Dylan writes for us again, with a post about the past, present, and future of Red Sox Nation.
Does anyone else feel different? Does this title feel odd at all? I honestly feel different about being a member of Red Sox Nation than I have ever felt before. There was the cowboy-up team of ’03, the idiots of ’04, and now, ’07, maybe the professionals? After the game last night, I celebrated, though I was at work and couldn’t celebrate in the same “regret that in the morning” fashion I did in 04, I celebrated. But inside of me, a new feeling began to emerge for this team. A team for the first time, that gave me confidence in them?!?
To me, the Red Sox Nation reminds me of the Parrotheads that follow Jimmy Buffett – occasionally immature, mostly blue collar, pessimistic about the world around them, yet, a love for following around what they love. We are a band of gypsies traveling all over, near and far, to cheer for this team. In those 86 years that passed between 1918 and 2004, most of us were raised with the occasional trip to Fenway, listening to parents banter on about the likes of Greenwell, Rice, and Boggs, and hearing our grandparents speak of how there will never be a hitter like Williams again. I’ve heard my Dad tell me exactly where he was when Fisk hit his game winner more times than I can count. Yet, in all those generations of being born into it, a cynical approach to this game always lingered. I’m reminded of speaking to my Dad before game 4 in 2004 and listening to him talk of how bad he wanted to see a title come forth, but “they’ll probably blow it like they always do,” he said. We all know the story now, but this was the attitude of Red Sox Nation: on the outside, more optimistic than anyone else, but inside, always on the edge, ready to be let down again, and again, and again.
We now flash forward to 2007. Our hated Yankees are in shambles. I even heard a Yankee spokesman say next season is a “transitional year.” The nemesis has been beaten, and we sit atop our new position as rulers of the baseball world. In a way, this title is more important than 2004. The ’04 team showed that if there was a curse, it was lifted, and anything was possible. But this team, the professional baseball Boston Red Sox of 2007, they proved to Red Sox Nation that a new day has sprung in Beantown. With the young talent that appears to be a full starting line-up for a rookie All Star team, future Hall of Famers showing the ropes to our rookies, and a front office staff that has the baseball savvy required to run the Red Sox Nation, the future is oh so bright. So, to Red Sox Nation, take a deep breath, take in all of the surroundings, and rejoice. The days of past are gone, the baseball legacy of the Red Sox begins again now, and the curse of A-Rod down in NY settles in even more (I have much more to write on the A-Rod matter as soon as it settles down somewhat). Life is good!!!