October 24, 2007


With the Red Sox victories comes a loss of angst (Brian McGrory, October 24, 2007, Boston Globe)

We're rolling sevens everywhere. The perennial bridesmaid is now the odds-on favorite - two-to-one against Colorado, according to the Vegas line. Phones are ringing. Far-flung friends and family members are calling - tell us what it's like, fill us in on the excitement, don't spare a single detail of the city's singular swagger.

So shouldn't it feel better than it does?

The first order of business is to admit it to ourselves: 2004 was more meaningful. Back then, and in the 86 years that preceded it, we knew who we were. We were hapless, though never hopeless. We were the ones that always had something to overcome - a curse, a seemingly in surmountable deficit, a little-brother syndrome.

In the end, until that fabled October, we usually lost, but that was OK. In defeat, we had identity. We got to be the luckless loser. A team, its city, and indeed, an entire national following, thrived on it.

Tom Menino was sitting in his City Hall office yesterday saying what needed to be said. "This is different. In 2004, we never had a taste." He paused, then added, "When you think about Boston, 1 in 3 Bostonians is 20 to 34 years old. You and I know what it's like to lose. They don't."

Which means they don't know about our angst. It was our blanket, our source of comfort, our common bond. If angst were a natural resource, we could have had factories packaging it up 24 hours a day and shipping it to every part of the world.

As it was, we claimed all the angst for ourselves, though the good people of Chicago seemed to have their own supply. Red Sox fans could always blame our misfortunes on New York's payroll, Boston's mismanagement, free agents' unwillingness to come here. It gave us our status as perennial underdogs, the lovable spectacle. We wore that suit, frayed as it sometimes seemed, very comfortably.

Without it, what have we become?


Posted by Orrin Judd at October 24, 2007 12:00 AM

Don't get cocky. The Baseball Gods do seem to be smiling on Colorado.

Posted by: Mike Morley at October 24, 2007 8:03 AM

what have we become?

More like Yankee fans, but without the sophistication. (At least the Yankee fans have a few victories over the years to be arrogant about.)

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at October 24, 2007 8:58 AM

Don't GET cocky? Way too late for that advice.

Posted by: jgm at October 24, 2007 9:29 AM

Man, there's a lot of sour grapes here today.

Posted by: Bryan at October 24, 2007 3:14 PM

Well, their alternative is no grapes.

Posted by: oj at October 24, 2007 4:35 PM