October 17, 2006

Underdogs for Baseball

I definitely did my time as a baseball aficionado. From the 70s onward I was that saddest of sacks, the Red Sox fan, spring and summer elation turning to fall dejection with the same regularity as the leaves' transformation from green to orange to brown to fallen.

How can that be, when I'm a native New Yorker, and the Red Sox's nemesis was always the Yankees? It's true that I grew up in New York in the Yankees' classic heyday, but they held no interest for me. I didn't like them for precisely the same reason most people rooted for them, which was that they were perennial winners. To me, that was no fun. There was no drama, no pathos.

I wanted a rags-to-riches story, not a riches-to-greater-riches to ever-more-boring-riches one. And I got it in my twenties when I moved to Boston and found the Red Sox.

It was love at first sight, and I kept my vigil till that fabled fall of 2004, when the impossible happened and the Red Sox won the World Series, handily. All of Boston--and most of New England north of that epic Yankees/Sox dividing line of Hartford--breathed a sigh (or shouted a shout) of blessed relief.

Ever since then, I haven't really followed the game. And I never really followed the National League at all (shh! don't tell Dean!)

So the Mets and the Cards don't mean a whole lot to me, I'm afraid. But I know who I'd be rooting for, if I were rooting. It would be the Mets, because they're the underdogs. And I'm a sucker for underdogs.

A lot of people are suckers for underdogs.


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