I know I already posted today, but someone just asked me this question and I felt compelled to answer it. What makes a Sox fan a Sox fan? We are a unique set. We are the most knowledgeable fans in baseball, and we can go from the top of the mountain to the lowest low in a matter of seconds, all because of a Lugo error or a bad inning.
I didn’t grow up anywhere near Boston, but my Dad did. I think the
reason we’re so cynical and prone to curl up in a ball and die every
time things start to look bad is because we were so close for so long
and always came up empty handed. We don’t know how to react to this new
era of Sox winning. My Dad heard stories from his Dad who heard stories
from his Dad about the Royal Rooters and the Curse.
From 1918 on it was
all pain. When my Dad was growing up, he experienced loss after loss
while hearing about the losses he wasn’t around for. But we watch
anyway. My grandfather was dying of cancer, and he stayed alive six
months longer than he was supposed to just to watch the Sox play in ’67.
Despite their losing, anyone who really loves the Red Sox can’t help
but be emotionally and physically invested in them. They’re like part
of our family, in our homes from April to October (hopefully). I think
because we love them so much, we have this uncrushable hope. The hope
that has been beaten down so many times, it can no longer be defeated.
We’re tough. We’re quick to give up temporarily, but we will never
truly give up. We don’t know how to quit.
I think the new generation of Sox fans will be a
different set. We who remember the bad years have grown up with the
stories of the losses, the Curse, and legends about the Rooters and the
good ‘ole days will always swing between joy and defeat in the blink of an eye, but
our children? They’ll hear the stories and say “that was the old Red
Sox, the new guys…they’re great, they won’t let us down” That hope will continue, without the
scars of the past.
These new fans may not be scarred, like those of us who remember the days before 2004, but they will certainly know about them. This scarred mentality is what makes Sox fans so very
unique. They know their history, they know how many times we’ve been so close only to lose it all in the end. They may not have experienced it, but they understand where they come from. That is how you tell a bandwagon jumper from a real fan. True Sox fans know
about baseball. They’re probably the smartest fans in the game. They
know stats, history and can make good judgments on games.
I think that defines what makes a Sox fan. Knowledge, history, hope and love. And scars. Lots and lots of scars.