Monday, June 30, 2003

Back in the saddle. As I noted a few week back, the Sox raced to a torrid 2115-1860 start in the 25-odd years since my birth, but were mired in a 9-11 slump from the day I began this blog until the beginning of my hiatus on June 18. Why the hiatus? Well, after taking a few days off, I realized the Sox were on a serious roll. In fact, a "they've-just-won-seven-of-ten" roll. Even an occasional sports fan knows that returning to pre-winning streak behavior jepordizes a team's good fortune. Why test fate?

I return today, however, with no trepidation. Notwithstanding the return of Pedro, Brandon Lyon pitching like Rollie Fingers, and Jason Varitek resembling the second-coming of Pudge Fisk through Friday, Saturday's loss was such an atrocious streak-buster that I accept no responsibility for the cosmic repercussions this entry has on the Red Sox. Yesterday's power-packed victory was nice, but little consolation for the eight-run-lead-blowing debacle. Taking another day off would do nothing to heal that wound.

Joe Queenan's latest book, True Believers: the tragic inner life of sports fans deals at length with the neurotic superstitions that every sports fan -- I dare say especially Sox fans -- know too well. But of special value in Queenan's small volume is a brilliant retort to fans from the Bronx, perhaps the finest I've ever read. Oh, you Yankees fans, reveling in the Bombers good works as they reel-off 15 or 17 or something like that, gleefully noting that their division lead has swelled its largest margin in eight weeks, do not be too proud. As Queenan notes:

"There's no poetry in their victories....Yankees fans trying to trade old war stories bring to mind the scene in Cobb, where the aging Georgia Peach gets refused entrance to a private Cooperstown party filled to overflowing with lions of the game. Sorry, guys, us ordinary fans from Detroit and Cincinnati are busy discussing blown pennants, false springs, good riddance, bad trades. We don't want you here. You don't have standing." (Queenan, 2003. pg. 51)

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