Oh, what the hell, I feel like a baseball rant. Watching the ALCS and rooting on The Tribe, because, you know, I'm from Ohio. It's hard for me to believe it's been 17 years (!!!1!!) since the Reds won a World Series, but I really have to feel for our friends up north. C'mon, Tribe!
I loved the Sox back in '86, when that ball rolled through Bill Buckner's legs all the way to, it seemed, Logan Airport. I mean, who didn't feel their pain? I've cheered for them ever since, and after they finally broke The Curse, I felt relieved. But parts of America that lay outside Quincy, Massachusetts haven't gotten over it yet. I can't swing a cat without hitting a Red Sox ballcap on a midwesterner these days.
I flirted with a temporary affection for the Dallas Cowboys when I was a kid and that Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader movie starring Jane Seymour and Julie from The Love Boat was popular, but I won't get fooled again. Even when they were winning, it just didn't feel satisfying. I had no connection to them, no childhood memories of dad holding my hand and guiding me through the crowds at Riverfront Stadium...
I never did get into the Atlanta Braves when they were hailed as "America's Team" (they were the only show on cable, so who could blame baseball fans for falling for them) and I'm not going to fall in love with Boston now.
Friends of mine returned recently from a trip to New York, including a trek out to Yankee Stadium. They met a young Yankees fan who made an impression on them, wearing a shirt that read, "Boston Sucks Caaahk." Or something to that effect, written phonetically in a Harvard Yard accent.
It was hilarious to me, I mean, I didn't even see the shirt and it killed me. Still, I'll always be a Red Sox fan (especially over the freakin' Yankees), but they'll never be #1 in my heart. That's a spot that should be reserved for your local childhood team, even when they're losing so consistently you wonder why they can't apply that kind of work ethic to actually winning.
As I post this, it's not over yet, even though Joe Scarborough (I like his show, but that warrants another explanation-post) told me this morning on MSNBC that he wasn't sure his "beloved Red Sox" could come from behind and win three in a row; he didn't know if they were, you know, capable of that. His beloved Red Sox. Really, Joe? It's exactly what I'm talking about, and I think it demeans the Red Sox more than a little to have everyone suddenly loving them, without knowing a damned thing about them. Their charm always involved being the underdogs trying to whip The Curse, but now, through no fault of their own, as a baseball fan, I'm feeling cursed by their "fans".
As if any of you are watching baseball anyway (TBS? What the hell, the NL playoffs don't even merit free TV anymore? What is this, hockey?), but that's why I feel as though I'm rooting against the Red Sox this time around, even though it leaves me feeling a little weird and guilty. Go Tribe! And good luck against those wily and entirely unexpected Colorado Rockies. You'll need it, Ohio.
Anyone know where I can get one of those Boston shirts my friends were talking about...?
Update 10/21/07: Hmmm.... Game 7! Joe Scarborough must have the vapors by now.
Update 10/22/07: Red Sox win! What the hell do I know?
Well I went back to Ohio
But my family was gone
I stood on the back porch
There was nobody home
I was stunned and amazed
My childhood memories
Slowly swirled past
Like the wind through the trees
Ay, oh, way to go, Ohio
- Pretenders, "My City Was Gone"
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