For all things Tooks, and some things, er, relating to other people. As well as to other things. You get the picture.

17 February 2004

sometimes it's hard living a long way away from massachusetts. for instance, i missed out on a lot of super bowl hype, and so i had to get myself psyched up for the big game. and the joy i felt when my patriots won their second crown in three years was not really appreciated by the rest of central texas.

however, at least no one here really cares that much about the a-rod deal, from what i can tell. or at least no one's talking about it. in boston, i gather (from steiner's misery-soaked blog on the topic) that people are beside themselves from the never-ending treachery of the bronx bozos. here, though, people don't seem to care. granted, i don't spend time with any baseball fans, and i don't read the newspaper, (except for the ny times, which featured a stunningly idiotic article yesterday detailing why the yankees always beat the red sox in everything). but still, i don't have to deal on a daily basis with the shame and humiliation that are very probably washing over boston right now in an all-too-familiar tidal wave. sometimes it's better just to sigh once and try to put it out of your mind, and it's a lot easier to do that when the folks in your neighborhood aren't on suicide watch because of the whole kerfuffle (thanks, lizzie).

i kind of wish i were home, though, just to commiserate with those long-suffering die-hards we all know (and are). misery loves company, and misery loves the red sox.

although i'm a relative newcomer to the red sox pain game, especially compared to my dad and grandfather, who have been hurting for decades now, i would like to forward a theory. the trick to limiting the suffering you feel as a result of red sox setbacks, losses, blunders and heartbreaks, is never to think, "at least it can't get any worse." you have to be stoic, patiently endure, and never expect any improvement. you have to be prepared for the other shoe to drop. i am not recommending that a person delight in or even perversely hope for bad news, but rather never commit the fatal mistake of assuming the worst is over. for example, in october, when we came within an inning of doing what nobody could imagine and then threw it away in the most heart-annihilating fashion, if you thought to yourself at that point, "well, this is as bad as it can get," you probably were disproportionately distressed at this week's bad news about the-rod (thanks, abe). however, if you were expecting more pain not too far down the road, you probaby just thought, oh, ok, here we go. this, i believe, is the key to the least-painful, most-sustainable state of red sox fandom.

deep in our hearts, though, deep down, where no one could ever touch, not even if they tortured us with white-hot irons on the insides of our eyelids, deep deep deep down dwells the never-diminished hope that one day, someday, the red sox will beat the yankees in the alcs and will then win the world series. each fresh mound of suffering heaped onto us with each fresh disaster only feeds that hope, though this may be hard for non-believers to understand. heartbreak and hope are not opposites; they are not even connected. our hearts may (and probably will) break over and over and over, but our hope will never fade. come jeter or highwater, a-rod or the apocalypse, we will be waiting, rally caps on.

go sox with me,


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