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October 22nd, 2007

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T Radio was running ads for Ernie Boch (ON THE AUTOMILE!) at South Station yesterday. That's right. In addition to drowning out buskers and making South Station sound like a mall, the public transportation system in Boston is now telling you to go buy a car.

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.

(16 comments | Leave a comment)


Date:October 22nd, 2007 01:30 pm (UTC)
I wish I could cope with lack of sleep, as I'd have liked to see not only the end of the game, but the post-game revelry. I love your descriptions, though.
[User Picture]
Date:October 22nd, 2007 01:44 pm (UTC)
yeah - it's gonna be a long week. hubby may make me watch Wed & Thu in the living room. hehehehehehe.

*butt wiggle dance*

[User Picture]
Date:October 22nd, 2007 02:19 pm (UTC)
[...]did Buck at one point say that Cleveland had "owned the Yankees pitching staff" in the divisionals?

Yes, yes he did. The FOX commentators make me homesick for Don and Jerry.
[User Picture]
Date:October 22nd, 2007 02:30 pm (UTC)
Do you agree with me that when Jonathan Papelbon gets excited, he bears a great resemblance to John Lithgow?
[User Picture]
Date:October 22nd, 2007 03:00 pm (UTC)
With a cigar in his mouth and dancing a jig, yeah, he's quite a bit Lithgow-like.

But when he's on the mound and all intense, as tikva pointed out last night, he's the Charles Wallace of the Red Sox.
[User Picture]
Date:October 22nd, 2007 11:44 pm (UTC)
So that's how he pitches so well! Tesseracts!
[User Picture]
Date:October 22nd, 2007 02:44 pm (UTC)
That was an awesome game. I just knew that error was going to cost 'em the game, and I wasn't really convinced otherwise until the 8th inning or so.
[User Picture]
Date:October 22nd, 2007 04:56 pm (UTC)
And it would have changed it, if that third base coach hadn't screwed Lofton TWICE in the same game.
Date:October 22nd, 2007 07:01 pm (UTC)

well actually.....

the third base coach only screwed Lofton once. He was actually safe on the throw from Manny-- watching the replay it is conclusive, the Sox caught a MAJOR break on that one. (And I'm a sox fan, too)
[User Picture]
Date:October 22nd, 2007 04:26 pm (UTC)
Driving back last night from my trip to see the Revs vs. Toronto FC, listening to the Red Sox game on about 11 different radio stations in each area we passed through, getting about 50 text messages per inning (apparently the Revs' Taylor Twellman was at the game), when we needed gas. In our hungover and battered state we hobbled into the gas station near the last exit off the NY Thruway. The Yankee-hatted proprietor took one look at our plates and said, "I hate...really...to say this. But you deserve it. New England is owning sports right now."


And again, eff T-Radio.
[User Picture]
Date:October 22nd, 2007 05:04 pm (UTC)
My father feels the same way about Fox's coverage.
Hey, is "Coco" a nickname, or did the Crisps really name their dear son after a breakfast cereal?
[User Picture]
Date:October 22nd, 2007 05:23 pm (UTC)
It's a nickname, his first name is Covelli.
[User Picture]
Date:October 22nd, 2007 07:10 pm (UTC)
Personally, I feel a visceral desire to boycott anything I hear advertised on T Radio.
[User Picture]
Date:October 22nd, 2007 09:49 pm (UTC)
Dude, Joe Buck + Tim McCarver makes me mildly insane -- did you hear the other night when McCarver mixed up Okajima and Matsuzaka? Ugh.
[User Picture]
Date:October 24th, 2007 07:04 am (UTC)
Sorry. I was too harsh in my (now deleted) comments from before. I genuinely apologize. I should not have said what I did.

I can't chalk it up to anything other than just sheer meanness and frustration - not that the Indians lost but that... well... the Red Sox (and the Yankees, and to a lesser extent the Cubs, Dodgers and Giants) really do seem to be bathed in a glowing light, at least to hear it from most sports media.

I know you may not feel this, as you've lived there all your life, but honestly, the way your Sox were treated in Game 7 is the way my favorite teams are ALWAYS treated by ALL sports media. I remember reading in 1998 about how "The Padres - are they for real?" AFTER they'd made it to the fucking World Series.

I know you probably don't get Sports Illustrated and nor do I, but I'd be willing to bet you that the Red Sox have been on the cover at least twice in the past two months. (If you add in the Yankees, I betcha it's even more than that.) When the White Sox *WON* the 2005 World Series for the first time in 50-some-odd years, they didn't rate a cover. It was some damn college football thing. Don't get me wrong, I don't care if the Padres, or the White Sox, make the cover of SI. But it's indicative of how we're generally treated, compared to, well, the Red Sox and the Yankees.

So. I realize that you're used to this being the way of the world, and when that gets broken you say "hey now, Mr. Man!" But for most of the rest of the country, how your team was treated during Game 7 of the ALCS is how it usually is for most of the rest of us. I guess that was what I was trying to get across, but it turned into an exercise in dickishness. For which, again, I apologize.

End of rant and apology. I will now shut up about this subject. At least to you. Heh.
[User Picture]
Date:October 24th, 2007 12:44 pm (UTC)
I accept your apology after having read the original comments, but I will point out that the complaints here are not of how the general media treats the Sox. It pretty much boils down to Buck and McCarver, who call the games for Fox and who have been thorns in the side of Boston fans for years now. McCarver likes the Yankees, and I don't know what Buck's deal is, but they'll often call Boston-Yankees games with an obvious slant.

"The Yankees have kept the Red Sox at bay, squashing a late-game rally and giving up only two runs as we go to the bottom of the eighth with the Yankees still over the Sox by one!"


"The Red Sox can't hold up to the Yankees' late-game rally, allowing them to score two runs as we go to the bottom of the eighth with the Red Sox clinging to a one-run lead!"

They constantly get facts and player names mixed up, they'll continously go back to replays of a Boston error from innings gone by, while ignoring other team errors that allowed runs to be scored, they're just infuriating to listen to. Especially when they use "owned" in the l33t sense.

Everybody's used to their local sports coverage favoring the team; Johnny Most, long-time Celtics announcer (the gravelly-voiced fellow behind "HAVLICEK STOLE THE BALL!" often joined the fans in hassling a referee who made what they thought was a bad call. Chick Hearn was a Lakers fan first and announcer second, though his slant was usually more positive towards the Lakers rather than negative towards the other team. Regional coverage is always like this. You expect that.

You don't expect it in a game called on national TV and you shouldn't. Network TV should be neutral ground, man. Of course, it's never really the case, and commentators will always play up an underdog angle if they can find one because that creates compelling drama and makes the game more exciting. But in a game between two strong teams, what do you do then?

So no, the complaints are not that the Sox are getting unfair treatment from everyone or anyone other than the two guys from Fox. I do concede that, post-2004, there's been more annoying Sox fans who do run 'round with egos the size of the right field bleachers, but honestly I view 'em as wagon-hoppers, fairweather fans, pink hat wearers, and folks who usually gravitate to a winning team because, I dunno, it makes them feel good to like winners or just because it's trendy. They disappear in the dark times, finding another team to root for once their former dandies no longer stand up.

And it's embarassing sometimes to feel any kind of royal treatment, especially ones that get others upset. But then again, that's personal and indigenous to this area; Bill Buckner, Bucky Fuckin Dent and "there's always next year" have given the true long-time Sox fan a healthy sense of humility that the newer fans just don't have and wouldn't understand.

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