Red Sox Virus

Joe Lavin's Humor Column

Red Sox Virus

October 28, 2003

Buy the book!
Click for details.

What have I done? Somehow, I have turned my girlfriend Jody into a Boston Red Sox fan. After watching Boston's miserable loss to the New York Yankees in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series, I'm wondering if this sort of thing should be outlawed. During the disastrous eighth inning of that game, she could be heard muttering repeatedly, "I don't like this. I don't like this at all."

I do feel sorry for leading her down this path. Before me, she didn't even watch baseball, and now she knows all about the Red Sox. She knows their lineup. She can keep score. She even has a knowledgeable opinion on whether the Red Sox should have fired their manager Grady Little after all this. She thinks it's disgraceful. In fact, her argument helped to change my mind. The day after the loss, I wanted to personally fire Grady Little. After listening to her, I still wanted to fire him, but at least I felt guilty about it. Even worse, I've turned her ten-year-old daughter Meaghan into a Red Sox fan as well. When I heard Meaghan say, "Yankees suck" for the first time, I can't tell you how proud I was, although I do feel guilty for introducing her to a life of pain.

More Red Sox Humor:
October 14, 2003
I Went to a Fight, and a Ballgame Broke Out
Zimmer vs. Martinez

September 16, 2003
Attention Red Sox:
Ben Affleck Needs You to Cowboy Up

June 14, 2001
Why Do We Care About Sports?

Other friends were similarly scarred. Beth, who also blames me for making her care about the Red Sox, came over for a few playoff games, including Game 7. She watched the later innings of that game curled in a blanket as if she were trying to hide from the game itself. My roommate Anna, who also blames me for making her care about the Red Sox, was often in her room because she couldn't bear to watch. She was also convinced that she was bad luck, partly because in one game the Yankees scored four runs the moment she entered the room. I didn't necessarily believe her, though I had to be truthful when she asked for advice.

"Damn, Joe, they're losing. Do you think I should leave?"

"Well, it's up to you, but it might be a good idea."

I didn't really want to make her leave the room, but sometimes you have to face the facts. Once, she crossed the threshold of the room, and a Yankee player immediately stole a base. We had no choice but to ask her to leave. It got to the point that her friend and fellow Sox fan Rachel would phone to make sure that Anna wasn't watching. Granted, Anna was in the room for the Aaron Boone home run that won it for the Yankees, but I can't blame her for that. By that point, the loss was inevitable.

True, this is all very silly. Looking back, I realize that in no way was Anna bad luck. That's ridiculous. It was me. For example, when I finally had the courage to turn the World Series on a few days later, I immediately saw Aaron Boone hit another home run. It was only by my persistent indifference that the Marlins were able to beat the Yankees at all.

Of course, superstition does play an important role in the life of a sports fan. For the playoffs, we had lucky potato chips (Munchos), lucky seats, lucky clothes, and even a lucky dessert (Boston cream pie). Somehow, because the Red Sox won a game during which we ate Boston cream pie, we convinced ourselves that eating more of it would help. Alas, the cream pie did not turn out to be nearly as lucky the second time around, nor did my subsequent weight gain. I realize that the Munchos and cream pie weren't necessarily responsible for earlier victories, but, in the words of Crash Davis, "you have to respect a winning streak."

Then again, there were other times when nothing I did worked at all. Oddly, it was almost as if I had no effect on the game's outcome whatsoever. As for Jody, she is feeling a little better these days, but that's only because the Yankees lost to the Marlins in the World Series. Again, what have I done?

The Archives

Today's Column

©2003 Joe Lavin