The Rays played a good series this past week. They deserved the win, what with having a great team, fantastic pitching, and an opponent who chokes every chance it possibly can, but only when it's really, really important that they win. So good job, Rays/Devil Rays! You earned it!
Speaking of Boston, I got to thinking about curses the other day. Boston had theirs for certainly long enough--enough so that most of us never thought we would see a World Series win in our lifetimes. The Cubs are well known for their own curse, the only difference being everyone on earth knows they'll never win. And the Yankees have a curse of their own, believe it or not. And that curse is to be forever plagued with a fanbase made up entirely of hosers. Yankee fans are the definition of fair-weather fans. Sure, there are people who live in New York who happen to root for the Yankees because of regional pride. That's fine. But how do you explain the other 1,538,982 idiots across the United States who also consider themselves NYY fans? Have they ever lived in New York? Anywhere near it? Do their roots go back to NYC? No. They root for New York because they can't stand to root for a losing team, and because the NYY are the winningest major league team in history they feel fairly confident that they'll be in a good mood after most games. So that's bad enough. But you take a season like this one where the NYY did not perform up to their fans' ridiculously high standards and suddenly you see people jumping ship like diseased rats from the Titanic. Their loyalty to the Yankees is founded entirely in how well the team performs. What kind of fanbase is that??
Now, take a man like my father: New England roots, raised in Boston by hardcore New England/baseball fans. If my father were even a fraction less straight than he is right now he would have proposed marriage to Ted Williams years ago. Ted would have had to get a restraining order to keep my father's love at bay. He loves Teddy and the Red Sox A LOT. A LOT. REALLY. My dad is another one of those who thought he would never see Boston win in his lifetime and, no exaggeration, he broke down and cried when they won the Series in 2004. My dad loved the Red Sox in good times and in bad. Sure, he inflicted his own personal curses upon them every time they choked when faced with victory, but he never denied them his undying love and affection. And no, Sunday night was not a good night for him. But he still loves them just the same.
The Husband works with a couple of NYY fans. None of them have ever lived anywhere near NY, let alone have any other possible good reason to root for them. One of them even grew up in Boston; he and his father (the original offender here) apparently got tired of getting their hopes up and decided to take the easy route instead. These same fellows, when faced with even one game in which the Yankees have lost, curse the team to death and announce that they will no longer follow the team if they're just going to lose like that. And yet, after the very next win, they are suddenly rabid fans once again.
As if it couldn't get any worse, idiots much like the fans just described have taken to suddenly being Boston Red Sox fans. It's amazing how no one liked them prior to October 2004, and yet starting in November every third car on the road suddenly began sporting some allegiance to the team. 2007's season ender didn't help this trend. But I'm sure they have nothing to fear since as soon as they start losing again and these temporary fans start seeing what it was like being a Boston fan before 2004, they'll flit away to the next highly successful team. It's just a matter of waiting for them to grab their Mojitos and their Abercrombie & Fitch fleece pants and getting lost.
I've also noted a strange propensity for people to root for the Cubs with little or no reason. It has become popular to root for them simply because they consistently lose (man, they nearly screwed that one up a couple years in a row, huh? Coulda lost half their fanbase over that pennant win. Phew!). The Martyr Complex of these foul-weather fans has extended to sports, apparently. Sure, rooting for the underdog can give a person warm fuzzies for, wow...hours even. But continuously rooting for a losing team simply out of pity? What? Why? That's like marrying someone because they're ugly and can't get anyone else. Why would you do that to yourself? You can't stick a brown bag over the head of the Cubs, you know what I mean? You marry them, you're stuck with them. At least with the Red Sox we always knew they would eventually win a World Series again; it was simply a matter of time and waiting it out until the Curse weakened enough for the Sox to overcome it. That, and the Sox's money buying enough good players to properly purchase a Series Yankee-style. But the Cubs? Never. Sorry. Get all the tears out now sweethearts 'cause it just ain't never gonna happen.
And now for a bit of classic hilarity that always made my and the Husband's day.
Nomar! You're nuts! For the love of Ban Johnson, get a shrink you fruitcake.