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Thread: The life of a Sox fan

  1. #1
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    Seasonal depression
    By Brian McGrory, Globe Columnist, 8/22/2003

    Byung Hyun Kim had just blown what appeared to be an insurmountable lead against the Oakland A's Wednesday night when an otherwise ordinary looking man rose to his feet in the expensive seats along shallow left field.

    "Every year!" he hollered, his voice -- more frustrated than Angry -- filling the mournful silence like Taps at an untimely burial. He repeated himself, a little softer the second time, more resigned. "Every year."

    You have to wonder if Kevin Millar might have heard him from his perch over at first base. If he did, you have to wonder if he grasped the depth and meaning of the words.

    You see, it was Millar, a genuinely good guy on a team that seems to be full of them, who popped off before Wednesday's game that the Boston fans and news media were needlessly bashing the Sox during this August slump.

    "I want to see somebody cowboy up and stand behind this team one time and quit worrying about all the negative stuff and talking about last year's team and 10 years ago and 1986," he said.

    Interesting idea, and if I should ever move to Atlanta or Arizona, Denver or Detroit, I'll be sure to give it a try. Fortunately or unfortunately, I'm in Boston, so what he's proposing isn't much of an option.

    Millar means well, but it's him, not us, who fails to understand. Kevin, the Red Sox are, as a used car dealer might say, "new to you," but to everybody else around here, they've been an integral part of life since the beginning of time.

    We remember well the impossible joys of 1967, the pure poetry of Jim Lonborg's wind-up, the achievement of Carl Yastrzemski's triple crown. We remember as if it were yesterday the 1975 World Series, the greatest ever played.

    We remember the unthinkable ending of 1978, the adoration and agony of 1986, Pedro striding in from the bullpen against Cleveland in 1999. We remember the great unraveling of August 2001, the renewed hope ushered in by the new ownership last year, the rocket ride that was the first half of this season.

    And now this. August in Boston, a time of torment. Nomar, an extraordinary player, hasn't had an RBI since Charles Taylor was president of Liberia and John Kerry led every New Hampshire poll. There are surprise blisters, hanging curve balls, errors at the plate. The bullpen is a collection of poodles.

    So, "cowboy up"? Kevin, there are men and women in their 80s and 90s who sit in their dreary rooms at Marian Manor in Southie or Elihu White in Braintree waiting all day for the game on TV. There are fathers who spend more money than they have to take their kids to Fenway. There are Little Leaguers who think Nomar's obsessive compulsion in the batter's box is chic.

    All of them, every one, share a hope, and it's for another World Series in their lifetimes. They want to see the blimps high in the crisp autumn sky, gaze at the Prudential building glowing with the number 1, feel the heady sense of a destiny that has never before been ours. More than anything else, they want to share the commonality of victory.

    They've spread hope and emotion in this team over their entire lives. They rue the bad, cherish the good, and always wait for their hearts to be broken, because it's all they've ever known. They want to learn that it doesn't have to be that way, a simple concept, really, even while it's not.

    You're a wonderful ballplayer, Kevin, smart and full of heart, and you play on what has been an exciting team. Yet it doesn't seem to matter, because that guy in the box seats Wednesday night had it pretty much right. Every year.

    While we appreciate the counsel, you'll forgive us for ignoring it. But here's some back at you. Don't tell us that we're wrong. Prove it. At that point, these will be the most adoring fans you will ever know.

  2. #2
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    They expect to lose. The Sox fans almost expect something to happen that will ruin the season for them.

    Pertty sad. But, as a Yankee fan, have to admit that I enjoy it.

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    In some ways you can see why though...a guy like my dad has passionately followed Sox for over 65 years (say 58, since I'm guessing he wasn't a die hard at age 2), and they haven't won it all once. By passionately, I mean if humanly possible he watches every single game...if he can't watch it, he's trying to get updates first chance he gets. (running out to car at weddings, bringing radio if he's at a Pats game, even checking scores during wakes or funerals&#33 What attitude would you have if you did that for that long without any real gratification? I'm guessing a lot of people would just jump off the wagon and go find a "winner" to root for, but I think there is a lot to be said for sticking with a team through thick and thin. (Like you guys do with your terrible NFL franchise)

    Mock the Sox and their fans all you want.....I'm proud to be a Sox fan despite the fact they always fail me, and some day they are going to set off the biggest party any city could ever throw when they finally get a series win.

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    Originally posted by gmogmo@Aug 22 2003, 08:28 AM
    In some ways you can see why though...a guy like my dad has passionately followed Sox for over 65 years (say 58, since I'm guessing he wasn't a die hard at age 2), and they haven't won it all once. By passionately, I mean if humanly possible he watches every single game...if he can't watch it, he's trying to get updates first chance he gets. (running out to car at weddings, bringing radio if he's at a Pats game, even checking scores during wakes or funerals&#33 What attitude would you have if you did that for that long without any real gratification? I'm guessing a lot of people would just jump off the wagon and go find a "winner" to root for, but I think there is a lot to be said for sticking with a team through thick and thin.
    The way you describe your Dad, he's as passionate as they come. I admire someone like that. But, ask him, if down deep, he is always waiting for the inevitable to happen.

    Hope he gets to listen to all the games for many, many more years, in good health.

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    I don't think he, or most fans for that matter, look at the Sox like the media does in terms of the fact that they are doomed to fail. However he definitley has a quick temper (glad I inherited that) in terms of ripping them to shreds after games like Tuesday and Wednesday. During games he'll call me and tell me he's shutting them off and not watching them anymore, but sure enough he's calling me last night when they jump out to an early lead saying "If they blow this one, I swear I'm not watching an inning of the Seattle series"

    Thanks for the wish of good health...it sounds corny, but I really would kill to see the Sox win it all, not necessarily for myself but people like my dad and uncles who have invested many more years in this organization than I had. Hopefully my kids will feel the same for me someday!

  6. #6
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    This is a cute thread....

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    Go back to the political thread and wax poetic about gay marriage or something.....ah yesssssskkkkk

  8. #8
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    Originally posted by gmogmo@Aug 22 2003, 10:28 AM
    Mock the Sox and their fans all you want.....I'm proud to be a Sox fan despite the fact they always fail me, and some day they are going to set off the biggest party any city could ever throw when they finally get a series win.
    'tis a shame you won't be alive long enough to witness it.

    GO YANKS!!!

  9. #9
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    Not so much as a Jets fan. They have had their moments though where you want to punch a wall. (Been there done that ) like the Mud Bowl against Miami, the roughing the passer call on Gastineau in the 86 playoffs.

    A New York Ranger fan though can totally relate.

    Subjected to chants of 1940 wherever they go.

    I have seen many really good Ranger teams and some not so great Rangers teams go down in flames at the worst times.

    Losing to the Bruins in the Stanley Cup Finals despite having three 50 goals scorers on the same line. (GAG line of Ratelle, Gilbert and Hadfield)

    1974 Losing game 7 of the East Finals against Philly. (the game where Schultz pounded Dale Rolfe and no one came to his aid )

    1975 Losing in the first round to the Islanders. (Islanders were like in their third year in the league)

    1979 Coming off a stunning 6 game victory over the Islanders in the Semi's the Rangers win game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals against the Canadiens only to lose the next 4.

    1981-1984 Losses to the Islanders in the playoffs climaxing with Ken Morrow's OT goal in game 5 of the 1984 playoffs.

    1986: Mediocre Ranger team gets hot and get to the East Finals before losing to Montreal and a red hot rookie goalie named Patrick Roy.

    1991: Rangers have the best record in the league and then proceed to get bounced out in the second round by Mario and the Penguins.

    If it was not for a Super Human effort by Messier in game 6 of the East Finals against the Devils the Rangers would still be looking for a Stanley Cup.

    That is the main point though. Even though that 1994 was great it took a superhuman effort to get to the finals and then have to go seven games to beat a Vancouver that honestly should not have been in the Rangers class that year. Demons though will do that. Players feel the pressure, the fans don't help because they are always waiting for the other shoe to drop and usually when that happen the shoe does drop.

    If the Sox ever were to win a World Series, someone would have to step up and take control the way Messier did in that one game.

  10. #10
    Maxman
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    Originally posted by gmogmo@Aug 22 2003, 08:28 AM
    some day they are going to set off the biggest party any city could ever throw when they finally get a series win.
    Wow and I thought NY threw a pretty big ticker tape parade.

  11. #11
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    Originally posted by gmogmo@Aug 22 2003, 12:28 PM
    (Like you guys do with your terrible NFL franchise)

    Terrible no more.

  12. #12
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    As Jets fans we don't share in your pain. For the most part, barring those aweful 1-15 years, we go into the season with expectations to win. We are not resigned to the fact that we ill always be a 2nd class team like the Sox are. Therefor, no, we know nothing of your pain.

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    boozer...how many championships have the Jets won in your lifetime? The same number as the Sox have for me.....same boat buddy boy, same boat.

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    True...no division rival has truly dominated the Jets year after year as the Yanks have done to the Red Sox, so its hard to sympathize

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    No division rival is able to spend multiple times more on their payroll than the Jets though ....bottom line though, Jets = Zero World Titles in most of your lifetimes.

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    Originally posted by gmogmo@Aug 22 2003, 03:41 PM
    No division rival is able to spend multiple times more on their payroll than the Jets though ....bottom line though, Jets = Zero World Titles in most of your lifetimes.
    Its hardly multiple times more. What does that have to do with anything? Since the sox have a considerably higher payroll than the A's and most other teams, shouldn't they at least have won the wild card the past years?

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    petejet, read any of my past posts on this topic....I'm not a blind Sox supporter, they 100% should have been able to get wild card at least once in last couple years with the payroll they have. By same token, the Yanks really shouldnt' ever lose with the disparity between theirs and other teams.

  18. #18
    TomShane
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    Here is why the analogy does not fit, gmo. When the Jets are going to be bad, you can smell it from a mile away. Thus, only the most delusional fan goes into the season thinking that Lonnie Palelei and Scott Merserau and Louie Aguiar and Mark Boyer and Blair Thomas and Mike Haight and Alex Gordon and Joe Prokop and Don Boyd Odegard and Tony Meola and Chris Burkett are going to be a really competitive team.

    The Sox, however, have the misfortune to be generally competitive coming out of the box. The payroll is there, the talent is there, the pitching is there, it just seems as though they either lose interest 3/4 of the way through the season, or they simply get tight and start pressing whenever the heat is on.

    My solution:::

    The Sox need to go out this off-season and start signing players that have played into October- leaders who have been there, done that. Guys that know what to expect in a pennant race down the stretch. The Sox should make a play for a guy like Steve Finley, or Torrey Hunter, or J.T. Snow, or Rich Aurilia. Sacrifice some numbers to get quality veteran leadership. Manny isn't sitting in the locker room warning guys about the intense media pressure that comes with having a lead into late August. None of your top guys have any idea what it's like to win late into the season. Pedro? no. Nomar? No. Kevin Millar? No. Go get some guys with a clue!

  19. #19
    Maxman
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    Originally posted by gmogmo@Aug 22 2003, 11:36 AM
    boozer...how many championships have the Jets won in your lifetime? The same number as the Sox have for me.....same boat buddy boy, same boat.
    Boozer doesn't spend all of his time of a rivals team board though. So the boat looks a little different to me.

  20. #20
    Maxman
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    Originally posted by TomShane@Aug 22 2003, 12:33 PM
    My solution:::

    The Sox need to go out this off-season and start signing players that have played into October- leaders who have been there, done that. Guys that know what to expect in a pennant race down the stretch. The Sox should make a play for a guy like Steve Finley, or Torrey Hunter, or J.T. Snow, or Rich Aurilia. Sacrifice some numbers to get quality veteran leadership. Manny isn't sitting in the locker room warning guys about the intense media pressure that comes with having a lead into late August. None of your top guys have any idea what it's like to win late into the season. Pedro? no. Nomar? No. Kevin Millar? No. Go get some guys with a clue!
    This is stupid. You are a homo for suggesting it.

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