Thursday, October 21, 2004

Believe It Or Not

The most humiliating loss in the history of the greatest franchise in sports.

That's what it was. Plain and simple. And the Boston Red Sox caused it. Every second since has been Absolute Euphoria. So many forbidden joys, so little time. Do I rush home to watch Remy and Dennis Eck gush about finally beating New York - or head directly to the local sports bar and bask in all the sullen Yankee fan faces? Is it better to listen to celebratory Boston radio, or depressed, suicidal Yankee talk? Who to read first - Dan Shaughnessey or George King? The lilly is so ridiculously gilded it's almost sickening. Beat them, at their house, when it counted most. Finally. We finally got em. It's like punching Hitler in the mouth.

Were you ever less confident in a 7 run lead in your life? Red Sox fans are quite a sort. Having failed to enter the famed Riviera bar (the line started forming at 4:30pm), The Ninth and several Official Friends went to a quieter, more out of the way place. The hope was to avoid any and all Yankee fans, like that was possible. Yankee fans are like cockroaches, they make an appearance whenever you want them least. Fortunately though, they also fold like a crisp napkin, so the game quickly shut them up. We never felt confident though. After the contest had long passed the point where a New Yorker would've laughed at you, hit on your girlfriend, and thrown tic tacs at your head, Red Sox fans were still uncertain. It's not that we doubted our team, it's that we didn't think it could every actually happen. Could the Red Sox blow 7 runs in three outs? No. Could they ever win a decisive game against the Yankees in playoffs? Also no. So something's gotta give - but who knows what? There was the feeling that any undeserved or premature celebration would be paid back tenfold in the end. Cheer now, cry later. So you have to hang low, quietly hope, and believe it when you see it. The Ninth and Friends were knocking on wood until the very last pitch, gripping our lucky lighters, sipping our lucky drinks. And we were up 7 runs. In the 9th inning! And the thing is, every other Sox fan at the bar was doing the same thing. Something tells me every other Sox fan on the planet was. But it was all worth it in the end.

One final note: how many calls and emails have you received today from friends saying something like "You know, I'm really a Braves fan" or "I don't care much about baseball"..."but I was really rooting for you guys. Congratulations."? I've gotten at least ten. Everyone has. My point: you think a Yankee fan has ever gotten one? Ever? At any time in their history? No, me neither. That's how you know the good guys won.