Last January, I needed to go the mall. It happened to be the afternoon of the AFC Championship Game. It occurred to me, that I should wear some Patriots garb since I was sure the place would be crawling with Pats fans. Since my Patriots fandom ranks a bit behind the Red Sox (and Celtics, for that matter) I only had a Wes Welker t-shirt. Not that there’s anything wrong with Welker…especially then. But, it was January. A t-shirt needed to be worn under a jacket unless I wanted to freeze. That defeated the point of wearing it. How did I not have a jersey, or at least a sweatshirt, to wear on cold days? So, I went onto eBay and found a cheap jersey to buy. Solely to wear the next time the Patriots were in an important playoff game. The same thing happened recently with the Bruins. They had a big game seven last series. I wanted to show my love, but could only muster up a t-shirt. Now, the Bruins playoffs are held in warmer weather than the Patriots. But, I needed to do better than that. Back to the internet to remedy that situation. It occurred to me that this probably doesn’t happen in every city. Heck, it didn’t even happen here until recently.
What does it say that I feel I need a Patriots jersey to wear the next time they make the Super Bowl? That people need to have a Celtics jersey to wear to work during the playoffs? Parents need to make sure they have a Bruins jersey for their kids to wear to school during the next Finals series. How bizarre?
Has that slanted my Red Sox feelings? Obviously, I’m more than set when it comes to Red Sox garb to wear, even in October. But, has my level of expectations been skewed by all the other teams?
I remember 2004. The Sox came back from down 0-3 to the Yanks to eventually go up 3-0 on the Cardinals. I don’t want to say that I “feared” that they would blow that lead. But, it was something that entered my mind. More of a “Wouldn’t it just be the way, if the Sox became the first team to come back from 0-3 only to become the second team to blow a 3-0 lead the very next series?” I don’t think like that anymore. In 2007, when the Sox went down 1-3 to the Indians, it never occurred to me that they would lose. The next year, I just assumed they’d beat the Rays in game seven.
That has carried on, even now. Of course the Sox swept the Twins. They’re a good team, playing a not so good team. I didn’t care that the Twins just handed it to the Sox the week before. That was when the bullpen was in disarray. This is now. It was just expected.
And, not even “expected” like having high expectations that can’t be met. More of a relaxed assumption. Everything will turn out ok, because it always does.
Even though that’s crazy. The Pats lost that AFC Championship game in January. The Celtics were brushed out of the playoffs this year fairly easily. The Sox, if you remember, are coming off a couple disappointing years. But, somehow I’m still holding on. Weird.
I blame the Bruins.