So Long Lester, Lackey, Gomes and Drew…
(and Andrew Miller too!)
Why I’m A Red Sox Fan
Ten years ago today, I made my decision. I had been following the 2003 American League Championship Series very closely. Usually by my college classmates who were feverishly trying to keep themselves contained with excitement.
In a small New England college, it was Red Sox and Yankees. The Nation vs. The Evil Empire. 86 years of infamy versus 26 titles. David vs. Goliath, it felt.
I had no rooting interest to begin with. I’d admired MLB from a distance for a while. My favorite player growing up was Ken Griffey Jr., but I couldn’t find the reason to be a Mariners fan.
The only team I rooted for was the New England Patriots. Having never been to Boston as a kid, I felt cheated rooting for teams in a city I had never been to. Same went for teams from NYC. But the Pats name seemed to encompass the entire region where I lived. When I was a kid, that team was known for being pretty bad. I got heckled a bit for not liking the Giants or Cowboys, but I didn’t care.
So it seemed I would be leaning Red Sox in 2003. Again, I watched from afar during each game which seemed like a battle. Then the deciding moment came ten years today when the Yankees rallied then won it on Aaron Boone’s homer.
One would think that the winning team would be winning in my eyes. But I’ll never forget the voracious reaction of Yankees fans. It was less about what they had accomplished than what the Red Sox had not. Boasting, bragging and overall bad sportsmanship. It was a real turn-off.
I chose the team with 86 years of infamy. The following year, I rooted along nearly every game. Came home stunned to the Nomar trade. And wore my hat proudly even when the Sox were done 0-3 in the following ALCS. We know what happened.
It was a bit hard to adjust to the years after 2004 because it was easy to be labeled as a bandwagon fan. Fair enough. But know that my decision was made long before Keith Foulke stabbed the come-backer for the final putout in 2004. Ten years ago, Aaron Boone made my decision.