Sunday, October 28, 2007

Red Sox Naughton: My Life with a Red Sox Fan

It all started six years ago when I went against the grain and married a Red Sox fan. As the daughter of a devout NY Yankee fan and having grown up in a Yankee household this was considered a "mixed marriage".

Six years ago though, the Red Sox still sucked and the Yankees were still in the midst of their reign.

But, I'll admit I caught the fever. I've always been a fan of the underdog. I'll always pick the losing team in the hopes of a momentous comeback. I love watching grown men rush to the middle of the field and cry. It is hard not to get caught up in the moment.

I can remember sitting in my living room in October '86 watching game 6 of the Mets / Red Sox world series. The rest of the family was asleep and I was stunned as the Sox' first baseman let the ball roll threw his legs. (I was secretly rooting for the Mets that time 'round, which is why I waited for my Dad to go to bed before I turned the game on.) Nothing like a blooper to change history.

Ironically, later learned that Joe's greatest heartbreak wasn't a result the girlfriends who came before me, but instead it was a man named Buckner who broke his heart in '86. Yes, his deepest heartbreak came from an unwavering love of the Red Sox.

When the 2004 playoffs rolled around pitting the Red Sox against the Yankees I chose the Red Sox (much to my family's dismay) -- after all they were the underdog. And, I cheered right along with Joe as they broke the 86 year curse.

This past January as Joe's 40th birthday loomed, I decided to give him the best gift of all. You see, my love had never been to Fenway to see his love.

We purchased tickets for three games opening week. We flew out of Savannah in 70 degree temperatures and landed in Boston amidst snow, sleet, and rain.

That first night, we got off the subway and started the short walk to Fenway from the station and I could sense Joe's anticipation. As we rounded the corner and the Green Monster came into view Joe stopped dead in his tracks and stared. He was brought to tears and admittedly so was I. He was finally living his dream and I was honored to have been standing by his side. I never believed that the love of the game could be this powerful.

Joe worries about his Red Sox hat rotation with the same fervor that Francona worries about the pitching rotation. Today, Joe selected the Saint Paddy's Day green hat. Hopefully, Francona's decision to start Lester will not find Joe in his old school blue wool hat tomorrow night.

Here's hoping. Go Sox!

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