Let’s get something on the

Let’s get something on the record: I don’t believe in any curse. I don’t think “fate” determines that the Red Sox will lose. I don’t think Kevin Millar ponders Harry Frazee one bit. All that being said, your distaste for the media fatalism, for your by-extension dismissal of the feelings of legions of devoted fans is, I say, arrogant and a bit callous. The fact is that, and you correctly point this out, the Sox and Cubs are NOT cursed, but that doesn’t mean that fans don’t feel despondent, sad, or cursed. I feel sad because I really want the Red Sox to win a Series, my Mom feels sad because she really wants them to win a series during her lifetime, which they haven’t, my Dad too. We get pissed/sad/irrationally emotional, we feel cursed because our context and team history is far different than yours – you have no experience with what we have gone through (Mariano throwing a ball into center field doesn’t count). It’s not that I am claiming any kind of monopoly on sports-related grief – hell, Mariners fans have been hungry, White Sox fans, Falcons fans, etc, all have had it pretty tough, and I am sure, at some point, you have felt disappointment too. But it’s pretty arrogant for you to be so dismissive of the sensitivity that Sox and Cubs fans have about their team (and from this sensitivity comes the irrational “curse” explanation). The context of these teams is very different from the context of New York. The curse is, to me, an emotional crutch for a lot of people (one which I try not to lean on, though I sometimes fail), a way out of the darkness and despair of painful losses. The curse isn’t real, but it sure feels real. On the other hand, it’s not that I expect anything less from a Yankees fan (Yankees fans in general are the up-by-the-bootstraps-cream-rises-to-the-top-meritocracy-backin’ Republicans of all baseball fans) – the tone of noble patricianism, the attitude that the best always come out ahead, etc (ironic since Yanks fans may in fact be more diverse, more working-class than any other set of fans and even more ironic because the Yankees don’t run a truly meritocratic system, with their free-spending ways they tend to wait for other meritocracies to break up and poach their dispersal). So another issue: we should acknowledge something about sports – the best team doesn’t always win. That’s why sports is so fascinating, because a run at the right time can propel a team to a championship, because a team with a certain makeup matches up well with another team with bundles of talent. That’s why we watch, I think, even the most mismatched teams fight it out (Pats/Rams, Braves/Mets almost any year, etc.). This year, the best team, top to bottom still around in the playoffs, is probably the Yankees, so if they win, this year will be a case of the best team taking it. But that isn’t always the case. A superior opponent doesn’t always beat the inferior one. It’s certainly not worth pointing that out after the game in a press conference if you play for the losing team and feel like you need to tout how talented you are and how the other team isn’t as good as you even though they are parading a big shiny trophy around, as per many sore losers (e.g. any player on the Steelers), but it is a truth. Sometimes lesser teams are champs. But you know what? They will always be the champs. I am off for a business trip to San Francisco and unfortunately will only be able to catch the game/games if JetBlue now provides Fox, though I will get the highlights via onboard ESPN. I am on planes at 4pm today and 7pm est tomorrow. Go Sox!

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