I’m baack!

I did
something on Monday that I have not done for just over 18 months, watched the
Red Sox game.  I took last year off from the Red Sox; let’s just say that
I banned them.  Not one inning was watched in my house and if it was on
anywhere I was, I would leave the room.  I am a Red Sox fan, but I fell
out of love with them quite a while ago.  What happened at the end of the
2011 season I did not see as a choke job or bad luck, I saw it as an indication
of things to come.

We have been extremely fortunate in
New England.  Our four major sports teams have all won a championship in
the last decade, not many cities can say that.  I don’t think any city can
say that.  We have a rabid and passionate fan base that makes rooting for
these teams extremely special.  However, with the Red Sox it’s different.
 After they won the second World Series in 2007, rooting for the team just
didn’t feel right.  When the John Henry Group bought the team in 2001,
nobody knew what to expect from them.  It had to be better than the
stuffiness that resided at the end of the Yawkey era.  We saw changes
immediately and a renewed energy grew among the fan base.
The Red Sox run at the 2003
championship was the takeoff for what I call the “marketization” of
the Red Sox.  I don’t want to say that the Red Sox weren’t always in
business to make money, but the new owners made you see it.  They utilized
the confines of Fenway Park to make it more of an experience rather than just a
place to see the ball game.  They installed seats on the beloved Green Monster;
a feat that nobody ever thought would happen under the old regime.  The
new owners pumped life into Red Sox Nation, and the fan base responded.
 The team responded as well by finishing one game short of the World Series.
 The fan base was excited, the stadium looked prettier, but the
“Curse” continued.
The 2004 season was the pinnacle of
my life in Red Sox Nation.  Everything I had grown up to believe and all
the time that I had put in as a fan was rewarded.  The Red Sox had done
the unimaginable, and won the World Series.  From that night on the Red
Sox “Nation” took on a whole new meaning and regular die hard Red Sox
fans were swept aside for the pink hat, replica ring buying, corporate fans.
 I did not feel betrayed because it truly is a business.  I still
watched the games and rooted for the team, but it was no longer appointment
television for me.  I was actually on my honeymoon when the Red Sox came
from behind again in the ALCS in 2007.
However, it seems that my honeymoon
has been better served than the honeymoon that the owners of the Red Sox have
seen dissipate.  The collapse during the 2011 season was a microcosm of
what the previous three years had built up.  Not only was a great
experience and a star studded team given to the fan base by the owners, it was
now expected.  Watching how the organization reacted to the fall of the
previous season weighed heavily on my decision to not watch last year.  In
my eyes, Fenway was starting to look and feel like the Bronx.  One thing I
have learned is when you try to be something you are not the results are
disastrous.  That is the only way anyone could describe last season.
Now, one could read this and call
me a fair weather fan, which is fair.  I like to look at it as me stepping
aside while the herd thins.  The sellout streak will come to end this year,
which is not by accident.  Because the fans that the ownership was
appealing to only associate themselves with winners, and we all know that it
will be some time before the Sox will be winners again. So, I am back!  I
am rooting for this team without the hope of another World Series run, but with
the expectation of another sub-par season.  I would rather root for a team
that gives a full effort and is young rather than a team of overpaid aging
If you don’t take it from me, ask
my wife.

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