I was born at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, which, as any good Masshole knows, means I was born a Red Sox fan. While being part of Red Sox nation has not always been the most rewarding undertaking, it has certainly given me a crash course in sports, life and the inner workings of my soul (or something along those lines).
From the very beginning I learned how to handle disappointment. I learned that you can’t win every game you play in, but that you should never ever stop trying, there’s always next season. Even if you haven’t won in 86 years, the next year could be yours.
I learned that true fans, or friends, will be there no matter how down you get. They will be there to look stupid, cheer you on, and defend your honor and success no matter how close to rock bottom you may be.
After one game with some particularly nasty fans, I learned that beer does not make you a nicer person. It can, in fact, make you think that hitting someone, stealing other people’s beverages, and slurring insults seem like a fantastic idea.
In 2004, I learned that my dad would let me stay up late on a school night for something very important. That same day I learned that miracles can and do happen. I learned that when everything seems lost, and evil is only three outs away from yet another title, good really can pull through.
I learned that there is not much that tastes better than a Fenway frank and there is not much louder than an angry Red Sox fan.
Loving the Red Sox helped me learn that having only one thing in common can bring together thousands of people and I learned that one of the absolute most amazing sounds in the whole world is 38,000 people singing Sweet Caroline in unison.
I learned that taking the T to Opening Day is crowded and loud, and taking it home from Opening Day is downright impossible.
I learned about my dad. I learned how to talk to him on the T, at lunch at Pizzeria Uno before each game, between each inning, on the ride home. Having one thing in common created a bond with my father that will always be there.
I learned what it meant to be part of something much bigger than I am, something that will go on even when I am long gone.
After 19 years, and seven Opening Day games at Fenway, I learned a lot from the Boston Red Sox. I know much more than I have mentioned here, but the most important thing I learned, above all else, is that the Yankees have always, and will always, suck.