I write this with a certain amount of disbelief (I'm also writing this for the second time following a computer crash). The Red Sox won the World Series, again.
I think it's the "again" part that's really getting to me. I've been a Red Sox fan since I can first remember. My family is full of devoted Red Sox fans. I remember throughout out my life watching the game and holding my breath thinking maybe this will be the year. I'm pretty young. When you start thinking about all the older people who did the same thing for 60, 70, or even 80 years, it kind of boggles the mind.
I think that's why all the commentary about the Red Sox from non-Red Sox fans, many of whom don't like us much, doesn't really sink in with the faithful. We don't care that Boston was favored heading in to the post season. We don't care that most of the country supported the opposition. We don't care because generations of cultural indoctrination can't be undone by the World Series win in 2004. Most of us can't help but see that as a fluke and still, deep down in our heart-of-hearts, we expect to be disappointed in October. It's really nice not to be.
Americans like to support the underdogs. The Red Sox had fans for years that supported them entirely because they were unlikely to win; because even with their best efforts and amazing teams, they weren't able to finish the job. These fans will go away. They'll find new underdogs (hint, guys, the Cubs could really use your support) and they'll be the first ones to denigrate the post-curse Red Sox. And you know what? That's just fine. The real Boston fans will remain fans and enjoy winning for a change. We'll follow the games and players. We'll criticize and commend the management. We'll show up every summer at Fenway or wish we were there.
My cousin, age 6, is already a big Red Sox fan. She can't remember a time that the Red Sox were perennial also-rans. In the coming years there will be more fans like her and fewer like me. And that's okay. The Red Sox will be good for a while, then maybe not so good, and through it all Boston will keep watching baseball. It's just nice that, in time, we won't immediately assume that we won't win.
As for me, my darling Sparky and I got up at 3:00 am every day for the ALCS to watch it on ESPN International in Nairobi. We wandered around like zombies living off of coffee. We woke up again at 3:00 am for the World Series games. I listened to the final game of the World Series over the internet from my room in Southern Sudan, chatting with Sparky as he watched from Nairobi. (He's particularly impressive as Sparky is a life-long Orioles fan. He was supporting Boston because he loves me). I'm tired and exhilarated.
I promise tomorrow I'll get back to posting about knitting. I've been turning out Christmas presents like a fiend. In the mean time, I'm going to savor this win just a bit longer.