Yesterday I took the girls to lunch at S’s restaurant (where we were ignored for the first ten minutes after we sat down, and then the waitress and hostess realized who we were and hovered over us for the rest of our meal). ESPN was playing in the bar, as it always is, and suddenly M yelled out “There’s Johnny Damon!” (like all pre-teen and teenage girls in Red Sox Nation, she loves Johnny). So we got to watch Red Sox highlights on ESPN’s Year in Review, and remember that there was something good about 2004 after all.
I’m really a pretty lame Red Sox fan. It had been so long. I suffered through 1975 and 1976 and 1986, through the Reds and Bill Buckner and the Yankees, always the Yankees. Though I still hoped, sometimes, a little, it was hard to believe. Every April, S really does say “this is the year.” I scoff and then ignore both him and the Sox for as long as possible. When they rally in August, as they always do, I prick up my ears skeptically, and then I’m not surprised when they collapse in September.
When they don’t collapse in September, it’s a different story. I am an excellent Red Sox playoffs fan. This year I was one of the best (insert late nights, biting of nails, David Ortiz, Johnny Damon, Curt Schilling’s ankle, Manny, Pedro, more biting of nails, the Yankees (ha!), oh, and the Cardinals).
If I had to choose between Kerry and the Red Sox winning it all, of course I’d choose Kerry in a heartbeat--well, maybe a heartbeat and a half. And there was that gleeful week when it was possible that they both would win and the world could become a good place again. But the Red Sox winning the World Series was still pretty great. Actually, unspeakably great. I smiled so hard my face hurt. M had her first sip of champagne. For just a late night moment, it was all worth it and everything was good.
Sometimes it still hits me anew: I’ll remember as I sit in my car at a red light--the Red Sox won the World Series!--or I’ll catch a glimpse on TV or in a magazine of the pile-up on the field after the last out--the Red Sox won the World Series!--or I’ll just see one of those familiar blue baseball caps with the red B--the Red Sox won the World Series! You could say the Red Sox winning the World Series doesn’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world, and basically you’d be right. But when I’m an old granny rocking on the porch, I’ll still remember that the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, and that it wasn't all bad.