October 08, 2003
Sox are 2001 Patriots Revisited
BY: Kevin Rousseau
Don't be scared.
There is no need to be scared anymore. This year, there is no reason to curse the heavens, blame past generations, or refer to your Calvinistic-like destiny. Nope. This year's Red Sox team doesn't care at all about your weird psychological hang-ups about some guy named George Herman Ruth. And neither should you. In fact, since the Patriots blew the lid off all of our pessimism on February 3, 2002, Boston sports fans have turned over a new leaf.
Suddenly, Red Sox Nation feels a sense of entitlement and that indeed it is finally our destiny to win the World Series. We deserve it, don't we? Sound familiar? It should. After all, there are no more passionate, knowledgeable, and loyal baseball fans around.
Let's rewind to the fall and winter of 2001-2002. Before that season, the New England Patriots were perhaps one of the least-respected franchises in the history of the NFL. Sure, they had won a few AFC championships but they never really had come close to winning the big one. My poor mother, who has had the burden of living in a Patriots household all of her adult life, stated in November of that year that she had a feeling that there was something greater than we could explain taking place to the Patriots that season. She couldn't explain it. She just knew. Call it a woman's intuition.
During that year, the Patriots and their fans showed an intensity and sense of purpose as if they were playing for the freedom of the entire world. So it is again this year with the 2003 Boston Red Sox. Don't you get the sense that this is the moment you've been waiting your entire life for and you better be prepared and ready for it? I sure do and I've only felt that way once before.
This year's Red Sox may just indeed be the 2001 Patriots revisited. They are a loveable bunch of characters who have put their team first, take advantage of fortuitous breaks, and don't listen to the cynics or "experts" who easily dismiss them. No 25 cabs for 25 players with this team. No sir. Search your memory bank and recall another Red Sox team who has pulled out so many last minute, pulse-pounding victories from the jaws of defeat. That's right, you can't.
So when the last out is recorded this season, make sure your mental camera is focused. Try as you might, over the years, the sharpened image and emotion you will feel at that moment will dull. It's already happened with the Patriots Super Bowl victory. Years from now, you will thirst to relive that feeling (even for a split second) that overcame you at that moment. Every now and then it might hit you, but then it will go away as quickly as it came.
You will never forget the people you were around at that moment. You may also remember all of the disappointments of a lifetime that came with following the Red Sox. You will remember the beautiful days spent at Fenway Park with people who have passed through different stages of your life. You will recall wearing a Red Sox hat to school in fifth grade and wishing you were Fred Lynn. You might even be overcome with emotion as you think of your Grandmother, who has followed the Red Sox her entire life, but won't be able to appreciate her apt reward due to senile dementia.
Excuse me. I have to go. I have to get ready. I have a date with destiny.
I would be thrilled to hear from you. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don't forget to check me out at 8:17 on Monday mornings on Bangor, Maine's sports radio leader, WZON 620 "The Zone." Family members and other people forced to deal with my ego can listen over the internet at www.zoneradio.com
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