The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Sox fans-unite!

It’s been said that my columns about the Red Sox have no bearing in this paper. So, instead of writing about them every week, I settled for other, more offensive columns about Utah’s college teams.

But I must say it’s been hard ignoring my Sox during this highly exciting season, especially during their improbable August winning streak that sent them into the playoffs.

Except for last week when I wrote about the AL MVP race, which just so happens to include Manny Ramirez, I have resisted my temptations.

For the sake of my readership I have written columns that have pissed people off instead, which was fun, but it wasn’t as spiritually cleansing as writing about the Sox.

I was continually tested, during this long streak of abstinence, by the numerous baseball caps with the bright red B with white trim embroidered on the front. The B that stands for burned, for bloodied, and for bad luck as much as it stands for Boston. I see those fans walking all over campus with a similar burden on their souls, and I’ve wanted to reach out to them, but I haven’t.

Until now.

I want to create a sense of community among Red Sox fans at the U. I’ve wanted this since 1999, when the Sox faced the Yankees in the ALCS for the first time in my life. But I had to resort to long-distance phone calls and solitary weeping instead of conciliatory hugs and the comfort of seeing others who are visibly suffering.

During a pivotal game in that series, the umps blatantly missed a call at second base that cost the Red Sox a huge inning. I instinctively ran out into the lounge of my dorm hall, looking for someone to scream discontentedly with. But I found no one, so I returned to my room to punch a wall.

Basically, we need a localized support system to prevent this type of violence, and other forms of emotional expression that go hand in hand with a Red Sox vs. Yankees ALCS.

I desperately needed this last season, as I wandered around aimlessly after Aaron Boone broke my heart in Game 7. I needed to vent about Grady Little and Pedro Martinez, and how bad I felt for the old Red Sox fans who had even more tragic history to contend with. But all I found was a dark, empty campus, and very little consolation.

As the year went on, I heard about hundreds of displaced Sox fans and their tragic accounts of Game 7, and one theme ran through most of them: loneliness. We need to change that.

I’m not saying all of us need to crowd a bar or somebody’s house to watch every game together, although I recommend this for those of you so inclined. All I’m suggesting is that if you are a Sox fan and you see another Sox fan, acknowledge them.

I’ve been doing this all year by tipping my cap to fellow fans. Some of them look puzzled by this gesture, but for the most part it’s been a positive experience.

Feel free to experiment with your method of acknowledgement, as it will preserve your individuality within the group, but don’t feel obligated to be original. The point of this alliance is to provide a forum for consolation and/or elation, depending on the outcome of these playoffs.

As for you compassionate souls out there who couldn’t care less about the Boston Red Sox, you can provide consolation, too. Just don’t try to contextualize our suffering with some of your own because that will just make us mad.

Red Sox fans have always preferred to suffer with our own kind. It’s not discrimination as much as it is a long-standing, demented inside joke between friends that only we can fully understand.

If you want to get in on the joke, start by watching the Red Sox this week, and if history is any indication, you’ll see the dark comedy unfold before your eyes. To supplement this knowledge, check out the Sports Guy on ESPN’s page 2, a long-suffering, unabashed Red Sox fan who is widely considered the best voice of our fan base.

Both should provide you with some of the necessary knowledge to suffer with us, and believe it or not, you might enjoy it. If you root for the underdog in the NCAA basketball tournament, you’re going to love the Red Sox.

Just like the Valparaisos, the Southern Alabamas and the Gonzagas before they were found out, the Red Sox will give you games where you jump out of your seat with excitement.

But instead of the general indifference you feel after the 14th seeded Valpo Crusaders fall to the third seeded UConn Huskies, the depression after a Sox playoff loss lingers, potentially for an entire season, or even a lifetime.

Especially when it’s a loss to the Yankees.

This series has the potential to be the best playoff series in all of sports this year. It was last year, and the history, both recent and ancient, has provided this ALCS with enough hype to make a boxing promoter sound soft-spoken.

So whether you’re a fan or you’re not, you should at least tune in this weekend and check on the health of the Red Sox fans, local and national.

But if you are a fan, don’t forget to burn your Hideki Matsui voodoo doll, decapitate your Mariano Rivera bobble-head, break your symbolic Sheffield hypodermic needles in half, and give me a nod if you see me on campus. I’ll either be the guy staring at the sidewalk, or smiling from ear to ear, depending on certain results.

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