If you are reading this column, you are one of elite company. Think about the number of fans who went their entire lives without seeing the Red Sox win a single World Series title. Now, we have the opportunity to watch the Red Sox compete for their third World Series crown in 10 years. Are we spoiled as baseball fans? No, it has been a long time coming for Boston baseball fans who are loyal even in the toughest times.
If you haven’t guessed by now, fans from around the league are starting to look down upon the Red Sox for their recent years of success. Red Sox fans are regarded by many fans around the league as arrogant. At least that is the understanding I got when I spoke with my college friends, who are fans of a handful of different clubs.
Forget about those naysayers. How can you really hate a team that has gone from worst in the American League East a year ago to first-place and competing for a World Series? You can’t. These Red Sox are special.
Two things are certain about this year’s Red Sox; they have been a treat to watch, and that sponsorship contract with Gillette is going to come in pretty handy once the run is done. “Fear the beard,” that is what teams have done throughout the postseason. The comparison of this year’s team to “Idiots” of 2004 has been tossed around, and yes, it is true.
For a team to fire its manager and go from last-to-first in their next season is unheard of.
This year’s American League Championship Series was one for the ages. Boston narrowly was no-hit in its first two games, but timely, long-ball hitting negated that. How about David Ortiz’s grand slam in game two? Where does that rank in the all-time list of Red Sox moments? For me, it’s at least in the top five.
While many were snuggled up in their beds after midnight on Oct. 13, the Red Sox were celebrating as they headed to Detroit with the series tied.
Fast forward four days and it’s Mike Napoli’s dinger that is the difference-maker in a 4-3 win in Detroit.
The Red Sox came back to Boston with a one-game series lead at 3-2. They wanted to finish it in front of their hometown faithful, and that is exactly what they did. Game six is when the series finally came to a close, thanks to Shane Victorino’s grand slam. Fans could go to work the next day, well-rested. Game six occurred six months to the day of the Boston Marathon tragedy. Could that be the driving reason behind this team’s success? When Boston was hit by the bombings, Ortiz came out and said, “This is our (expletive) city.” And, so far, they have held their word. With the Boston logo mowed into the center field grass with the word “strong” below it, it has motivated this bearded bunch.
Bosses rejoiced! Production numbers finally returned to pre-ALCS numbers. But not for long. The World Series started Wednesday with the average standing-room-only ticket costing $363. That’s a standard weekly paycheck for some blue collar folks. I think I will just sit in front of my TV with my dog, Dozer, thank you very much. He has learned to become quite the baseball fan over the last few weeks.
Sleep until someone else yells … at least that’s his understanding.
There is no way Boston will enjoy a sweep over this Cardinals team like they did in 2004. I remember being a sophomore in high school at homecoming. The town hall was nice enough to set up a projector so everyone could watch the game in the lobby. Needless to say, there were many girls who were not very happy with their dates that night.
Switching gears from the World Series, in which I like the Red Sox in seven games, I have to talk about that albeit weird, costly call the Patriots suffered on Sunday against the Jets.
The game is in overtime and Jets kicker Nick Folk comes on to attempt a 54-yard field goal. Well, Folk hooks the kick wide left, just as Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and the rest of the offense comes on the field, the official makes a call.
The call? Unsportsmanlike conduct for pushing his own player into the pile. Are you serious? If you have never heard of the rule, you are not alone. It was recently put in place by the league as a part of its initiative to protect the players.
But let’s face it, a rule is a rule. No matter if the fans know it or not, the players should be educated on it during camp. Chris Jones, a rookie who was with the Texans at the start of the season, said he had learned about the rule, and he wasn’t thinking Sunday.
Kudos to Jones for manning up. Hush up, Patriots fans, who think it is some sort of glaring conspiracy, since Jets head coach Rex Ryan’s brother, Rob, is an assistant with the Saints. Rex Ryan already silenced that rumor on Tuesday when he spoke with USA Today.
No conspiracy here folks, just a new rule that so happened to be called against the Patriots. If the same penalty had been called against the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars, would we be still talking about it? Nope.
But, with that being said, it is a great time to be a New England sports fan. The Patriots are 5-2, and the Red Sox have a chance to win their third World Series trophy in 10 years. It’s not so bad after all.