Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Boston's Best

The last time that I wrote about sports, all my favorite teams lost except Kansas City.  I had named them all, and they all promptly lost. 

So when I realized that I was excited about the World Series, and that I wanted Boston to win, I decided it would be better for all Boston fans if I didn't write about my thoughts or feelings on the topic.

But I thought it couldn't hurt to write an email about how I felt.  So I did.

Boston lost the next two games.

So I took to monkish silence and sat atop my couch with nary a (public) sound.

If a Boston Red Sox fan cheers alone, does anyone hear?  Hopefully not, given my track record.

I don't think the championship can be taken away ex post facto though.  So I'm writing now.

They were great - simply great.  They were the kind of team that makes it fun to be a baseball fan.  They had so many stories going - worst-to-best, the beards, Papi, a closer that never tired... I loved it all.  But I think I loved the beards the most.

I started watching during the initial post-season games.  I noticed the beard on the pitcher first. He looked Amish to me.  Then they showed the catcher - David Ross was in at that point, as I recall.  I thought, is he Amish too?  Then I figured it out and so posted on Facebook, "Are all the Red Sox Amish?"  My true baseball fan friends gave me a thumbs up on the question.

What is most intriguing about the beards is the willingness of the players, as a team, to shout out their penchant to have superstitions, while simultaneously speaking of an undeniable team spirit - where the whole is greater than any one of its parts.  Nobody needs to say a word.  The beards do all the talking - and reminding, if a player here or there (a newbie rookie or a hardened veteran) forgets the intention. 

The second greatest part of this World Series for me was Papi.  He had a World Series batting average of - what was it? .780 or something? - and it was just exciting to see him come to the plate.  I was speaking with a new lawyer friend, and she said it was the look on his face, pure determination, that was compelling.  We all should carry such grit and belief.  Apparently after the second loss - so the record was Boston 1, St. Louis 2 - the big man sat down with his team and told them to play ball. Just play.  Get out of your head and play the game.  It worked.

People complained that the games were sloppy and the best players on the field were the men in blue (you know, the umpires).  And there were some exciting, controversial calls - none of which seemed to be controversial due to their substance, just their uniqueness.  It was good to see the blue guys do well in amidst any controversy.

But still, for me? There was a fluidity and camaraderie to the Red Sox play, regardless of errors or glitches. 

And with all that Boston has seen this year... celebrating a World Series win is only right and fair.

I was exhausted on the night of Game 6 - the last game, as it turned out.  I had been working that day since 3 a.m., on a legal brief.  I didn't know if I would make it through the entire game, being played in Boston.  I watched long enough to see the Sox take a 6-0 lead then fell asleep, unable to stay awake any longer.  I didn't see the final out or the final score of 6-1 until the next morning.  But I fell asleep content, knowing what had mattered to me was not the final toss of the final game to show the ultimate win, but the way the game had been played all Series long.

There is a new old Irish saying: May the angels smile upon you, may the wind always be at your back, and may your face show determination, grit and belief like David Ortiz's face did during the 2013 World Series.

No comments: