So, it has come to this, game seven of the ALCS. I recently wrote something about the Cubs, but didn’t post it in time for it to be worth posting at all. The point of it was now that I am in the new digs of New England I readily root for the Red Sox and that it is a lot more fun pulling for a team that actually makes the playoffs. The Sox are not just the local team, but one that I have followed since I was a kid. Aside from the Cubs, they have been my next favorite club. I am not sure what that says about my taste in baseball teams, other than I seem to like the losers. Nevertheless, living here has only firmed my conviction for the Fenway-side. As I have mentioned before, it is impossible to live here and not be effected by Red Sox Nation.
The collective gasps the city experienced with each loss to the Yankees is tangible. It is evident in New York, as well. I spent the weekend in New Jersey and heard a lot of WFAN, the Big Apple’s sports mouthpiece. All Sunday morning the host was describing the fanaticism of Boston. Having had to attend a wedding the night of the Yankees double-digit drubbing of the boys on Yawkey Way, he had spent time walking around the city before the night game. His description echoed my previous thoughts about the local supporters. It is simply crazy.
The Red Sox lead the first ten minutes of the local news coverage, regardless of channel. They are on the front page of every newspaper. And the entire metro area is awash in caps, jerseys, and other paraphernalia. WFAN’s Mike Francesa, like me, didn’t really know what to compare it to. He then went on to describe his utter shock at how the Yankees were so easily dispatching the Sox.
Before the Yankees had knocked off the Twins, the Boston Herald’s headline read beckoned the Bronx Bombers for the Championship Series. By Sunday, the old adage “Be careful what you wish for…” couldn’t have smarted so sharply. The Bay State’s Beloved were an evening from being bounced and the famous Curse was getting new life. Yet, something happened and three games, sixteen-plus hours of marathon innings, and more “Believe” sightings than can be counted later the final showdown has come. One game between the bitterest of rivals is all that separates one of them from a trip to World Series. Being from Chicago, I was certain that it was over sometime last Thursday. Yet, this team seems bound to defy history. Game seven’s have never been kind to the Red Sox, but no club has ever forced the issue like this one. I am not sure what is going to happen but for sheer drama this cannot be beat in all of sports.
The hearts of a Red Sox Nation are pumping with hopes never higher. As the t-shirts the team has been wearing say, “Why Not Us?” Now every fan north of Hartford is asking that same question. Regardless of what happens this series has been one for the ages, but sans a victory it is just another Boston heartbreak in a history older than anywhere but the Second City.