In all of this Red Sox-Yankees commotion which has been taking place over the past few weeks it is easy to forget that there are those on campus who support neither team.
This article goes out to those people who were looking out their windows this past Wednesday wondering “What’s the big deal?”
First let me start by saying that the Red Sox and Yankees have an intertwined history, and without the other neither would be the team it is today. Fans thrive off the rivalry, and it is from this animosity that a great amount of each organizations mystique is derived.
As even the most estranged sports fan probably knows that the Yankees, with 26 championships, are the most successful baseball franchise around. At the same time, most people know that the Red Sox have not won a World Series since 1918 and were last in competition for a championship nearly 20 years ago.
To outsiders, this classifies the sox as losers, the “bad news bears” of baseball. But, to the millions of sox fans that live across the country these past shortcomings only intensify the love for the team and the place they represent. The Sox are the Rocky Ballboa’s of baseball, perpetual underdogs who have been afflicted with a curse for nearly a century.
A curse which just this Wednesday was broken when the Sox did the near impossible by coming back from a 3-0 deficit against a team they had never before overcome in the playoffs. For those who are not up to date on baseball history, no team has ever before come back from a three game deficit to force a seventh game, let alone win that seventh game.
The recent Sox/Yankees match-up was no regular series. The Yankees, by allowing the Sox to sweep them in the last four games, set a new standard for the biggest choke in baseball history, while the Sox have redefined the word “upset,” by succeeding where every past team had failed.
Even if the Red Sox had lost, which they were not far from doing, there would be no loss of faith within the fan-base. We have waited nearly a century for a World Series victory, and one more year would only serve to intensify the eventual gratification when the Red Sox finally do take home a championship.
The Yankees have 26 championships under their belt, and while this makes them special as a franchise, it trivializes each of these victories on the individual level.
Consider last year’s World Series which could have come down to the Cubs and Sox (the two teams who have the longest streak without a championship.) The mere possibility of such a competition of underdogs and what it would mean to each franchise created a buzz in the sports world. Such a competition would arguably be the greatest World Series match-up ever.
Now consider what it turned out to be: Yankees vs. Marlins, one of the most trivial, boring World Series I can remember. I doubt Yanks fans followed that competition with the same intensity that they felt during the Sox series this year. I am, and always will be, a Red Sox fan. I worked at Fenway Park for five years and no matter what has happened in the past or what will happen in the future I will remain in love with this team.
The Sox are the heart and soul of Boston and the surrounding areas, and people who move to foreign places, outside of Red Sox’s jurisdiction, take their love with them and pass it on to their kids. Basically if you’re a Sox fan, you’re a Sox fan for life. A whole generation of people, my grandfather included, has born and died loving the Sox but never getting to witness a World Series victory.
So when it does happen, and it will happen before my and your eyes, you know its going to be something special. The combined triumphs of all 26 Yankees Championships will not equal the pleasure Sox fans will derive from this one solitary victory. Boston’s foundation will shake with the resounding of a century’s worth of celebration being unleashed on one night.
Being a Yankees fan is easy, but the loyalty of Sox fans is tempered in a hundred years of unconditional love and patient waiting.