More Red Sox
Even if you don’t like sports, you have to admit that this is a pretty cute story*:
For instance, before 2004, I never would have called my father for a “Who’s winning the MVP?” conversation before the final out. I never would have started recording the ninth inning on our bedroom TiVo just to give the World Series celebration “SAVE UNTIL I DELETE” status. I never would have pulled my daughter out of bed after the seventh so she could watch them win, even though she yelled, “No, I don’t like baseball!” every time we turned on a playoff game this month. Things are just different now. The 2007 Red Sox were really good, they will continue to be good, and that’s just the way it is. They weren’t going to blow Game 4.
I promised my daughter there would be a payoff at the end — that somebody on Colorado would make an out, that the Red Sox players would jump on each other and celebrate, that there would be dancing and hugging and everyone would be really happy. She understands absolutes (words like “happy” and “dancing” and “hugging”) and understood something special was about to happen, but she had never heard the word “celebrate” before.” She liked the way it sounded, so she kept saying it. Celebrate. Every time something happened in the last two innings — a strikeout, a groundball, whatever — she’d ask me why they didn’t celebrate and I had to keep telling her, “No, you’ll know when they’re celebrating, I’ll tell you when.”
Eventually, she started watching me to play off my reactions. When Jamey Carroll cranked that one-out, 0-2 fastball in the ninth, for a split-second, like every other Sox fan who had abandoned their anti-jinxing rituals, I thought I had screwed everything up and screamed, “Noooooooo!” before Ellsbury hauled in the catch and she asked me what happened.
“That guy almost screwed it up,” I told her
“Oh.” She thought about it for a second. “They’re not going to celebrate?”
“No, no, they’re about to celebrate,” I told her.
We moved to the edge of the bed. I was sitting down; she was standing between my knees and leaning against me. Paps uncorked a 2-2 fastball for the clinching strike (“Yesssssssssssss!!!!!!!!!”), whipped his glove in the air and flipped out like he always does. If there’s an enduring image of this 2007 Red Sox team, it’s the sight of a wild-eyed Papelbon waving Varitek towards him for a postgame embrace — he always looks like some drunken Boston kid who just sucker-punched somebody in a bar and wants the fallen guy’s buddies to run over for a full-scale brawl. COME ON!!! LET’S DO THIS!!! Once Varitek jumped into his arms, the entire Boston team mobbed them within seconds, and everyone eventually settled on jumping up and down in a delirious circle. A few seconds passed before my daughter finally turned to me with a big smile on her face.
“They’re celebrating,” she told me happily.
*Note to ESPN: I’m not trying to cramp your style, just trying to share the story. If my blog ever becomes popular and you find this, just drop me a line and I’ll change it to a simple link. Good doing business with you!
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