it.

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When asked if he was discouraged by the low-ranking pick Brady replied, “I don’t think disappointment is the word. Whether it’s the second or sixth round, I think everyone starts on the same level.” What a classy son of a gun.

Outside of his legendary athletic career, Brady can be found at Best Buddies, a nonprofit organization that assists individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This past fall, when advocating for trainer Alex Guerrero’s controversial methods, Brady became impassioned about the state of children’s nutrition. In an interview with WEEI 93.7 Brady said,  “You’ll probably go out and drink Coca-Cola and think, ‘€˜Oh yeah, that’s no problem.’ Why? Because they pay lots of money for advertisements to think that you should drink Coca-Cola for a living? No, I totally disagree with that. And when people do that, I think that’s quackery. And the fact that they can sell that to kids? I mean, that’s poison for kids. But they keep doing it.”

His philanthropy doesn’t stop there! To raise money for AIDs research, Brady donated a ‘slap on the butt’. After throwin’ around the ol’ pigskin with Mr. California Cool, Brady would “slap [the winner] on the butt and tell them they did a good job, whether they did or not.” He adds, “and, yes, your wife can watch.”

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Don’t leave him hangin’.

This Brady rant wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the epic friendship trio of our generation. Brady, Gronk, and Edelman. A bromance for the ages. They’re like if some of the kids from The Sandlot grew up to be multi-millionaires with supermodel wives. The rag-tag triangle of football royalty have a history of teasing one another through their social media pages, leaving readers with a tear in their eye.

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However, this teasing does not go without some well-earned affection from Big T. In an interview with ESPN, an anonymous teammate said, “He always kind of calls guys ‘Babe’. I was confused [at first]. I was like, ‘Did he just call me babe?’ But he kind of talks to guys like that, like, ‘Hey, babe.’ It’s the California boy in him, I guess.” Even Edelman admitted that he can’t resist loving Tom Brady.

 

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Finally, how can we go on without mentioning Brady’s modesty? Where many doe-eyed football youngsters yearn for the big bucks; after a grueling day of kicking up turf, Brady just wanted to go home to a clean pair of socks. His good friend Aaron Shea recollected, “I’m like, ‘That’s all you want?’ And he goes, ‘Yeah, that’s what I want. I love new socks.'”

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Yet, we must admit, all this admiration doesn’t compare to the superfans who stole $2,200 worth of Brady jerseys from a Natick store. Or that one guy who got Tom Brady’s name inscribed into his lip. …Or the couple that postponed their honeymoon until Brady was allowed to take the field. But most importantly, how could we forget that guy who has Tom Brady’s helmet tattooed onto his head? It’s a good look.  

There really is no better place for a helmet tattoo.

There really is no better place for a helmet tattoo.

 

Although our golden guy won’t be in Santa Clara this Super Bowl 50, Brady walked away from this Sunday’s game stating, “I’m proud of all the guys for what they tried to accomplish. We just came up one play short to a very good football team.” Tom truly puts the “gentle” in gentleman. Love you, man.

It's all about the eye-contact.

It’s all about the eye-contact.

Sip on This: The History of Guinness

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What does a glass of Guinness mean to you? Most of us see the beer as a symbol of Ireland and – naturally – a St. Patty’s Day staple. What we may forget is that this dark, characteristic brew comes with a rich, lengthy history. Let’s take a look at where it all began.

 

A Brief History

It all started with Arthur Guinness– a man who would later become a legend. At the age of 27, he set up shop in Dublin and took a shot at the brewing industry. In 1759, he signed a 9000-year lease on a run-down brewery at a wicked good rate of £45 a year.

At the time, a dark beer called porter was all the rage in England and Ireland. This prompted Guinness’s decision to say goodbye to ales and focus on producing a dark brew.

By the early 1900’s the brewery became a beer-making machine. Many nicknamed it a “city within in a city”, with good reason too. The company had a medical department, a fire brigade, restaurants and everything in between.

Guinness Brewery at St. James’s Gate.

Guinness Brewery at St. James’s Gate.

Finally in 1959, Guinness Draught – the beer we all know – was born. The company continues to grow, prosper, and innovate with no signs of slowing down.

 

Why We Love It 

1. It’s Good For You

At least we’d like to think so. A 20-ounce pint of the dark brew is only 210 calories. That’s not bad when you realize a glass of milk has 150. Plus, it’s rich in iron and antioxidants.

2. Attention to Detail

Pouring a Guinness isn’t like pouring any other beer – it’s a process that requires skill. Bartenders need to know what they’re doing. The beer is poured through a five-hole disk restrictor plate for extra nitrogen, and needs to be shifted twice. The perfect pint takes 119.5 seconds to pour, and it’s like a mini-ritual each time.

3. It Created a Great Book

The Guinness Book of World Records was created as a promotional tool in 1954. It was meant to be a marketing giveaway that bartenders could use to settle bar disputes. It became a huge success and is one of the oldest publishing sensations. 

4. You Can Do More Than Just Drink It

Guinness works great in kitchen. There are tons of recipes that include the beer: stews, cakes, breads – you name it.

5. It’s a Celebration

Having a Guinness isn’t an excuse to celebrate. Instead, it’s a reminder that sometimes we don’t need one.

Now that’s something to drink to.

A Hockey Legend and His Mask

 

Gerry Cheevers

Gerry Cheevers

Before Bruins legend Gerry Cheevers, hockey goalies had been content wearing a plain, white mask. In fact, goalies had only just started wearing masks. Jaque Plante was the first goalie to wear a mask full-time, and Cheevers and a few other goalies had followed suit. The mask was made and used for protection – nothing more, nothing less. One day changed all of that.

In the late 1960’s, a puck hit Cheevers in the mask during practice. Since Cheevers liked any excuse to get out of practice, he went off the ice to take a breather. His coach demanded he get back to practice, but before he did, trainer John “Frosty” Forristall drew a big stich mark on the mask where Cheevers would have gotten stiches if he had not been wearing a mask. His teammates found the stich mark to be comical, but what started off, as a joke became part of Cheever’s legacy.

Gerry Cheevers

Gerry Cheevers

 

Cheevers liked the stitch mark decoration and began adding more marks every time his mask took a blow. Forristall helped identify where the puck would have hit his face and how many stiches he would have had to get. Cheevers expressed his dislike for the original mask, “I hated white. It reminded me of purity, which was not the case the way I played goal.” Described as an “aggressive” and “instinctive” player, Cheevers playing style was anything but pure. Another innovation Cheevers adapted was widening the eyes slots so he could see the puck better. Many goalies adapted this improvement in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

The innovative goalie used primarily his marked up mask his entire career – with only one game mask and nine or ten practice masks throughout the years. Many other goalies started to follow his example. John Davidson began wearing a Lone Ranger design on his mask in the late 1970’s. Nowadays, mask designs are very common and what started off as a decoration is now part of hockey culture.

Modern day hockey masks

Modern day hockey masks

Hockey mask aside – is Cheevers still considered legendary? Absolutely. Cheevers was a remarkable player. A former minor league coach described Cheevers as “the most exciting goalie you’ll ever see.” During his career, he posted 230 wins, 102 losses, 2.89 goals against the played average, and was undefeated 33 consecutive games – a record that remains unbroken. In 1985, Cheevers and his mask were inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame

 

What started out as a marked-up goalie mask became a symbol and an inspiration to other goalies and fans alike. Gerry Cheevers is a reminder that we never know how an icon will be created.

A Visual Evolution: The Patriots

Founded in 1960, The New England Patriots are the “new kid” of Boston sports teams (the Red Sox started in 1901, the Bruins started in 1924, and the Celtics started in 1946). Despite the Pats’ short history, the team has endured a whirlwind of changes before achieving the look we know and love today.

Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots

Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots

Visual Origins.

 The first ever logo sported on the Patriots’ uniform was a simple, blue, tri-cornered hat worn on the Patriots’ helmet. This logo had one year of playing time before it was swiftly replaced with it’s legendary substitute in 1961: Pat Patriot.

The Patriots made their debut on the field in white helmets with a blue tri-cornered hat logo.

The Patriots made their debut on the field in white helmets with a blue tri-cornered hat logo.

Pat Patriot.

Still recognizable to die-hard Patriot fans, Pat Patriot was a favorite to fans and players alike. He was designed by Phil Bissell, a Boston Globe cartoonist, shortly after the paper ran a contest that resulted in the team being named “The Boston Patriots”. Billy Sullivan, the owner of the Patriots at the time, paid Bissell $100 for permission to use Pat Patriot on the team’s stationary. After a year, Pat made it on the team’s helmets. He could also be found on jerseys, pendants and other merchandise.

In 1965, Pat got an upgrade. It was decided that the design of 1961 needed a humanistic makeover to look less like a comic book character and more like a viable mascot. Changes included: a more detailed outfit, a more realistic face, and colored-in flesh.

The original Patriot Pat logo designed by Phil Bissell, 1961.

The original Patriot Pat logo designed by Phil Bissell, 1961.

The Patriot Pat logo redesigned in-house, 1965.

The Patriot Pat logo redesigned in-house, 1965.

In honor of their 20th anniversary (1979), the Boston Patriots renamed themselves “The New England Patriots” and let fans vote between having a new logo or keeping Pat Patriot. The fans overwhelmingly chose Pat. He stayed around for the next 14 years.

Time for Change.

The original Flying Elvis logo designed by Micéal Chamberlain and rejected by fans, 1979.

The original Flying Elvis logo designed by Micéal Chamberlain and rejected by fans, 1979.

The Patriots were getting tired of using Pat as their logo. While he was very popular with the players, fans, and management, he was a complicated logo to reproduce. Each time Pat was used in a different medium, he had to be tweaked.

In 1993, the Patriots ditched Pat and replaced him with a bolder, simpler logo designed by Stan Evenson and his intern Ken Loh. The new logo looked a lot like the Flying Elvis logo (created by Micéal Chamberlain) that had been rejected in 1979. Evenson admitted that he had seen sketches from the 1979 design but claimed that there was no real connection between the two designs. Check out the new logo’s evolution here.

The new Flying Elvis logo designed by Steven Emerson and Ken Loh, 1993.

The new Flying Elvis logo designed by Steven Emerson and Ken Loh, 1993.

Making History.

The new logo has survived for 22 years with only minor alterations. For 45 years, the Patriot’s visual brand has evolved alongside the team to make it the legendary team it is today.

We hope this logo sticks around. Who knows? Maybe one day, the Patriot’s Flying Elvis will join Patriot Pat up on our walls as another piece of Boston sports history.

Ortiz Ranks in Top Three Red Sox All-Time Greatest Home Run Hitters

When we think of the greatest hitters in Red Sox’ history, Ted Williams comes to mind. It’s no surprise that he had been dominating the team’s batting records since the 60’s, but with David Ortiz recently batting the 500th home run of his career, it raises the question: where does Ortiz rank within the all-time hitters of the Red Sox? Let’s compare the top Red Sox players with the highest home run records, and have the statistics speak for themselves.

 

1. Ted Williams

Ted Williams

Ted Williams

Years Played for the Red Sox: 1939-1960 (19 years)

Total Home Runs: 521

Total Hits: 2,654

Batting Average: .344

Highest Batting Average in a season: .407

 

Ted Williams was a pretty impressive guy (to say the least), and not only because he holds the highest total home run record of 521 for the Red Sox. He was also a Marine Fighter Pilot for the U.S. during World War II. In 1943, right when his untouchable baseball career was beginning, Williams left his team for the Marine Core (a team that probably needed him even more). He didn’t return to the Red Sox until 1946, but he wasn’t done with military career either. He continued into active duty as a Marine combat aviator for the Korean War in 1952, while continuing playing professionally for the Red Sox. Even with those years he took off of the team while fighting for our country, Williams still achieved the greatest home run average on the Red Sox and is ranked the 9th best hitter of all-time. When he passed in 2002, not only did we loose “the greatest hitter who ever lived,” but also a true American. May he never be forgotten.

 

2. David Ortiz

David Ortiz

David Ortiz

Years played for the Red Sox: 2003-Present (12 years)

Years playing professionally: 19 years

Total Home Runs: 500

Total Home Runs for Red Sox: 442

Total Hits: 2,289

Batting Average: .284

Highest Batting Average in a season: .327

 

This past Saturday, September 13th Ortiz hit his 500th home run in his career, but we cannot forget that he played briefly for the Minnesota Twins for the first five years of his career. He is ranked number three (so far) in Red Sox history, but number two if we include the part of his career where he didn’t play for us New Englanders (I guess we’ll forgive him). Bottom line, Ortiz is making history among the other greatest hitters of the Sox. Although, it seems that Ted Williams will hold the record for highest home runs in his 19 years for now, who knows what is to come for Red Sox history.

 

3. Carl Yastrzemski

Red Sox Team 1980

Red Sox Team 1980

Years played for the Red Sox: 1961-1983 (23 years)

Total Home Runs: 452

Total Hits: 3,419

Batting Average: .285

Highest Batting Average in a season: .329

 

For “Yaz,” 1967 seemed to just be his year, winning the American League Triple Crown (an award based on batting averages, home runs, and runs batted). No other batter had won one of these prestigious awards until Miguel Cabrera, 45 years later. That same year, he was also voted Most Valuable Player as an outfielder. Next time you’re at Fenway Park, stop by his statue and see the great man for yourself. As if you really needed another reason to go to a Red Sox home game.

 

Ortiz is among some monumental hall of famers, and his career is still alive and well. Who knows what other accomplishments he’ll make of himself, besides being a three-time World Series champion (Woo go Red Sox!). The Red Sox have a vast history of some of the most powerful and unbelievable players in baseball, so unfortunately we couldn’t honor them all. Let’s end this season with a bang, and keep striding for those record breakers. Good job Ortiz; we’re all proud parents to you.