Monday, October 10, 2005

After the boys of summer have gone

I keep reading that we should not be too upset about the Red Sox loss because we won it last year. People keep telling me, oh but we weren't as good as last year, etc. We should just be happy that we won it last season, blah, blah, blah. Fuck that. I am pissed, and I have started to figure out why. Over the years I dreamed about the Sox winning the series, sometimes I wouldn't even let myself think about because it seemed so unattainable. But there was always two constants in that thought that seeped into my brain, there is no way in hell I will not be in Boston and I hope I get to see my Dad's face when it happens.

My father is one of those lifelong Sox fans who grew progressively bitter about the team. No matter how well the Sox were doing he would always rain on my happy parade. "Aww, don't get too excited they'll find a new way to blow it," or "I told you so," were phrases that I came to detest. The problem was he was usually right. They usually broke my heart year in and year out. I never saw the heartache that my father knew with the Red Sox. His father had season tickets, good ones at that, first base side where all the luxury boxes are now. During the '67 World Series they needed the seats for the press, so the team replaced my grandfather's two tickets with four tickets on the third base line. This meant that my Dad, his father, and his two brothers saw all four home games of the '67 series. He saw Captain Carl finish off the summer of Yaz in defeat. I can't imagine how my Dad, younger than I am now, swallowed that one. It was obviously not well because he never talks about it. There have been so many Red Sox teams that have disappointed since then it is easy to see how he grew so cynical.

When Dave I started planning our trip oversees last fall one of the first things out of my mouth was, but what if the Red Sox go to the Series? Now having grown up a Yankees fan, Dave gave me that "The Red Sox are not going to win the series, are you crazy?" look. (As a side note, yes I believe that agreeing to marry a man who grew up routing for the team in pinstripes is why we lost this week. I only had 3 rules for dating guys, and the first was no Yankees fans. Look where that got me.) So I went ahead and left the country wondering what my boys would do in the fall. Of course they battled it out with the Bronx Bombers while I traversed the countryside searching out 24 hour internet cafes so I could watch the games on MLB.TV.

Then, while I was in Munich, the Sox won the American league. I did not move from my seat the entire game for fear that I would jinx them. Until...the ninth inning when the screen died. I was in the worst panic you have ever seen. Dave was trying frantically to get the computer back up, but it was taking too long. I couldn't handle it so I ran across the street to the train station and called home. Phew the game was still on and I could hear it because my sister put the phone up next to the TV. Then, the phone on my sister's side fell and I could hear nothing. I was screaming, in the train station mind you at about four in the morning, for someone to put the phone back up, but no one could hear me. It was too late. The Sox finally beat the Yankees in the playoffs and all I saw and heard was weirdos in the train station staring at me funny, and my family screaming. Nice. I quickly got over that. We just fucking beat the Yankees! We are going to the World Series! Holy Shit I am in Germany!

So the next few days while I tried to figure out what to do about the Red Sox, we traveled to Prague. Somewhere in between Germany and the Czech Republic I decided that I was going to go home. Logistically this meant cutting my trip short by a few days. I was there for over two months, what is a few days right? And I planned it out so well. There was still a few key places that I wanted to see, so I stayed in Europe as long as possible. While in Prague, the Series started, and there were no 24 hour internet cafes. Luckily, after frantic searching, knowing that his girlfriend was going to have a cow, Dave found a bar that was going to show the game. It was in this very cool old basement with beautiful brick arches and a projection TV. Perfect. It was even filled with Red Sox fans from all over Massachusetts. Guys from Braintree, Quincy, and Bridgewater made me feel like I was home. Perhaps it was the lack of sleep and quality food in that day, or nerves, but I started to feel like shit. Really like shit. So the Red Sox are about to play in the World Series for the first time in eighteen years, my sister is at the damn game, and I am projectile vomiting in the bathroom. Lovely. As a testament to Dave and how well he knows me, there was not one point while he was cleaning me up in the bathroom where he asked me if I wanted to leave. Vomit or no vomit I am watching this damn game and he knew it.

We won that game. We won the next game too. And the next, which is great if you are a Sox fan. But not great if you are a Sox fan who planned on making it home in time to watch the final game barring that anyone swept. Who sweeps in the World Series? The Cards won like 100 games last year, they couldn't even take one from us? Not one? As if not being in Boston isn't bad enough, just know that while the Red Sox were celebrating the end of the Curse in St. Louis, I was sitting on a bench in the airport in Frankfurt sans internet, sans TV. I ran out of phone cards and there were no shops open, so I couldn't even listen to the game. Ouch, it still stings.

Don't get me wrong I was very, very happy that the Sox won it all. The problem was, I felt a little cheated. In my dream I pictured it different. I didn't get to see my Dad overcome a lifetime of heartache. I would kill to have seen that. I have watched every highlight reel and DVD of the whole thing over, and over again. But it is not the same. Part of me feels like it never happened, like it was really a dream. I guess I just really wanted it this year so I could feel it for myself. I know that it could never be like last year, but I just kind of hoped I could pretend. I wanted to recreat what I could not have and it failed. I am not writing this so anyone will feel bad for the girl who had to spend last fall in Europe, poor thing. This isn't intended to be a sob story. I am just still really bummed about Friday. Let's just hope that Theo picks up some pitching in the off season so we can do this all over again in a few months.

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