Fans around area celebrate Red Sox’s historic win

Christine Haskell put $25 on the Red Sox winning the World Series when she went to Las Vegas in February.

She immediately called her dad to tell him the good news.

“I broke the curse!” Haskell told him. “Eighty-six years and this is all it took.”

Haskell and her fellow superstitious Sox fans packed the Smokey Bones Restaurant in Tyngsborough, Mass., on Wednesday night to watch the almost unimaginable become a reality – Red Sox becoming World Series champions.

“We’re here tonight in the name of our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents,” Tyngsborough resident Jim Miller said during the top of the fifth, with the Sox ahead of the Cardinals 3-0.

Miller, sitting in the restaurant with three buddies (one a St. Louis fan), reminisced about last year’s playoffs.

He and friend Ed Graham, also of Tyngsborough, sat in the same booth for Game 7 of the American League Championship Series in 2003 when the Sox lost to the Yankees.

Miller would not sit in the same seat in the booth this year, just in case the bad luck carried over.

During this year’s Sox-Yankees ALCS, Miller watched the first three games at local bars. After realizing he was out for every loss, Miller watched the fourth game – the beginning of the end for the Yankees – lying in his bed.

After that, Graham said Miller didn’t move from his bed for Games 5, 6 and 7, just to be safe.

Nashua residents Brian Lavallee and Mark Zawodny were a little less superstitious and a little more confident Wednesday night. They stopped by Home Depot before the game and picked up two brooms to symbolize what Boston would do to St. Louis.

“We’re going to sweep the Cardinals tonight,” Lavallee said, raising his broom in the air.

Lavallee and Zawodny arrived at Smokey Bones just before the game started, but they were too late to get a table. They stood behind the bar, right in front of four of the restaurant’s 45 televisions, decked out in Red Sox gear.

In the top of the third, when David Ortiz hit a double that sent Manny Ramirez to third base, Lavallee and Zawodny reached for their brooms, clapping and cheering excitedly with their fellow fans.

In the top of the eighth, when Trot Nixon doubled, Steve Picano of Dracut, Mass., and his buddies high-fived around the table. Picano, a lifelong Red Sox fan had been at Smokey Bones since 6:30 p.m. in anticipation of the game.

“This will be my greatest moment in sports if they take this. I’ve seen the Bruins, the Celtics and the Pats win a title and I’m going to be alive for this one,” Picano said.

When Orlando Cabrera was at bat with the bases loaded at the top of the eighth, the room was full of tension. People were pounding on the tables in anticipation before he struck out with a full count.

Brian Keller of Nashua, seated next to Miller and Graham, stood up in his seat with frustration despite the Sox’s three-run lead.

“Any Red Sox fan is still going to be nervous about this game,” Keller said.

When the ninth rolled around, the tension level in the room became palpable.

“Here we go. Here we go,” Picano chanted. “Three more outs. Three more outs.”

The crowd joined in with another cheer. “Let’s go Red Sox,” they said, beating on the wooden tabletops.

When Scott Roland hit a fly ball for the first Cardinal out in the ninth, Picano jumped from the table and switched his chant.

“Two more outs. Two more outs,” and then, “One more out. One more out.”

Picano ran around the restaurant giving everyone high-fives and ruffling people’s hair.

“One more out,” he repeated.

Then it happened.

The decibel level in the room reached its max. Beer was flying. Everyone, except one lone Cardinals fan, stood on their seats celebrating a day 86 years in the making.

Doug Morris, originally from St. Louis, was the only Smokey Bones patron still glued to his seat. He had only one thing to say about seeing the Red Sox finally win the World Series.

“It’s good to get all the whining over with,” Morris said.