Practically every stereotype of a New England sports fan is on display in this astounding Boston Globe video accompanying the story of Louie Iacuzzi of Malden—of course—who with his buddy found the Red Sox’s 2018 division title banner on the highway and now want a reward for its return.
The following video contains alarmingly thick regional accents. Viewer discretion is advised.
As Iacuzzi tells it, he and his buds were driving on McGrath Highway in Somerville, Mass., when they noticed cars—sorry, cahs—swerving around an object in the road. They stopped and picked it up, only to discover it was the Red Sox 2018 AL East champions banner. (The team hasn’t yet clinched the division, but it could do so with a win tonight.) It’s not exactly your typical lighthearted sports news fluff. Although they saved the banner from getting damaged and would gladly return it to its rightful owners, these guys, you know, want a little tangible gratitude.
“We wanna give it back to them because it belongs to them, and it doesn’t belong to us,” Iacuzzi said. “But in reciprocation, we would like, you know, to maybe go to a nice playoff game or—we’re looking for something. We don’t want to just hand it over to them. We need to negotiate here.”
“We’re working too,” Iacuzzi’s pal James Amaral said. “My man had to run across three lanes of traffic.” The team might have a duplicate banner, but these two are prepared to show up with the real thing, as if that would scandalize Red Sox Nation.
The Red Sox told the Globe that that is indeed the actual banner, and it really did fall off a delivery truck. The team is negotiating for its return, but they’d better not try to be smartasses with these guys.
Update (9:33 p.m. ET): The banner has been returned to the Red Sox, in exchange for ... nothing. Also, the owner of the company that made the banner accused Iacuzzi of stealing it, which he flatly denies. This negotiation process went smoothly:
The theft allegation did not sit well with Iacuzzi, who said in a third interview that “they lost the [expletive], they’re the ones that [expletive] up. I found it, I’m trying to do the right thing.”
Iacuzzi described himself as a good Samaritan.
“If I didn’t pick it up, a hundred people would have ran over it,” he said. “I don’t want a million dollars. I don’t need a million dollars. All I wanted was to maybe bring my family, my friends to a [expletive] baseball game, maybe meet a player. . . . The flag is back home with the Boston Red Sox.”
H/t to Mike