Wednesday, December 21, 2005

$52M and a Hair Cut

Five years ago, I moved to New England having never watched a baseball game. Not even The World Series. At the time, I equated watching baseball with the other time-honored tradition of watching paint dry.

Then I found the Red Sox. The mythical story surrounding the team, tales of curses and unbelievable bad luck endeared them to me. Add in the infectious enthusiasm of the fans, and a beautiful home in the middle of a great city and I was hooked. I am an emotional fan. The level of awe and feeling surrounding Red Sox Nation was enough to pull me in. Call me what you will, but I jumped on that bandwagon full tilt and my heartbreak after the 2003 season was just as real as anyone’s.

My mom was surprised to hear I had become a fan of baseball. I explained to her how the transformation occurred. How once you get to know the team – the players – the game opens up to you. You see a familiar face at the plate, and you know what they are capable of, and you tense up with excitement. How the Sox taught me more about baseball than I knew existed. I can’t tell you how privileged I feel to have been a fan when they finally did it in 2004. It was a truly magical, and sleep deprived week when they came back against the Yankees. Those guys were my team, and I loved them

Well, when I started this emotional investment, there was a lot about baseball I still didn’t know. Things you learn from being a fan for many years, and many seasons. Things about money and loyalty. I soon realized that often my loyalty was not to be reciprocated. That they didn’t love me they way I loved them. They were just doing a job. Money was to be made, endorsement deals pursued. I understand its what these guys do for a living, but where is the sense of home, of commitment? Don’t they get attached to us the way we do to them?

Perhaps it’s because they are often used like the currency they chase after. They are easily handed over for something the bearer needs more. Traded and swaped with a "what have you done for me lately" vibe. It's no wonder they are constantly shopping around for a sweeter deal, hoping to cash in before they pop their ACL.

Many of you longtime baseball fans see it as part of the game, and something that has always been going on and will continue to go on. I am sure you are right. Being relatively new to the sport, I am disappointed. I don't have a history with the Red Sox the team, the brand. I have a history with Millar and Manny. One now gone, the other trying to get away.

But I'm learning. I am becoming numb to the disappointment. The child-like wonder is slowly being replaced by aged cynicism. Perhaps it will make me a better fan. Somehow I doubt it. So,from now on, I will try not to form attachments, they only break your heart. Is it better to have loved and lost, than to never loved at all? I suppose it was nice while it lasted. So goodbye Johnny. . .

you, fucker.

1 comment:

P-Diddy in Sin City said...

Dude, he looks like Doug Mahlstedt.