The Fourth Quarter
Harvard used the break between quarters to send in more reinforcements. For the first time, Captain Keith Kane got into the action, replacing Alexander Ladd at left tackle.
Winnie Churchill subbed for Mitchell Gatwick in the backfield.
Charles Buell replaced the quarterback, Jewell Johnson. Buell had thrown the pass against Penn State which led to the tie with the Nittany Lions the previous weekend.
Buell in for the rest of the game
Since the second half had begun, Harvard had made 8 substitutions. Centre made but 2, Rubarth for Gibson in the line, and Covington for the injured Armstrong. The Centre coaches later said they felt their team was so well conditioned that their starters could play another full quarter just as well as they had played the first 3.
Unless there was an injury, the Centre team on the turf would end the game with the same eleven which was now switching ends of the field in order to start the final 15 minutes of play.
Tiny Thornhill's line had been well-served by the rotation of first Bill Shadoan, then Richard Gibson, and finally Frank Rubarth at the right guard position. The rest of the front wall looked as fresh as it had on the opening play of the game.
Bill James was everywhere, as was Ben Cregor. George "Buck" Jones showed no sign of slowing down, nor did Minos Gordy. Ed Kubale was not only having an excellent game on offense at the important center slot, but he was holding his position on defense, and had come up with several unassisted tackles.
Fans always appreciated Terry Snowday for his addition to the Colonels' offense, whether in the backfield or at end. However, like Army, his play was almost effortless, and it would be after the game when an analysis was made that coaches and fans alike would realize that the Owensboro native had played his position perfectly, either while the Colonels were on the attack or on defense. His speed often made the difference.
And then there was Red Roberts. If there ever was an example of a "man amongst boys," it was true regarding Red during the second Centre-Harvard game.
During the 1920 contest, fans and writers felt he had been oversold insofar as his abilities on the gridiron. They had felt he was "fat;" it was written that he was "slow;" it was said he was "sluggish."
The truth was that Red had suffered such a severe knee injury early in the game that his real abilities were never displayed. The very fact that he was able to continue at all was due to his dedication to his team.
Red had no doubt torn a cartilage, and had probably strained ligaments. His knee had so much internal bleeding that he could hardly bend it, yet despite the pain and despite his relative immobility, he continued to play, and actually didn't miss a minute.
Now, it was different. It was a totally fit Red who was on the field. He was a horse when Centre had the ball, taking 2 or even 3 defenders out on each play. On defense, whether he lined up at end or tackle, runners came his way at their peril.
Red loved to hit. He played cleanly, never getting a penalty. But when he hit somebody, they knew they had run into the best that Kentucky had to offer.
Red took off his white silk scarf after the first few plays of the game, and his flaming red hair was even more prominent. It seemed that every time there was a pile-up, as the players got to their feet, Red would usually be the one on the bottom as they untangled.
Tiny Maxwell blew the whistle to begin the last quarter. There were but 15 minutes to play, 15 minutes between the Centre College "Praying Colonels" reaching the goal that they had dedicated themselves to since leaving Soldiers Field on that late afternoon of October 23, 1920.
The ball was on the 11-yard line, first and 10. Centre had moved the ball from its own 17, the drive now having eaten up 72 yards.
Bo, now Captain McMillin, with Army still on the sidelines, brought his team up to the line of scrimmage to begin the 4th quarter after the teams had switched ends of the field.
Bo, now captain after Army's injury
Bo was caught by the Crimson's Standish Bradford as he tried to slice through the left side of the line and got 1. Second and 9 on the 10.
Centre had 3 plays left. The Colonels had to move 9 yards, just inside the 1-yard line, for a 1st down. 10 yards and they score.
Terry Snowday fired into the line but was only able to pick up another yard. Harvard was playing tough, determined to keep the Colonels out of the end zone.
It was 3rd and 8 on the 9.
Bo thought he could get inside the minds of the Harvard defensemen. He knew exactly what would have been expected of him on his next call. The obvious play would have been to play conservatively, hoping to pop a runner through the line for a score. If the run hadn't been successful, there would still be a down left to attempt what should be a simple, chip-shot of a field goal which would make it 9-0, Centre.
Harvard would then have to score, kick the extra point, and add a field goal to go up 10-9.
Bo made probably his only unwise decision during what was an otherwise perfectly called game, and again, it is possible that Uncle Charlie, through Roscoe, actually "sent in" the play.
With Harvard lined up to stop the expected run, Bo called out the signals for a quick pass to Terry Snowday, and his halfback cut behind the Crimson linebackers who were stunted close behind their front wall.
The pass was wide and fell into the end zone, untouched.
It was the worse possible outcome for the Colonels. The referee signaled a touchback, and Centre lost possession of the ball. Harvard now had the ball, 1stand 10 on the 20.
It is necessary to clearly understand the rules regarding touchbacks that were used in the era of the Centre-Harvard game.
Here is exactly how Rule VI, Section XV, read regarding the pass that fell into the end zone.
It is a touchback when a forward pass crosses either the end line ( goal line ) or side line extended; when it strikes the goal posts or cross bar, or when it touches the ground within the end zone.
Bo's pass crossed the goal line and touched the ground within the end zone, thus clearly being a touchback.
Present day rules would have made the incompletion simply be just that, and the Colonels would have 4th down and could have attempted the field goal.
Bo felt that the Crimson would see that a pass was so unlikely because it could ( and did ) result in a touchback, that he could surprise his opponents and score. He knew the math. If Centre settled for the field goal, Harvard might still have life since it was early in the last quarter, and a 9-0 lead could have been overcome by a TD, extra point, and field goal. He had to remember how the Crimson had fought back against Penn State the previous week.
However, the way the Colonels were playing defense, 9-0 would have looked awfully good.
We didn't understand what had happened. It looked like we were going to score or at least get to kick a field goal. The announcer had said that Bo gained a a yard and then Terry Snowday had gained and then all of a sudden he shouted out that a pass failed and Harvard had the ball!
Harvard had the ball? How did that happen?
Someone shouted out that there was a touchback. There was a lot of discussion about how that had happened and what it meant. But there it was. The chalkboard showed that the ball had been placed from near the end zone back to the 20-yard line and that Harvard had the ball.
To say that it was shocking to everybody would be an understatement.
But, like I said, it had happened and it was really disappointing!
When play resumed, Harvard went on the attack, cheered on by their many fans. It was beginning to get serious out there, with their team still down and the game into the final period.
Meanwhile, Centre's little group of fans was constantly growing as more and more of the 50,000 fans in the Stadium were developing even greater appreciation of the boys from Kentucky.
On the first play after the touchback, Chapin went through the center of the line and was met hard by Ben Cregor. Chapin got only 1 yard. Winnie Churchill then drove over his right tackle for 7 before Terry Snowday brought him down.
It was 3rd and 2 on the Crimson 28.
Buell then picked up the l st down by hitting Churchill on a short pass and the ball was marked just over the 30.
Harvard had decided to open up its attack with Buell and Churchill in the backfield.
On the 1st down play, Buell hit Churchill on the left flank but the swarming Centre defense immediately engulfed him and threw him for a yard loss.
"Way to cover," Army hollered from the sidelines. The Centre captain wanted desperately to get back in the game, but he was noticeably limping as he followed the action from the sidelines. Eager or not, Army was through for the afternoon.
Churchill got the call on the 2nd down play with the intention of firing off a pass from his halfback position, but a leaping Red Roberts intimidated him and he turned into the line where he was taken down with no gain.
Red Roberts ( 24 ) leaping and preventing pass from Churchill.
It was 3rd and 11, right on the 30.
Buell then completed a short pass to Churchill, but Red raced over from his end position and hit the Crimson back hard and he fell to the ground, fortunate to hold onto the ball. Red helped the stunned little thoroughbred up, and patted him on the helmet.
The Crimson had to punt. Centre had held! It was an important possession. After the disappointment of not putting even a field goal on the board, and after the touchback, it may have seemed natural to let up a bit. But instead, the Colonels played all the harder.
"Believe! Believe! Believe!"
Churchill put his punt high in the air and it was caught cleanly by Covington on his 30-yard line. Centre was setting up a wall of interference to lead little Covey down the right side of the field and he cut back to the 28, attempting to fall in behind his blockers, but a streaking Harvard defender caught Covington on the 28 and brought him down.
It was 1st down for the Colonels on their own 28.
"Herbie! Herbie!" Lucy Covington squealed when her brother fired around his left end and brought the ball up to the 36. However, his 8-yard gain was negated by a holding penalty and the ball was marched back 15 yards from the line of scrimmage, and the Colonels were deep in their own territory at the 13.
( In 1921, offensive holding was a 15-yard penalty, as designated in Rule VIII, Section I of the Official Rules of College Football. It presently is a 10-yard penalty. )
Again, it was Covington who had his number called and he got back 9 of the 15-yard penalty.
Coach Fisher sent in Joseph Hartley for right end Clark Macomber, the 9th substitution of the second half by the Crimson.
Red Roberts quick-kicked on 2nd down hoping to get a good roll and put Harvard deep into its own territory. The punt only traveled to the Crimson 45 and took a high bounce. An alert Buell hauled it in, pivoted, and picked up 10 yards before Covington wrestled him to the ground.
Coach Fisher sent in Joseph Hartley for right end Clark Macomber, the 9th substitution of the second half by the Crimson.
The Centre fans picked up on the cheer and it was, "Herbie! Herbie!" all around Lucy. The Crimson had good field position as they lined up on the Colonels' 45.
Bo was all over the field, shouting to his teammates.
"We've got to hold! Go Cajun! Go Baldy! Fight, Bill James! Fight!"
If there was one man Bo knew would die in the trenches, fighting with his last ounce of strength, it was Bill James. The two had begun their football careers together at Northside High in Fort Worth and both had the dream which the Chief and instilled in them back in Fort Worth.
"You can be somebody. You can achieve great things. But you've got to believe. Believe! Believe!"
Now it was Bo shouting to his teammates.
"Believe! Believe! We are Centre!"
The Crimson began their attack and Winnie Churchill got 2 before Tom Bartlett cut him down. A 2nd attempt got 3 and it was 3rdand 5 on the Colonels' 40.
Henry Clark came in for Bradford, the 10th Harvard substitution of the second half. It was as if Harvard was determined to wear down Centre by sheer numbers.
Uncle Charlie stuck with his men. It was a football variation of, "You dance with the one who brought you." The players on the field had brought the team this far, and unless there was an injury, those same Colonels would be on the field when the final whistle blew.
Centre was penalized 5 yards on the next play for having jumped offsides, and after the measurement, Tiny Maxwell signaled that the Crimson had a 1st down, with the ball now resting on the 35.
Coburn ran for 4 and after he was brought down, Harvard sent in Wesley Goodwin Blocker for Fiske Brown, the 11th substitute of the half.
It was 2nd and 6 on the Colonels' 31.
Vinton Chapin got the center pass and tried to go through Centre's right side. Bill James fought off a block and he and Terry Snowday threw him for a yard loss.
Now it was 3rd and 7 on the 32.
The clock was running down. Harvard had 2 plays to pick up 7 yards for a 1st down, 32 yards to score.
Buell led his team in lining up and called the signals. After a perfect center toss, the Crimson quarterback ran a couple of steps right and then reversed and fired a perfect pass back across the field to Winnie Churchill, who had drifted out in the left flank. The Harvard back tucked the ball under his left arm and instantly saw that his field was blocked by converging gold jerseys.
Churchill headed diagonally across the field, racing toward Centre's goal. Over the 30, past the 25, then the 20, the little back turning on the speed.
When Churchill reached the 10, it looked like he would score. Bo was frantically chasing him, trying to cut him off, having a slight angle, and desperately lunged at the 5, barely wrapping his outstretched arms around Churchill's ankles. The effort brought Churchill down on the 3.
Bo had saved the day, at least for a moment. But there was plenty of time for Harvard to score, and as Bo lay sprawled on the ground, he bowed his head and pounded his fists into the grass.
There wasn't a spectator in the Stadium who wasn't on their feet, cheering for their team. The Harvard supporters were certain that their team could take it in. The fans in the Centre section were screaming their encouragement, but there was sudden doubt and despair at the turn of events.
"Hold them! Hold Them!"
Just as suddenly as the tide had seemed to turn, everyone watched with a bit of confusion as Bo suddenly jumped to his feet and ran back up the field to the line of scrimmage where the play had begun and slumped down on his knees on the grass, his arms thrust into the air as if to be saluting the Almighty.
There was a flag on the play!
Head linesman E.C. Taggert had been focusing on the front wall of the two teams, looking for any infraction, looking for any false starts on either side of the line of scrimmage. Taggert saw a Crimson lineman lunge forward just a split second before the ball was centered, and threw his flag.
Tiny Maxwell trotted over to Taggert and the two consulted briefly. Then the giant referee lumbered down to the 3-yard line, picked up the ball, ran it back to the 32, and marched off a 5-yard penalty for Harvard's offsides play.
The huge roar from the stands which erupted after Churchill's great run had died down, but an even greater outbreak of cheers, screams, and whistles echoed throughout the packed stadium as Maxwell marched off the penalty.
The Centre fans were delirious. It had been a roller-coaster moment, going from, "Hold them!" to "Oh, no!" to "They're marching it back!"
Harvard still maintained possession of the ball, but instead of 1st and goal on the 3, it was 3rd and 12 on the 37.
Each of the 50,000 spectators in the Stadium was screaming. The sounds could be heard all of the way out to the Charles River. Both benches had every player cheering their team on to an even greater effort.
"Hold them, Colonels!"
"Go Crimson! Go!"
After the penalty, Harvard had no recourse but to continue passing. The Crimson needed 12 quick yards, and time was getting short. Buell again went to Churchill, but the Centre secondary was expecting a pass, and batted down the throw.
"One more play!"
"Let's go guys! Be alert!"
"They have to pass! They have to throw it! One more play!"
Bo said later that he was literally trembling with excitement.
"Could this actually be happening?"
He looked up in the stands and tried to capture the moment so that he could relive it later, closing his eyes and seeing the images again, and again; the 50,000 spectators standing and screaming, the sounds of the Centre "5" once again blasting out little segments and hearing the fans shout, "Fight!"
Bo looked at his teammates, wide-eyed, all caught up in the moment, and he shouted as loudly as he could, "One more play! One more play! One more play!"
Charles Buell and Harvard still had one last chance.
On 4th down, Buell heaved the ball toward the Colonels' goal, sort of a "Hail Mary" type effort, hoping against hope that it would find the hands of a Crimson receiver. Tom Bartlett was determined that the pass wouldn't connect. He was playing deep and was perfectly positioned to grab the spiral out of the air and safely hold onto it, his goal to simply return it without fumbling.
The Crimson players were still giving it every effort, and several raced over and downed Bartlett, but not before Tom got out to the 23.
"Ok," Bo shouted as the Colonels huddled to go on the offense. "We need a couple of 1st downs, and we should be able to run out the clock. No fumbles! Hold onto the ball! No fumbles!"
Bo decided to run the next 3 plays himself. He got 5, then 2, and on 3rd and 3, he barely picked up the 1st down.
The clock continued to run. It was 1st and 10 just over the Colonels' own 33.
Bo knew that Harvard was keying on him so decided to mix it up and called Terry Snowday's number. Terry sliced through the left side of the Colonels' line, as Red Roberts, Minos Gordy and "Buck" Jones led the way. The effort was good for 9 yards, and the ball was placed on the 42.
Bo hollered out to Red. "Big fellow, you get us a 1st down and the game is ours!"
Red and Tom Bartlett swapped positions. Red ran right up the center of the line and was met by Richard Field. Harvard was still playing tough, but Field couldn't keep Red from picking up the yard needed, and it was another 1st down for Centre on the 43.
The Colonels were driving, just as hard as they had at the beginning of the game.
Herb Covington ran right, holding onto the ball carefully, being certain not to cough it up. Keith Kane made the tackle. The run picked up a yard, but just as importantly, it ate up some clock.
Bo gained another yard over left tackle, again, clutching the ball tightly. The clock ticked on.
It seemed appropriate that it was Covington who got the assignment on the next call. He skirted around the right end for 5 yards, and after being brought down he placed the ball on the midfield stripe.
Tiny Maxwell trotted over, blowing his whistle, and picked up the ball and turned to Bo. Tiny had been in the dressing room the year before when Arnold Horween, the Harvard captain, tried to give the game ball to Bo, and Bo had said he couldn't accept it but would rather come back and earn it by winning.
"Mr. McMillin, here is your ball!"
Centre fans all over the state where wires had been installed had been following each play with ever increasing excitement. In Louisville, spectators at Eclipse Field, a few blocks from downtown, had been trying to watch the Kentucky-Sewanee game which was ongoing while following events hundreds of miles east at Harvard Stadium. Reports from telegraph wires downtown were rushed by bicycle after every few plays and distributed on sheets throughout the crowd. Cheers would erupt which had nothing to do with the action between the Wildcats and Tigers on the field. They read about the end of the game as reports were sent to Eclipse Field.
Bo didn't exactly understand. His heart was pounding as he glanced up at the ponderous referee.
"The game is over," Maxwell said. He had a big smile on his face.
"As I said, Mr. McMillin, here is your ball!" And he handed the ball to- "Mr. McMillin."
Bo hugged the ball and began to run in circles, jumping and whooping and hollering to his teammates.
"We did it! We did it! We beat Harvard! We did it!"
Lucy Covington and her parents headed for the field along with the rest of the Kentuckians. They were almost knocked over as swarms of fans raced onto the turf. The first group headed for Bo and soon had him on their shoulders. He held the ball high with both hands and continued to shout, "We won! We beat Harvard!"
Bo's cheers were drowned out by thousands of voices.
"You did it! You did it! Hey Bo, you did it! You beat Harvard!"
Lucy ran around looking for her brother and finally spotted him when a group of admirers had elevated him up on their shoulders, hollering, "Herbie! Herbie!"
There are times in your life, maybe not so many, but certain moments which are so defining that they are seared into your memory, made permanent, distant memories, perhaps, but they seem like they happened just yesterday. You can close your eyes and see the scenes and hear the voices clearly. You can actually feel the emotions again, like they were occurring now, but had happened so many years ago.
Every time I think about Centre beating Harvard, it's like I was on Main Street again on that October afternoon in 1921.
The telegraph wire at the W.L. Lyons brokerage house was in their office over the Shop Perfect. It was sort of a contest to see who could get the results out on the street first.
Louis Mannini's announcer would be ahead for a while, and then the brokerage house would take the lead. Toward when everybody knew it must be near the end of the game, the fellow getting the results at W.L. Lyons was a play ahead of Louis Mannini's.
A big cheer went up from those who were closest to the Shop Perfect, and people began to shout, "We won! We won!"
But those of us who were in front of the newsstand down the block wanted to hear the next play. It was like, "Did we win, really?"
"And how did the game end?"
So we all pushed forward a little, really squeezed in, straining to see, straining to hear, so excited I was literally shaking.
I remember it so well.
"The game is over!"
And the place went crazy. I mean-crazy!
Ten thousand people massed on the turf in the Stadium. The Centre players had no chance to get to the locker room. Soon every one of the Colonels who had played was riding on a mass of humanity, being carried around the field.
It was a demonstration like Bostonians had never seen. It was a demonstration unique in the history of the Stadium. Never had a team been treated with such enthusiasm and love.
It was pandemonium, a wild, non-stop celebration. People were screaming, whistling. clapping, jumping up and down, spinning around, trying to get to each of the Colonels to touch them and shout their congratulations.
The Harvard student body section sat quietly, watching the bedlam on the field. After a few minutes, even the Crimson's most ardent supporters joined the throng out on the grass. It wasn't that they hadn't appreciated Centre. It was just that they didn't know how to act. Most of them hadn't even been enrolled the last time that their team had suffered a defeat.
Slowly, the mass of humanity, with the Centre players aloft, wound out of the field, around the openings at the ends of the wooden bleachers, toward the locker room. Behind them the goal posts were being rocked back and forth by M.I.T. students and finally brought to the ground.
Lucy Covington and her parents finally caught up with the group carrying "Herbie" and he managed to work his way over to his family where they embraced, all with tears filling their eyes.
"We love you son, and are so proud of you," his parents shouted.
Lucy couldn't speak but just hugged her brother until he finally had to break away and head to the dressing room. As Covington darted in and out of the admiring crowd, he received innumerable pats on the back, shaking hands as he ran, hardly believing that he had been a part, a big part actually, of the great Centre victory.
The locker room was full of sportswriters who were trying to get a quote for their stories. Bo kept saying that his winning touchdown run had only been made possible by his teammates.
"It was a set play. Everybody did their job. Did you see the blocking I got? Red, Army, Terry, all of the line, and you see that freshman over there, Minos T. Gordy, Abbeville, Louisiana? He made the key block. All I did was run the play like Unc designed it."
It was typical Bo, and it was typical Centre. Eleven men play as one, and nobody can beat you.
As the writers continued to question Bo, one asked him, "Exactly how do you feel right at this moment?"
Bo replied, "I am the happiest man in the world."
It was a quote that made its way into most of the write-ups about the game in newspapers all across the country.
"Pooch" Donovan, long-time Harvard trainer, circled the dressing room congratulating the Colonels and pointed out how impressed he was that so many of the players were so well-conditioned that they played the entire 60 minutes.
Bob Fisher came in, just as the Crimson leader had done the year before when his team was victorious. Fisher had been at the helm for 25 games prior to meeting the Colonels for the second time. His record was 22-0-3. The loss to Uncle Charlie and Centre was the first time he had ever experienced a defeat in his coaching career.
Eddie Mahan, second from left. Harvard's Bob Fisher, head coach, second from right.
Fisher showed his class, typical of the entire Harvard staff. He was as gracious in defeat as he had been in victory the year before.
"I want to congratulate you Coach Moran. Your team played wonderful ball. They outplayed us all the way, and furthermore, they played clean and hard all the way."
Later, Bob Fisher handed out a statement.
"I extend my heartiest congratulations to the Centre College team. They played a clean game, a good game, and showed that they were a well-drilled team. In Bo McMillin, Centre had a man who was probably the hardest in the country to stop. The Harvard men in today's game gave the very best they had."
Eddie Mahan came into the dressing room and sought out Uncle Charlie. The two had gotten close enough that they were on a first name basis.
"I want to congratulate you Charlie. It is the biggest thing in the world for Centre College." The former Harvard superstar also went around complimenting the individual Colonels on their outstanding play.
The sports editor of the New York "Tribune" said to Army that it was the most spectacular game he had ever covered, and Army asked that the men on the sidelines who hadn't gotten into the game not be forgotten.
"And please say something about the men back home who didn't get to make the trip, the red-shirted third squad that took their punishment out on the practice field each day. They were down at the Danville station when the train pulled out, and they were the leaders in the cheering, yet people wonder why Centre turns out a team like we have. It is because we pray and fight and love each other like brothers, and it is this spirit that gets us over even the biggest barriers."
Graduate Manager Fred Moore, Harvard class of 1894, came into the locker room, and after going around the room congratulating Uncle Charlie, Tiny Thornhill and the players, sought out the Chief.
"We want to play your team next year. Of course, McMillin will be gone, but that line of yours will be back."
It was good news obviously, but the next thing that Moore did was nearly as pleasing. He pulled out the check for $8,000 that Centre had been guaranteed, and then produced a blank check and paid Centre another $2,000. Certainly, Harvard could afford to be generous. The game had been a huge moneymaker, but the additional payout wasn't part of the contract, and further cemented the great relationship between the two schools.
It was difficult with all of the writers and well-wishers in the locker room, but the squad finally was able to shower and dress for the return to the Lenox. They stuffed their duffel bags full of their equipment. Several of the reserves didn't have a jersey to stuff. They had literally sold the shirts off their backs to people massed around them after the game. Offers of up to $50.00 were hard to turn down, and money and jerseys changed hands as the players made their way to the locker room.
When the team was finally able to clear the dressing room, they weren't prepared for what awaited them. It seemed that hardly any of the crowd had dispersed. A huge mass of cheering fans surrounded the team buses, and it was difficult to get through the crowd in order to board.
Several members of the Harvard team were near the buses, clapping as the Colonels came near.
Hump Tanner and I were Phi Delts. He was a couple of years ahead of me. Once, when we were sitting around talking, he told me that the Harvard game was the greatest moment of his life. He said that as much as he and all of the team wanted to beat Harvard, and they had certainly worked for a year to win that game, as much as they wanted to win, they were also sorry that Harvard had to lose.
They had developed such a respect for the Harvard boys that it seemed a shame that they couldn't have won also. Our boys always cheered for Harvard when they were playing anybody else.
The bus drivers had to inch along. Howard Reynolds joined the team for the trip back to the Lenox. It seemed to take forever to make just a few feet of progress. When the buses finally got going, nobody could believe what they saw out on the Anderson Bridge that crossed the Charles. People were lined shoulder to shoulder, not heading back across the river to the campus, but standing several deep, waving and cheering as the buses turned right, heading back into Boston. All along the road for more than a block, waving hands and smiling faces greeted the team as they drove east.
Never, it was reported, had a team been so captivating, and never had a team so captivated the supposedly reserved citizens of Boston.
The team was so emotionally overwhelmed that most just sat silently, waving to the crowds, holding back tears, as they slowly made their way.