Wrap your brains around that one.
In the meantime, I'll be over here in my happy American League Championship bubble. It was one of the stranger playoff games I've seen; the Sox were scoring off double plays and sacrifice flies, balls were popping up over the infield grass and crossing base bags to remain fair, Coco Crisp did his best impression of the Kool-Aid Man to snag the final out, it was a real hullabaloo, let me tell you, brother.
But nothing could bring us down over here, not even Fox's usual atrocious coverage (did mine ears deceive me, or did Buck at one point say that Cleveland had "owned the Yankees pitching staff" in the divisionals?) and the constant replay of Lugo's one error that, in retrospect, didn't ruin the game. It's funny, though, that when Cleveland's left field crew performed a move right out of The Bad News Bears ("The coconut-like sound of their heads colliding secretly delighted the bird") we didn't get to watch that one over and over and over again. Maybe you did if you have a Tivo or something, but I didn't.
The post-game celebrations weren't as spirited and crowded in Davis Square as in 2004. The streets weren't lined with anything but anticipatory police barriers. Of course, this time around we hadn't just whupped the Yankees good, which, as David pointed out, was the real victory of the 2004 playoffs. Whichever team we swept in the Series to actually take it was irrelevant (who were they again? Oh, gee, I don't know, some kind of bird, I think. Those four games came and went so quickly I think they were just a blur.) What mattered back then was that we'd beaten the Yankees, who suck.
Yes, this year we had it easy. We didn't have to come back from a 3-0 series deficit; no, we simply had to come back from 3-1. Easy peasy! Even so, there were still plenty of honking horns, people going "woo", arms raised in victory, you know, all that good stuff. Just with far fewer people than before. I called Dad from the Square, just as I did three years ago, to celebrate the victory.
"I think you're required to holler in response when someone comes by honking," I said, after lowering the phone real quick to let out a boisterous "YEAAAAAAH!!" at a passing carful of cheering fans.
"It's a moral imperative," Dad agreed, his hearing intact.
The best part of it, though, was the one kid in the center of the square, just walking around by himself, playing "Tessie" on a harmonica. The song drifted around honking cars, passed over the heads of people going woo, and came back strong every time relative peace and quiet temporarily returned to the square. The Sox were going to the Series, the kid could carry a tune, and all was right with the world.