Sunday, October 09, 2005

Ramble on, Boston sports post

I haven't put anything up in more than I week. I apologize to all six of my avid readers.

OK, I hope there a few more than that.

Anyway, I have not posted for several reasons. First, work has been particularly busy. It's not so much that it does not leave hours in the day as that it saps the bank of mental energy I have for poker and this blog, and what I have left has been going to poker over the blog.

Second, you might think that for a guy who calls himself SoxLover, I don't write much about the Sox on this page. Well, those that know me know that I think an awful lot about them and certainly talk an awful about them. And the Patriots. Without quite meaning it to then, this post has become a Boston sports post.

Well within the Sport Guy's five-year grace period for championships, I recognize I have absolutely no reason to complain about the way my teams have fizzled (Sox) or are fizzling (Pats). So this is not a complaint, merely a recognition that one can get spoiled by success. Fans in New York that cheer for that team other than the Mets don't know how deeply they suffer from this syndrome--and don't give me that shit about growing up in the "bad old times" in the eighties. The dead Yankee era lasted from 1979-1996, that's 17 years. The Chicago White Sox did not win a post-season series for 87 years. Your team wins 4 series in 5 years and you begin to feel disappointed when they do anything but win a championship. That's the boat I've found myself in with the Pats, although not quite with the Sox.

Anyway, the teams also have been taking up my time and my energy. I will say it, however, though my Yankee loving friends (it's a deep personality dysfuntion, the fact that I am willing to get past it speaks to the strength of their character and other qualities) won't believe it, it really doesn't hurt that much this year.

Yes they had one of their patented September collapses. Yes they went out in a three game whimper and saw the other guys spraying champagne all around Fenway. But though I did not enjoy it, it came nowhere near the soul-crushing catatonia-inducing agony that certain past events brought. I mean, at age 13 on one fateful October night, I lay stricken, literally on my back, with the TV going on in the background as my father sped home to make sure I didn't make an additional tragic headline in the Globe the next day. Sports innocence broken like [insert extremely politically incorrect reference withheld here in unexpected expression of discretion], I built up a hard armor, promising myself I'd never care that much again about any sports team.

Deep down, I knew better. One hint should have been the tears the flowed when one South Dakotan with ice in his blood split the uprights from 51 yards in the proud and now benighted city of New Orleans.

The Pats gave a counter-argument to the sneering Yankee fans I so unwisely had surrounded myself with (well, not much demand for derivatives lawyers in Boston), and of course allowed ample anti-Philly taunting material against the Korean ATM.

As good as pure morphine, that first Lombardi trophy brought deep joy. But underneath the euphoria, the pain remained. Pats' championships, like those of the Celtics and Bruins before them, could not truly mend the broken heart that beat for the Sox. As with all love, Boston's love for its teams is not guided by justice.

It all came crashing back as I lay on the floor face up once again, 30 going on 13, wanting it all not to be happening again, knowing it could never be any other way. Yeah sure Charlie Brown, THIS time Lucy won't move the ball.

At least this time I was fortunate enough to have my consoling wife, whose care, having grown up in country with real tragedies involving tyrants and bullets of the kind you don't want dealt to you, was focused solely on my psychological state rather than on why oh why did Grady-fucking-Little leave him in there?!

And then they did it. No long prose here. Nothing but pure release. Once in eighty-six years, yep, a piddling one against 26 (26 to 6 but who's counting), say what you will, I'll take it.

And so did it suck this year when we got chased down by the Yanks in a classic Sox September swoon? Of course it did. And when the White Sox started writing their own redemption chapter on our sorry hides. Yeah that sucked too. But you know what, it will never suck the way it did again. It's another season ended in futility. But it's another season ended in futility after a season ended in catharsis.

Will I feel that way if I have to wait another 86 years with my talking head preserved Futurama-style? You bet I will.

And I'm not done with baseball--I have a least one more game to cheer against the Bombers.


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