An Event of Cosmic Significance

For some, it was a modern-day miracle. For others, it was one of the disasters foretold for the last days. And whatever one’s religious affiliation, it is almost certainly a sign of the Apocalypse.

Addendum: Times and Seasons can neither confirm nor deny reports that a wild-haired woman was spotted traipsing about Swampscott, Massachusetts, urging neighbors to vote to amend the Constitution and repeal the Natural Born Citizen clause.

32 comments for “An Event of Cosmic Significance

  1. a random John
    October 21, 2004 at 1:07 pm

    I will repeat what I have said elsewhere: This was the greatest seven game series ever! I am glad that it came off without any brawls, unlike last year which was so ugly. There is no way that I can get tickets, but I can’t wait to take my son down to wander around Fenway on game day. He won’t remember it but we’ll take a picture or something.

  2. Scott
    October 21, 2004 at 1:16 pm

    Yeah! We were visiting NYC last week during the opening games of the series, and I was greeted in the Airport by a “Boston Sucks” T-shirt. NY Daily news headlines started my mornings, ripping on Boston, but- NYC Who’s your Daddy now!!!!

  3. Bryce I
    October 21, 2004 at 1:18 pm

    Curse disbelivers, don’t take your eyes off the prize.

    Or have you forgotten 1986? The Red Sox rally from a 3-1 deficit to the then-California Angels, dramatically avoiding defeat in Game 5 on a Dave Henderson home run in the 9th inning with 2 outs and a 2-2 count.

    Only to be set up for one of the greatest chokes in the history of baseball. Sure, the Yankees blew a 3-0 lead and lost the 7th game at home. But ultimately, very few people remember great triumphs in a League Championship Series unless the winner goes on to win the World Series.

    Or loses it in spectacular fashion.

    As we Duke fans like to remind UNC folks, when it comes to greatness, national championships are the measuring stick, and 3>2. In the case of the Yankees and Red Sox, since 1918, 26 > 0.

  4. Aaron Brown
    October 21, 2004 at 1:31 pm

    Excuse me while I change the subject…

    I just happened to scroll down to “Most Popular Entries” and hit on Nate Oman’s “The Real Issue” — only to see that it now appears to have been authored by Matt Evans.

    Matt, I understand the temptation to plagiarize the works of other authors without attribution, but I can’t imagine taking someone else’s entire published piece and shamelessly putting your own name on it. Booooo. Hisssss.

    Now, back to our regular programming ….

  5. Bryce I
    October 21, 2004 at 1:42 pm

    Aaron–

    Fixed

  6. October 21, 2004 at 1:45 pm

    Amen to everything Bryce said.

  7. Bryce I
    October 21, 2004 at 1:50 pm

    Danithew —

    I didn’t realize you were a Duke fan :)

    I have the pleasure of being a fan of two of the most reviled teams in American team sports, the Yankees and the Duke men’s basketball team. Winning sure is hard to handle. It’s nice to take a break every now and then. My productivity improves when there are fewer post-season games to watch :)

  8. October 21, 2004 at 1:54 pm

    Well… I do admire Coach K — I can pronounce his name but I sure as heck can’t spell it. I might as well be Duke fan (I picked them to win in the last NCAA bracket challenge) since I don’t really care in a huge way for either UofU or BYU basketball.

    By the way folks, Renee has a purchase suggestion for Yankee fans that could be used to great effect and amusement during any World Series games that happen to be going well for the Red Sox. Check it out:

    http://midwestbloggin.blogspot.com/2004/10/revenge-on-hypnotic-box.html

  9. October 21, 2004 at 2:17 pm

    Yeah, the 26-0 is quite impressive. But there has to be something said for being the ONLY TEAM IN THE HISTORY OF THE SPORT to have blown a 3-game lead.

    My friend just suggested a great t-shirt “I don’t really care about baseball, but I’m a Yankees fan.” Exactly.

  10. October 21, 2004 at 2:21 pm

    I also loved Joe Buck’s (commentator) comment after the second inning that $25 million in pitching just gave up six runs in two innings. Perfect, perfect comment. Thanks Joe Buck for the perspective we all need.

  11. October 21, 2004 at 2:23 pm

    I was just telling a Sox fan that I’d like a shirt with only this on it:

    26>0

    But maybe it would be wiser to wait for 27 to come along. :mrgreen:

  12. Mark B
    October 21, 2004 at 2:36 pm

    Who cares about 26>0?? The Damnyankees went down to inglorious defeat. George Steinbrenner can look pained and strut and fret his hour upon the stage, and we can only pray that he soon will follow his team into well-deserved ignominy.

    I suspect that Rusty has run into the same hordes of know-nothing Yankees fans who seem to overrun this quiet burg every October, whose ignorance about baseball is exceeded only by their noisy exuberance as they climb aboard what they believe is the bandwagon of another cheap victory–cheap for the fans because they never, NEVER, had to suffer from years of agonizing “what ifs” and “if onlys”.

    There was rejoicing in our house last night a few minutes past the witching hour, when the fairy princes of Yankeedom turned into so many rats (following their fans’ examples) and the one true and living team in the junior circuit celebrated, at long last, in the heart of what they thought was the evil empire, but was just a rathole!!

    GO SOX!!!

  13. a random John
    October 21, 2004 at 3:29 pm

    Bryce, how gracious you are in defeat. I am impressed…

    As for the 26 > 0 comments, not counting the WS victories that the Red Sox serves to minimize the impact of the curse. Here is a team that won the WS regularly until the curse. If they had simply never won it wouldn’t be as tragic.

    I know this is premature, but if they do win, what will be pointed to as the event that broke the curse?

  14. Bryce I
    October 21, 2004 at 3:47 pm

    a random John–

    One of my best friends growing up was (and still is) a Red Sox fan. We watched game 6 of the 1986 World Series together. Old habits die hard…

    Actually, I am surprised at how little I actually care about the Yankees these days. I didn’t even bother to plug in the TV last year (I listened on the radio off and on). I don’t feel much connection to this group. Sure, there’s Jeter and Bernie and Rivera, and to a lesser extent Posada, but the rest of these guys are hired guns, and in the case of the starting pitchers, hired peashooters.

    It will be nice to have the deification of Jeter derailed a bit. What did he do this postseason?

    As for turning points, it’s not sexy, but it’s clear that the signing of Curt Schilling was the key. So the Yankees got A-Rod. Big deal. Repeat after me: good pitching beats good hitting in the playoffs.

    John Young–

    You’re exactly right (I will mention that I did note that the record I posted is since 1918, which is when the Curse is generally dated from).

    Mark B.–

    You may have provoked me into making a post about what it was like when it was cool to be a Yankee fan…

  15. Bryce I
    October 21, 2004 at 3:49 pm

    a random John–

    One of my best friends growing up was (and still is) a Red Sox fan. We watched game 6 of the 1986 World Series together. Old habits die hard. Plus, I have to get ready for ACC basketball season.

    Actually, I am surprised at how little I actually care about the Yankees these days. I didn’t even bother to plug in the TV last year (I listened on the radio off and on). I don’t feel much connection to this group. Sure, there’s Jeter and Bernie and Rivera, and to a lesser extent Posada, but the rest of these guys are hired guns, and in the case of the starting pitchers, hired peashooters.

    It will be nice to have the deification of Jeter derailed a bit. What did he do this postseason?

    As for turning points, it’s not sexy, but it’s clear that the signing of Curt Schilling was the key. So the Yankees got A-Rod. Big deal. Repeat after me: good pitching beats good hitting in the playoffs.

    John Young–

    You’re exactly right (I will mention that I did note that the record I posted is since 1918, which is when the Curse is generally dated from).

    Mark B.–

    You may have provoked me into making a post about what it was like when it was cool to be a Yankee fan…

  16. John Young
    October 21, 2004 at 3:56 pm

    The point about the world series records is, in one sense, irrelevant (the count is really, I believe, 26-5). What is significant for every baseball fan alive is the COMEBACK and the CHOKE, both of which will be remembered in sports lore forevermore. That it was the Red Sox, that godforsaken franchise which has now endured five seventh-game playoff defeats (four in the world series and one, last year, in the ALCS), who came from three games down to defeat the Yankees, the kings of clutch governed by an evil, tyrannical, indomitable dictator, and, moreover, that everyone who witnessed this cataclysmic event will remember exactly where they were when Boston won game seven (I can think of only five or six events in my lifetime that fit this category), is what really counts. Forevermore, whenever a team goes down by three games in a series in any sport, the broadcasters will refer to the monumental comeback and choke of 2004. The luster on Yankee Stadium has, henceforth and forever, been tarnished.

    That said, until the Red Sox win the world series, the CURSE (as of last night, three C-words sum up the greatest rivalry in sports) is still in effect, especially if Roger Clemens wins gave seven in Fenway Park next Sunday.

  17. Adam Greenwood
    October 21, 2004 at 9:18 pm

    That would be the best of both worlds, wouldn’t it, John? The Yankees get what’s coming to them and the CURSE, which is one of baseball’s best traditions, stays alive?

    I really have no tolerance for the idea that the Red Sox are some kind of underdogs. They’re just Evil Empire lite, Mao Zedong to Manhattan’s Stalin. It’d tickle me pink if, as you say, Roger Clemens won game seven in Fenway.

  18. Larry
    October 21, 2004 at 9:19 pm

    My 8th great-grandfather was born in Boston in 1641. I’m sure it was a revelation from him that caused me to predict that the Red Sox would win when they were 3 games down. I know that there was rejoicing beyond the veil when they won because there ain’t nothing else to celebrate there ( Boston). :)

  19. Bryce I
    October 21, 2004 at 9:28 pm

    Larry —

    What, 2 Super Bowls in 3 years isn’t worth celebrating?

    I guess you do have the Celtics.

  20. Larry
    October 21, 2004 at 9:34 pm

    Sorry! I grew up a Celtics fan. And you are right about the Super Bowls. Unfortunately I have a thing against the Kennedy’s et al. I believe they stole my inheritance. :) At least I think they did. Well, maybe they own property that is located on land my ancestors owned and the Kennedy’s never paid the estate of my forefathers for it.

  21. October 21, 2004 at 10:46 pm

    Rusty says: My friend just suggested a great t-shirt “I don’t really care about baseball, but I’m a Yankees fan.� Exactly.

    Hmm. Y’all probably get as many October “I root for them because they’re winning” Yankees fans in your neck of the woods as we do October “I root for them because I don’t know what goes on the rest of the season but isn’t it cool we made it to the postseason?!” Red Sox fans here in New England. Combine them with the “I don’t care much about baseball, but I just want to see the Yankees lose” Red Sox fans we have up here, and they far outweigh your victory-minded Yankees fans.

    Also, as a Yankees fan from 5 years old (and a loyal one too!), I resent the implication that Yankees fans don’t care about baseball. Some don’t — maybe many don’t — but on behalf of those of us who do (and care deeply, and are heartbroken when our team flubs it after such a great beginning to the series!), let me say: If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?

    Next year. There will be no more of this Boston winning…stuff. Next year.

  22. Tom Manney
    October 22, 2004 at 5:05 am

    I say the curse is at least half-dead. The curse has always been about the Yankees because that is where Ruth went. And now we can hang the worst defeat in baseball history around the necks of the New York Yankees. By the Boston Red Sox. The Yankees will never live this down. Ever.

    It is a thing of sublime beauty.

    ESPN Radio’s Eric Kuselias (also an attorney who studied at UMich, for what it’s worth) compared it to the morning after Communism fell in Eastern Europe. At first, I thought that was the most absurd comparison I’d ever heard of, but that really is what it is like. A dark cloud of oppression has been lifted. It’s a revolution. I’m not even a BoSox fan, but I’m a huge fan of baseball, and the Yankees have been bullies–oppressors–for decades, diminishing everyone else’s enjoyment of an otherwise fine sport.

    Thirty hours later, I’m still giddy. This may be the closest I ever come to experiencing a major, positive historical change. It’s better than your candidate winning the presidential election (no small consolation considering the forebodings I have for Nov. 2).

    I believe.

  23. Nate Oman
    October 22, 2004 at 9:38 am

    Don’t kid yourselves. The CURSE is in full effect until the Sox win the World Series. I am a Red Sox fans (although not one that can claim to be serious about baseball) and I was elated to see the Forces of Light triumph over the Forces of Evil, but until the Sox take home a world championship the Bambino is still taking his revenge.

    I was in NYC last week when the “Whose Your Daddy Shirts” were selling like hotcakes. All I can say is that Yankees fans are the least classy sports geeks in the world (and I can say this with some authority, having graduated from BYU and being a Cougar fan), and it restores your faith in Cosmic Justice to see a bunch of foul New Yorkers get what they so richly deserve.

  24. October 22, 2004 at 9:59 am

    It’s hard to say … the Curse really is linked to the Yankees and that negotiated deal for the Bambino — so triumphing over the Yankees shows that to some extent the Curse is diminishing in its power. But like Nate is saying … besides triumphing over the Yankees, the Sox definitely have to win the World Series. Once that happens the Curse is dead and buried.

  25. John Young
    October 22, 2004 at 11:59 am

    The curse exists only, or at least for the most part, in the minds of the Boston fans who have endured the five game-seven defeats and countless other disappointments. It is a constantly evolving thing, having become much more of an issue with every failure, particularly beginning in the mid-1970s with the Bucky Dent homer, the Buckner error, and the Boone homer last year. But make no mistake–the curse is about Boston winning the world series. It has not diminished in power and will not until they manage that feat; Boston fans simply now have the comeback and the choke to offset some of the grief they feel over the curse.

    Adam–

    You need to justify labeling the Red Sox as ‘evil empire lite.’ Why? Is it because of their payroll? Their discontented fans who (unlike the Cubs) actually expect to win only to get let down every time? Their seven second-place finishes to the real evil empire in the past decade? I agree that the curse is one of baseball’s great traditions, but it seems to me that empires have to be successful in order to be so labeled. Otherwise they are simply pretenders–sort of like Britain (sorry Ronan) or France pretending to be superpowers in the post-colonial world. Actually, that comparison is apt–Boston was the dominant team of the 1910s, right before they sold this really outstanding pitcher named Ruth to the Yankees for a song and a dance (I’m not kidding–the Boston owner was a huge patron of the arts who regularly got rid of good players to fund his Boston theatre).

  26. October 22, 2004 at 12:02 pm

    I’m a Red Sox fan and honestly think I may have suffered professional reputational damage for cheering for the Red Sox in my firm’s Manhattan conference room where several partners were watching game 7. Yankee’s fans are a vindictive group and I have no doubt that they will take their revenge.

    I agree that Yankee’s fans are not a classy group–but thinking that reminded me of a game I attended in Fenway when the “Yankee’s Suck” chant was taken up. They were playing the Orioles.

  27. October 22, 2004 at 12:10 pm

    The one game I’ve seen at Fenway, the same thing happened, Mathew: in the 7th inning, when the Sox were beating TAMPA BAY 7-0 in what would turn into the shortest baseball game I’ve ever seen (2 hours and 20 or so minutes).

    I’ve also been threatened with loss of my job — my boss is a big Boston fan, and has been threatening to fire me for over a week now. As of yesterday, the threats are no longer — but my desk and computer have been covered with Boston Globes and vindictive little notes every time I’ve been out of the office for an extended period of time over the last two days.

  28. Dave Smith
    October 22, 2004 at 2:21 pm

    John Young – “Their discontented fans who (unlike the Cubs) actually expect to win only to get let down every time?”

    Being a Cub fan in Chicago I think that you’ve got Cubs fans and Red Sox fans mixed up. If anything, Cubbie fans are overly optimistic that “this will be the year.” They always believe that the Cubs are going to win the World Series, even when it seems obvious they are not. Cub fans are the true myopics of the sports world. Even when cosmic events point to a curse (Bartman) Cub fans on the whole still believe.

    Red Sox fans seem more like realists, who know that somehow things will fall apart. Even after taking a 6-0 lead in Game 7 my Sox fan brother-in-law just watched in agony, knowing it was all going to collapse at any minute. Players who have played for both franchises have commented how there is a different vibe between the two “cursed” franchises, Boston being much more pessimistic while Chicago is optimistic.

    Sports radio in Chicago the last couple of days has shown that Cub fans on the whole are rooting for the Sox to end their curse. Although this would leave the two Chicago teams as the last “cursed” franchises in baseball, it is better than letting the hated Cardinals win. One of the best days of the baseball season for Cubs fans is the day the Cardinals are eliminated and Cub nation can use its favorite line “The red birds are dead birds.” Go Sox!

  29. John Young
    October 22, 2004 at 3:12 pm

    Dave (are you the same Dave who went to ND law school?)–

    Allow me to clarify my overly general statement a little. I also live in the Chicago area (South Bend), listen to Chicago sports talk radio, love the Cubs, and want the Sox to win the world series. You’re right about the respective pessimism and optimism of the Red Sox and Cubs. However, the Cubs’ idealist optimism is like Mormon’s view of his own people in the last years of their cataclysmic collapse–without any real, lasting hope. The perennial “we’ll get ’em next year” has historically died by the end of May, giving way to the other familiar Chicago phrase “oh well, they’re the Cubs . . .” I heard this phrase from more Cub fans than I can count (or at least several dozen) during the last two weeks of this season.

    By contrast, Boston has historically had a far more contending teams (other than one or two Ernie Banks teams, the 1984 sqaud, and last year’s near miss, the Cubs have had zero). Yes, the Sox might expect to blow it eventually (especially if the Yankees are involved), but they feel in their hearts that, with all that talent, they really SHOULD win. In other words, they have a real, lasting hope which the Yankees, or Buckner, or some other natural or supernatural force, have shattered at the last possible moment. Thus, the letdown has historically been much greater for the Sox than the Cubs; indeed, it’s all about the letdown. The Sox have been to five game-sevens in the playoffs since 1946; the Cubs have had only the one last year (okay, 1984 was a deciding game-five, so two). Historically, the Sox have actually spent the money necessary to win the World Series; the Cubs, until this year, have not (although their shoddy owners did have the means to do it but refused). All in all, the Cubs continue to be the “lovable losers” they have always been–a title no one would give to the Red Sox (at least partially because of the fans–Red Sox nation can be pretty annoying, though not nearly as much as Steinbrenner’s legions; Cub fans are both plentiful and lovable). This may be changing. As difficult as it was to see the Cubs choke this year, I had a hard time loving this team. You may disagree with me on this, but they seemed to have no heart (the one who gave them the most heart–Sosa–suddenly and unexpectedly lost his heart, along with his ability to hit). Hopefully next year they’ll show some of the guts they displayed during their playoff run last year.

    We’ll get ’em next year!

  30. Mark B
    October 22, 2004 at 3:34 pm

    John (too) Young doesn’t do justice to one of those Ernie Banks teams–the 1969 Cubs. The year of the Miracle Mets–which just shows that one person’s miracle may be another’s disaster.

    The Cubs were in first place from opening day until the second week in September. On the day after Labor Day, they were five games ahead of the Mets, with an 84-52 record. They managed to win only eight more games, losing 18, to finish eight games behind the Mets.

    Still, despite the collapse, they were a great team, probably the most talented in the National League that year.

  31. Dan Richards
    October 23, 2004 at 10:08 pm

    If Boston wins the World Series, it will be much like the 1980 Olympic Hockey team, which beat the Soviets in the semifinals, then won gold against…somebody?. The win everybody remebers is the penultimate.

  32. Bryce I
    October 24, 2004 at 12:07 am

    Dan Richards–

    That’s a big if, but you’re exactly right.

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