1918 No More

Prior to last night, I wouldn’t have wished being a Boston Red Sox fan on anyone. But as Keith Foulke made that underhand flip to Doug Mientkiewicz, I would have given just about anything to feel what the devoted citizens of Red Sox Nation must have experienced at that moment. So much pain, so much disappointment, so much heartbreak. So many years of being the punchline to baseball’s cruel joke, so many years of having to hear about that stupid curse. It must have been incredible.

Where it began, I can’t begin to knowing
But then I know it’s growing strong
Was in the spring
Then spring became the summer
Who’d have believed you’d come along

In fact, in a way I feel sorry for young Red Sox fans, because they will never get the full amount of pleasure from this long-awaited championship. There’s a 20-year-old in Boston who’s probably still celebrating, but he’ll never know what it’s like to worry that you might go an entire lifetime without something you want so much, to think that you may never live to see the day, and then to finally see it. There’s a 20-month-old in Connecticut who slept in his father’s arms as the last out flashed across the TV screen, and he’ll never fully understand the experience that comes along with this win.

Hands, touching hands
Reaching out, touching me, touching you

For one night, I would have given anything to be an old man in Boston, a diehard Red Sox fan who lived through Williams and Yaz, Fisk and Tony C., Rice and Lynn, Clemens and Mo, Nomar and Pedro. I would have given anything to know just what it feels like after all those years, all those games, all those disappointments. After Stanley, Schiraldi and the “slow roller” to Buckner, after Bucky “Bleeping” Dent and Aaron “Bleeping” Boone, after McNamara and Little, after 19-8 and being down 0-3. If you’re going to experience all the pain, you might as well experience all the pleasure too.

Sweet Caroline
Good times never seemed so good
I’d be inclined
To believe they never would
So good, so good

No more “1918.” No more “Curse of the Bambino.” No more “No, No Nannette.” No more wondering what you ever did to piss God off so much. Hell, the next time the Yankees come to Fenway, the Red Sox fans can start up a chant of their own: “TWO-THOUSAND … [clap, clap, clap, clap, clap] … TWO-THOUSAND …” Give it some time, I’m sure it will grow on you.

Look at the night and it don’t seem so lonely
We filled it up with only two
And when I hurt
Hurting runs off my shoulder
How can I hurt when I’m holding you

And what a way to finally win it. From being all but dead at the hands of the Yankees to being on the right side of the greatest comeback in baseball history. Throughout the postseason, the Red Sox seemed to get the breaks that have gone against them so many times in years past, and when the finish line was in sight they left little doubt, completely dominating a team that won 105 games. Eight wins in a row.

One, touching one
Reaching out, touching me, touching you

From that 20-month-old and that 20-year-old to the old man who remembers Teddy Ballgame’s first at-bat, I hope Red Sox fans remember this moment and these feelings forever. I hope they soak it all in, because it’s been a long time coming and, as Red Sox fans know better than anyone, you never know when you’ll get to feel this way again.

Sweet Caroline
Good times never seemed so good
I’d be inclined
To believe they never would
So good, so good

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