For starters, let me just say that watching the Bucky Dent homerun and Game 6 of the 1986 World Series and Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS all still hurt. Not in a "oh, I’ll never get over that" way. But in a sad, ‘man it suhked living through that’ and in regard to 2003 – "those guys deserved better", way.
So maybe that’s why 2004 is something Red Sox fans will never get over. Even if the Sox win this year, or if not this year, even if they win again in my lifetime (which I now believe they certainly will), it won’t be the same. It will be great…it will be amazing and it’s absolutely what I want to happen, but it won’t be the same. When I see clips from the 2004 ALCS, I start to cry. Seriously. I’m typing this with tears in my eyes. Happy tears, mind you, but tears nonetheless.
When I watch scenes from 2004, I feel like I’m watching home movies. Home movies from a tremendous time in my life. And I make no apologies. So many fans from other fan bases say "of course you hang on to 2004, it’s all you have". Those people don’t have a clue. They don’t know what it’s like to want something as much as you’ve ever wanting anything, just to have it snatched away time after time…and then to finally have it given to you, well that’s almost too much to accept. There is a reason people celebrate their anniversary. You want to always remember that amazing moment in time. It’s the same here. No matter what else happens in Red Sox lore, 2004 is the beginning of the new era. An era where Red Sox fans couldn’t care less what Yankees fans say. An era where the media says things like "the Red Sox made the best comeback in sports history" and no one can say ‘that’s a matter of opinion’. The Red Sox and their fans have a new identity. It doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten the old one…nor does it mean we don’t embrace it. As Theo said, winning the 2004 ALCS was for the fans, but also for all the teams who couldn’t get it done in the past. And winning the 2004 World Series was for all those players who deserved a ring and never got one. Every team has their own rich history (well, most every team)…and ours is a history of sadness, tears and eternal hope. Every so often, something like "Reverse of the Curse of the Bambino" comes along and reminds me of that.
The Red Sox are only a game and a half in first place right now…and they’re beginning a very tough series tonight. I certainly expect…and hope…that they’ll come out on top, but regardless of where they end up, they won my heart in the 70s…dug themselves in during the 80s and 90s and gave me everything I wanted from them in 2004…so, as it says in my ‘about’ profile…anything else is gravy.
(Note from Cyn: I wrote this at around 6:30 and then my live blog pushed it down. It seems to me, that it’s more appropriate after a game like tonight’s!)