Red Sox vs. Yanks: From cursed to first
Grades have begun to drop and class attendance rates are plummeting. Close friends are snapping at each other and the infamous "Yankees Suck" shirts are now more abundant than ever on campus. This is the anomaly called playoff baseball.
As a devoted Red Sox fan, I have never been more excited for the postseason. After winning the American League Division Series in a dramatic three-game comeback against Oakland, we (yes, "we" is how Sox fans refer to their team) are now matched up against the Evil Empire also known as the New York Yankees. We are battling it out in the American League Championship Series for a chance to go to the World Series. This rivalry is without a doubt the greatest in sports today, in which players dig in a little deeper and fans scream a little louder (and yell obscenities, spit at players, pour beer on each other, start fist fights, etc.).
Now, everyone knows that Boston has the best sports fans in the country. We are still rooting like crazy for a team in an 85-year championship drought. (During that time, the Yankees have won a few championships here and there, say, for example, 26-but who's counting?) Nowhere but in Boston do the baseball fans invest so much in their team's success, and nowhere else could you start a "Yankees Suck" chant when the hometown team is playing Tampa Bay. Many would accuse Red Sox fans of being "fair-weather fans" who get down on the team when it doesn't perform and get overly excited when it does. To that, I say it's better for our fan base to show negative emotion than to show no emotion at all, as is the case with many other franchises. This shows the devastation we feel when the Sox let us down and how much we truly care. By the same token, we love the Sox even more when they are successful.
However, despite the "never ending" and "eternally positive" support of Sox fans, the Yanks have had the edge in recent years, seeing as how we have not been in the World Series in the last 17 years. The Yanks have been there a few times since then, winning, I don't know, maybe four of the last seven, but again who's counting?
This year, I believe something historic will happen. I believe that as hell freezes over, the Red Sox will simultaneously beat the Yankees and move on to the World Series to play the winner of the NLCS.
I know this is true because of that little thing called destiny. I honestly believe that the Red Sox are fated to finally go the distance after all these years. Those of you who remember the 2001 Superbowl Champion New England Patriots know what I'm talking about. Two words: tuck rule. This is an obscure rule which essentially allowed quarterback Tom Brady to fumble the ball and lose possession, then regain possession and win one of the great NFL playoff games ever. No one knew this obsolete rule even existed until it saved them from elimination and helped propel their upset of the highly favored St. Louis Rams in the Superbowl. Now if that isn't destiny, you tell me what is.
With this series about to head back to Boston, intensity is now the name
of the game. In the past couple of weeks, I have watched as an infuriated
Sox fan got up from the lunch table and storm out of the dining hall in
response to an anti-Sox comment (made by a Yankees fan, of course). I
have found myself and others sitting three feet from the TV screen, hands
clasped together in prayer, shaking all over, begging for a Derek Lowe
strikeout (which indeed came). And after sustaining a minor jaw injury
from an attempted chest bump gone horribly wrong (following a Todd Walker
home run), I can attest as well as anyone to the amount of passion that
has ensued from the Red Sox-Yankees playoff series. I encourage all Sox
fans to follow Kevin Millar's advice (after all, he is a former Portland
Sea Dog) and "cowboy up" (I don't care if you're sick of this
term; I love it), because this is the year that the Red Sox go from cursed