Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk Myself to Death: The Red Sox Wax Nostalgic

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Red Sox Wax Nostalgic

Yes, I've been watching and cheering on the Red Sox in the American League playoffs, but until this evening, I didn't have a whole lot to say on the subject beyond just recapping what you can find on any sports page. The past couple of games, though, the first in Fenway against the Rays in the postseason, have seen a horrible collapse. The pitching has been horrible, and there's been no hitting whatsoever to make up for it. What we're seeing is not a team of champions. They've climbed out of worse holes than this, but it's never a good idea to make a habit out of it. The first two games were well-played, but Games 3 and 4, as I said, the first of the series they've played in Fenway have been embarrassments.

Last year, when the Red Sox won their second World Series in four years, an odd sentiment started getting some traction. These new winning Bosox somehow weren't the "real" Boston team. It was somehow more fun, this subset of fans insisted, when the team (and their followers) couldn't win for losing. The idea popped up in various places, but a good summation was found in the Boston Globe a year ago as the World Series loomed.

[S]houldn't it feel better than it does?

The first order of business is to admit it to ourselves: 2004 was more meaningful. Back then, and in the 86 years that preceded it, we knew who we were. We were hapless, though never hopeless. We were the ones that always had something to overcome - a curse, a seemingly in surmountable deficit, a little-brother syndrome.

In the end, until that fabled October, we usually lost, but that was OK. In defeat, we had identity. We got to be the luckless loser. A team, its city, and indeed, an entire national following, thrived on it.

So maybe in going back to Fenway and suffering through these dramatic losses, the Red Sox are just giving the people what they want. I hope those people are enjoying themselves.


At 1:05 PM, October 15, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Though I've never been one to root for the Red Sox, I can relate to their current situation based on my rooting interest in hockey. Throughout my childhood, and adolescence, and early adulthood, the Detroit Red Wings were lousy year after year. In more recent times, we've seen the Wings win 4 out of the last 11 Stanley Cups. Now, it's become a whole different vibe when they skate into another arena - they are booed with exceptional ferocity and have the biggest target painted on their backs. In the sports world, this is the price of chronic success. The Yankees know this better than anyone. My feeling is this: You should wish for your team that they will continue to give people a reason to hate them!


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