Friday, October 29, 2004

Afterglow, Day 2

This feeling is not getting old. My God, the Red Sox are the 2004 World Champions, and they always will be.

There's a lot of ink being spilled today about how this victory changes things for Red Sox fans, about how their identity as lovable losers is forever lost, and that Red Sox Nation is now simply another group of fans. To which I (a bastion of partiality, I understand) reply, "That's a load of horseshit".

Red Sox fans - true Red Sox fans - have never reveled being "cursed". Sure, we've been pained by near-miss after near-miss, we've certainly wondered if our team would ever win it all in our lifetimes, and we've shed tears for loved ones who never saw a championship team. There's no question that many of us developed a robust Calvinistic, doom-and-gloom view of the Olde Towne Team. But while that emotional state may have marked us as Red Sox fans, not a single one of us enjoyed that description. And if you see someone interviewed on ESPN today, or read a quote from the Boston Globe, claiming that the subject doesn't know what to do with himself now that the Sox have won, write that moron off as a Johnny/Sally-come-lately who has no idea what true fandom means.

The cumulative weight of all the crushing losses over the years did have an impact on Sox fans: it forged a passion and a love and a devotion to this franchise that may well be unmatched in professional sports. And a championship won't diminish that devotion, not a whit. The 2004 Red Sox will forever serve as a monument to the power of hope, to the heart-stopping, spine-tingling joy of hope rewarded. I'm still grinning, and I still will be when pitchers and catchers report in February. And then I'll watch the World Champion Boston Red Sox take the field and pull fervently for a World Series championship in 2005.

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