Friday, September 30, 2011
Please forgive this not-quite-Catholic-legal-theory post, but as a dyed-in-the-wool Red Sox fan since childhood (and especially since the 1986 series), I can't help but feeling a certain sense of peace descending on me in the last few days. That might sound perverse: the team collapsed in epic fashion, its closer blew it...huge, the manager is on his way out (of his own volition, it seems), the despised Yankees are off chasing their 36,000th title, the underfinanced Rays somehow snuck in, our overfinanced outfielder was a bust , and a general sense of hopeless depression has set in.
But my 8 year-old son, who was alive for the 2004 and 2007 seasons but insensible of them, was wearing his bright-red Carl Crawford t-shirt yesterday here in Yankee territory -- not proudly...just wearing it. And he has now been properly initiated into Red Sox fan-dom.
To be a Red Sox fan is to expect pain, to be waiting for misery, to exist in a perpetual state of pessimism. It is to be sure that your team will lose when others are sure it will win -- just because you didn't like the way somebody swung the bat or because of a twitch in the short reliever's throwing motion -- so sure that you turn off the set with your team well ahead. And sure enough, they do lose, and the sweet satisfaction of sports misery resets itself again and again. It never felt right to be winning, prepossessing, cheerful, hopeful. It was awkward, unnaturally prideful, and swollenly optimistic. It reflected the sense that we could improve on our past, escape our true nature, progress.
That's not who we are. This feels much better.