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Why do you watch?


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#1 Drocca


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Posted 28 February 2008 - 02:01 PM

Why I watch or how I spent a lunch break writing about baseball as the Klonipins really kicked in

Itís my experience that championships are fun for 13 minutes. Championships are really, honestly, a playerís prize. Their emotions and feelings of actual accomplishment cannot be duplicated by the fan. The prize for the fan is thousands of small victories from early March until, we hope, well into October. The walk-off, of course. But, itís the late innings, sitting upright; totally focused; begging/praying for the batter to just put the damn ball in play. For the pitcher to just throw one strike.

God, all Iím asking for is one strike.

We go to work and most of us lose out on our dreams or forget them entirely. We are never as good looking or rich or satisfied as we once imagined. We have a vague understanding that this is not how it was supposed to be but nothing beyond that. We do what we do because we have to do what we have to do.

So, is one motherfucking strike too much to ask? Seriously?

I think if youíre going to follow something, if youíre going to invest in something then you should have a solid grasp of the thing. You should know what pitch youíd like to see here. And you should also know that more people than youíll ever meet in your life will know more than you about any given subject; baseball included.

The journey is the destination. Someone already wrote that, so why spend 10x as many words saying the same thing? Because it doesnít capture it the way I see it. The anticipation is the destination. It takes point something seconds for a ball to reach the catcherís mitt, it takes point something seconds for a ball to slip through some idiot fielderís hands. The actual game is very very quick. So fast, most people cannot play it. So it is waiting for the pitch, waiting for the batter, building the tension in your mind, working yourself into a frenzy for something that will last point something seconds and then will be over and the result will be the result and that will be that and you did nothing to aid or hinder and your life, presumably, has not changed course.

Why do you punch that wall? Why do you bury your head? Why do you type fulminations to strangers?

Because one motherfucking strike is not too much to ask.

Edited by Drocca, 28 February 2008 - 02:03 PM.


#2 Tim Naehrings Girl

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 02:03 PM

I want one of your pills please.

#3 johnmd20


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Posted 28 February 2008 - 02:08 PM

Why do you punch that wall? Why do you bury your head? Why do you type fulminations to strangers?

Because one motherfucking strike is not too much to ask.

Great post D Rock. Sports are entertainment and a diversion for having to face that aforementioned life where you never ended up as talented, as rich, or as good looking as you hoped. So we follow the people who are good looking and rich and talented as a way to cover up our shortcomings.

That, or maybe some people just don't want to speak to their friends, husbands or wives about anything worthwhile and enjoy talking about the neighbors and a bunch of guys chasing a ball.

#4 fletcherpost


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Posted 28 February 2008 - 02:44 PM

Deek man (Deek is short for Derek in Scotland, it also means look. As in deek at they Chavvies.)

I assume there is a subtext that runs deeper than the rudimentary reading of what you wrote. But I'm a wee bit lost. I'm finding it a tad enigmatic, which is fine but...something must have made an impression on you and tweaked a trigger, called you to action or perhaps arms...but that's all I'm getting. Could be way off the mark. But there's fire in the belly in amongst the pies and that's no small feet.

#5 Drocca


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Posted 28 February 2008 - 02:45 PM

It's the first fake game of the year today Fletch, wanted people to share what they like about what's about to overtake us all.

#6 Rick Burlesons Yam Bag


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Posted 28 February 2008 - 02:48 PM

Why I watch or how I spent a lunch break writing about baseball as the Klonipins really kicked in

It’s my experience that championships are fun for 13 minutes. Championships are really, honestly, a player’s prize. Their emotions and feelings of actual accomplishment cannot be duplicated by the fan. The prize for the fan is thousands of small victories from early March until, we hope, well into October. The walk-off, of course. But, it’s the late innings, sitting upright; totally focused; begging/praying for the batter to just put the damn ball in play. For the pitcher to just throw one strike.

God, all I’m asking for is one strike.

We go to work and most of us lose out on our dreams or forget them entirely. We are never as good looking or rich or satisfied as we once imagined. We have a vague understanding that this is not how it was supposed to be but nothing beyond that. We do what we do because we have to do what we have to do.

So, is one motherfucking strike too much to ask? Seriously?

I think if you’re going to follow something, if you’re going to invest in something then you should have a solid grasp of the thing. You should know what pitch you’d like to see here. And you should also know that more people than you’ll ever meet in your life will know more than you about any given subject; baseball included.

The journey is the destination. Someone already wrote that, so why spend 10x as many words saying the same thing? Because it doesn’t capture it the way I see it. The anticipation is the destination. It takes point something seconds for a ball to reach the catcher’s mitt, it takes point something seconds for a ball to slip through some idiot fielder’s hands. The actual game is very very quick. So fast, most people cannot play it. So it is waiting for the pitch, waiting for the batter, building the tension in your mind, working yourself into a frenzy for something that will last point something seconds and then will be over and the result will be the result and that will be that and you did nothing to aid or hinder and your life, presumably, has not changed course.

Why do you punch that wall? Why do you bury your head? Why do you type fulminations to strangers?

Because one motherfucking strike is not too much to ask.


This is a great post. You are no soxfan121 Derek.

#7 jayhoz


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Posted 28 February 2008 - 02:59 PM

Some other reasons why we watch communicated much less eloquently than Dr. Occa.

To be part of a clan.
Because we can't play ourselves.
We all need rivals and don't often have them in our everyday lives.
The highs and lows allow us to feel and express emotions that our steady as she goes lives do not afford.

#8 SawxSince67

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 03:02 PM

Some say itís ďescapismĒ, but speaking for myself; itís the return to escapism.

When youíve played a game, competitively and regularly for a significant period in your life, youíve learned how to focus on your responsibilities toward that game. And when you focused on your responsibilities, you were laser sharp. Nothing else entered your mind. There were no diversions-you didnít want any. The rest of the week was in the past and in the future.

Itís you, that dude, the field and the play. Itís purity. Thereís nothing else right now.

I donít play a game anymore. Iím just a suburban homeowner/dad/husband, traveler to and from a meh job, grab dinner, kiss & hug the kids & wife, maybe thereíll be a fire call, but likely not, wait until Friday for a beer because I canít fucking bounce back guy. I meanÖwhat the hell happened?

So, I watch because of the odd chance that there will be something on the line Ė there will be a play Ė and it probably wonít be in May, but PLEASE GOD October Ė where the laser sharp, uninterruptible focus on that dude, the field and the play will return. No other sounds. Nothing, but the play.

Or, what jayhoz said.

#9 fletcherpost


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Posted 28 February 2008 - 03:03 PM

It's the first fake game of the year today Fletch, wanted people to share what they like about what's about to overtake us all.


I looked at the title of the thread and realised it might be more literal than I thought. But to be fair i just smoked a joint. No I see that there were no deep metaphors.

I'm a little disappointed to be wrong but glad to be up to speed. Can they be watched online?

#10 Drocca


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Posted 28 February 2008 - 03:06 PM

I looked at the title of the thread and realised it might be more literal than I thought. But to be fair i just smoked a joint. No I see that there were no deep metaphors.

I'm a little disappointed to be wrong but glad to be up to speed. Can they be watched online?


You weren't wrong, of course. I was offering up coy in an effort to get others to share their reasons for watching so as to not make the thread about my man behind the curtain.

#11 TheRealness


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Posted 28 February 2008 - 03:22 PM

Because the only time I openly challenged God, it had to do with baseball, in 2004, with a team that must not be named.

And He answered all of us.

Anticipation is where it's at. You live off your belief it will be a strike, a hope that the batter won't swing, and a small part of you desires it to lead to a Boston win. Its the belief, hope and wishes that make up my anticipation. Its the only sport where I have my hands clamped together, nervously biting the edge of each finger nail, praying something good happens. A hit. A strike. A ball. One more pitch. One more. We can do this. And in that belief, I feel connected to all of you, and in that connection I find what I came here for.

#12 URI


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Posted 28 February 2008 - 03:24 PM

You weren't wrong, of course. I was offering up coy in an effort to get others to share their reasons for watching so as to not make the thread about my man behind the curtain.


I watch because that one strike might never come.

If the outcome were pre-determined, the joy is sucked out when the tightrope snaps. The most enjoyment coming out of a baseball game isn't watching the Red Sox beat the Orioles in May. It's watching how Papelbon can one day strike out three to win, and then the next day throw the exact same pitch and see it hit a mile for the loss.

Sports is a balancing act for the athletes, and by nature of the games, for the fans as well. Baseball doesn't allow for week long crushing defeats, because the next game is always tomorrow, and the best way to ruin tomorrow is to be obsessed with yesterday. The one exception is October, which my rationality disappears for raw emotion.

You mentioned the championship lasting for 13 minutes, but it doesn't. I thought 2003 was unfair because I wasn't ready to stop watching baseball, and I transfered that to the athletes. I thought the Red Sox should have come up to start the next half inning because I wasn't fucking done yet. Aaron Boone is an asshole, not because he beat the Red Sox...because they just weren't fucking done playing fucking baseball.

The tightrope was walked in the championship series in 04 and 07. Seven games with no margin for error what so ever. If not for men like Keith Foulke and Josh Beckett, walking that tightrope, that last strike never comes at least on the right side of the field.

Tony Clark is a gigantic man, who is reasonably good at baseball and...by grace of God and ballpark...I'm not saying how unfair the existence of Tony Clark is. The one strike came.

The one strike came to an Indians team last October.

I watch because it didn't come in 2003. I watch because it might come in 2008.

#13 Drocca


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Posted 28 February 2008 - 03:25 PM

When something happens that you prayed, gnawed, and generally drove yourself mad for twelve seconds trying to will are you happy or are you relieved?

I think that answer says a lot about people and how they watch the game.

For me, if it is someone I don't expect anything from (say, Lugo) I'm relieved. If it's Papi or Manny or Pedroia(oh, yeah) I'm happy.

#14 Mark Schofield


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Posted 28 February 2008 - 03:30 PM

Some say it's "escapism", but speaking for myself; it's the return to escapism.

Dead spot on, IMO.

There was a time in my life, and probably many of our lives, when all that mattered was that next pitch. You waited for it, either at short, out in the OF, behind the plate, on the bases, or at the dish. That next pitch carried so much potential. As you slowly combed the dirt with your cleats, every imaginable scenario ran through your mind. What if it's hit to me? What if it's a curve? What if the pitch is in the dirt? What if it's popped up? Should I drop down a bunt?

At those moments, nothing else mattered. Your latest test, your girlfriend. Your boyfriend. Your ride home. It was so simple, yet so complex.

Now? Now nothing gets me back to that moment, that trance, if you will. Beer league softball? Golf? Really? Or the day-to-day of life: Alarm goes off. Kick wife out of bed so she can shower first. Feed cat. Dump. Shower. Shave. Drive to office. Get yelled at by clients. Yell back at clients. Court. Office. Home. Feed cat. Dinner. TV. Sex if I'm lucky. Bed. Rinse and repeat.

Try as I might, nothing gets me back to that moment when nothing else mattered but the next damn pitch. I miss that moment. I miss grooming the infield dirt in anticipation. I miss slowly getting into a croutch, ever so slowly walking forward, as the pitch came in.

Often times, when I'm watching a tense game, I find myself standing, and my feet slowly dragging back and forth across the carpet.

#15 fletcherpost


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Posted 28 February 2008 - 03:31 PM

You weren't wrong, of course. I was offering up coy in an effort to get others to share their reasons for watching so as to not make the thread about my man behind the curtain.


Shit, I just got that too. You know when you're just a bit stoned and everything is clear but your just five minutes behind actual play. I'm like that just now.

I think it's a privilege to be able to live life pitch to pitch. To be able to live outside the life of the pitch and then to live inside the life of the pitch. Between each pitch there is a life time to be lived of sorts. The fielders brace themselves and ready their minds. We can take a piss and go for a beer, roll a smoke or a fat one.

Sometimes inbetween pitches as I watch my favorites I am aware of all the hard work and the sweat and toil and dedication that led to that person being there...on the mound, in the batters box or in the field and I take pause and reflect on my own life and the quality and consistency of my efforts...and I'm aware of my potential and the potential loss and actual loss up to this point. And I think there's still time. It's not over.

And as my expectation and anticipation builds I project onto the future and it's a joy to do and I'm the one stealing the base. I'm the one taking the pitch and giving the signs. And even as it seems the most likely outcome will not be in my favour or to my liking I harbour hopes that something beautiful will be snatched from the dying embers of my dreams. The odds will be beaten.

And as the game goes on, pitchers make outs and innings pass and series pass and (i think) by and large, the brave and the able are rewarded for their efforts - justice is seen to be done. On the field and so too in life. By and large.

#16 TheRealness


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Posted 28 February 2008 - 03:31 PM

I'm relieved when Paps closes the game. I'm happy when someone blasts one deep. I think more so with the people I don't expect much from, like Lugo or Dougie Fresh. Its like finding that 13th Buffalo Wing when you're only supposed to get 12. Sure its the same as the other 12, but it feels more special than the others because I didn't expect it.

Papi or Manny going yard makes me feel a confident type of pleasure thats tough to describe. It's kind of like after you've made a girl orgasm. You knew it could happen, but when it does you not only feel relief for a job well done but also a sense of supreme satisfaction.

#17 The Allented Mr Ripley


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Posted 28 February 2008 - 03:35 PM

I used to watch because it filled some kind of void in my life. Which was ironic, because that's when the team was either at its most tragically star-crossed or pathetically mediocre. What that void was, I can't really say. If I were lying on a couch and some therapist said the word "Red Sox" to me, I'd probably blurt out, "Father." My dad and I didn't get along so much when I was growing up, but baseball was the one thing we shared. I think the overt love I should have had for my father was instead funneled into baseball, as if it were the same thing, with the added benefit of it being a shell game along the lines of selling arms to Iran to give the profits to the Contras. I never had to boldly state what I was doing.

Now that I have a family of my own, I don't hang on every pitch even remotely as close as I used to. Baseball is more an ethos now. It represents continuity, warm weather, a cold beer and a freckled blonde with her ponytail pulled through the gap in her adjustable strap Sox hat. It's the camaraderie I share with fellow fans, whether in real life, here on SoSH, or total strangers. It's about teaching my son the things I hold dear that my father taught to me.

That I feel this way in the midst of the greatest and easiest time to be a white-knuckled and nail-biting Sox fan, that I have stepped back in a sort of dippy medicated daze, leads me to believe that I've slain some of the demons that caused me to throw myself into baseball's embrace. Either that, or the Boone HR killed me and I now reside in baseball heaven. Maybe a little of both.

Edited by The Allented Mr Ripley, 28 February 2008 - 11:50 PM.


#18 Jethro Q. Walrustitty

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 03:36 PM

I watch for the same reason this guy watches:

I was in the room here one day... watchin' the Mexican channel on TV. I don't know nothin' about Pele. I'm watchin' what this guy can do with a ball and his feet. Next thing I know, he jumps in the air and flips into a somersault and kicks the ball in - upside down and backwards... the goddamn goalie never knew what the fuck hit him. Pele gets excited and he rips off his jersey and starts running around the stadium waving it around his head. Everybody's screaming in Spanish. I'm here, sitting alone in my room, and I start crying.
[pause]That's right, I start crying. Because another human being, a species that I happen to belong to, could kick a ball, and lift himself, and the rest of us sad-assed human beings, up to a better place to be, if only for a minute... let me tell ya, kid - it was pretty goddamned glorious. It ain't the six minutes... it's what happens in that six minutes.



#19 NomarRS05

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 03:48 PM

My theory on the appeal of sports is that it allows us to take sides in a battle, even if not physically. I think we are hardwired to compete, to fight for territory and defend our packs or villages or huts or whatever the fuck we had before civilization arose. Sports feed that hardwiring. It feels like life or death, because somewhere in our reptilian brains, it is.

Thereís another factor that makes being a Red Sox fan so special Ė the devoted fans that live and die with us. In lieu of pre-industrial community structures which encouraged togetherness through churches and town gatherings, we need ways to connect in todayís world. Red Sox fans enjoy a connection that few other fan bases in the world do. When Iím yelling at Lugo through my TV screen, I know that thousands if not millions of others are doing the exact same thing with me. It letís me know that Iím not alone.

There are many, many other reasons why the Red Sox are so important to me, and not all them are healthy, but it is what it is.

#20 SoxFanInCali


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Posted 28 February 2008 - 03:52 PM

I've tried to explain why I watch, and have failed. I don't know why I watch, or why it means so much to me. There are times when I wish it didn't mean so much, and times when the losses made me feel more angry than the wins made me happy. It also bothers me sometimes how much of my identity is defined by sports. I'm always the guy who is introduced as "the biggest sports fan I know" or "He's not a bad guy for a (insert Sox/Rams/Kings/Liverpool here) fan". It makes me wonder at times whether anyone thinks there is any more to me than that.

Is caring so much about sports a character flaw? At times, perhaps. I probably drink a little too much while watching games, and Lord knows I was no fun to be around after game 7 in 03 and Super Bowl XXXVI. But ultimately I think it's pretty harmless when compared to the character flaws of many others in the world.

Why do I watch? Because I have to. For better or worse, it's what I am. I'm a fan.

#21 Rick Burlesons Yam Bag


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Posted 28 February 2008 - 03:55 PM

Because the only time I openly challenged God, it had to do with baseball, in 2004, with a team that must not be named.

And He answered all of us.


Is this serious? Because if it is and you don't go to church every fucking Sunday I want to be standing in line behind you when God does his "WHAT THE FUCK ELSE DID I HAVE TO DO DICKWIPE!!!" schtick.

Tangent, but this is a swear-to-god true story.

The mother of a woman I lived with for a while back in my youth was an interesting, but weird lady. She told a story of how one night she was in Arizona on vacation, looked up into the stars and said:

"God, I need tangible proof of your existence. Please do that for me."

Anyhoo, next day she is on a flight back home to Rochester, NY and as the plane is disembarking this guy walks up to her - he wasn't sitting next to her on the plane now - and says:

"Sally (they had not been introduced), my name is (name) and God told me to come to you to let you know that you are loved."

And in her telling of this story, the man then disappeared after she went to get her bag from the floor. She never saw him again.

And the result? She chalked the whole thing up to coincidence and still remains an atheist.

Seriously, that just seems to me to be a stupid move.

Edited by Rick Burlesons Yam Bag, 28 February 2008 - 06:02 PM.


#22 TomRicardo


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Posted 28 February 2008 - 03:57 PM

Oh God is there. And he knows what I have done. I am just hedging my bets on forgiveness.

#23 TheRealness


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Posted 28 February 2008 - 04:07 PM

Is this serious? Because if it is and you don't go to church every fucking Sunday I want to be standing in line behind you when God does his "WHAT THE FUCK ELSE DID I HAVE TO DO DICKWIPE!!!" schtick.

Tangent, but this is a swear-to-god true story.

**snipped by Skrub**


That lady is a dipshit. To each their own I guess. If you like wearing blinders, why be forced to take them off?

But, yes it is serious. I believe the drunken yell was something along the lines of "a drunken, philandering, cigar smoking dead ass hole has more power than you. Congratulations you useless omniprescent bastard. Millions of us have prayed for years for this, and when we get so close, you fucking smack our noses like a dog pissing on the carpet. No God of mine is that ignorant." end rant.

And that is, literally, the only time I've ever done it, before and since. I don't take things for granted. I like helping people, but holy christ was I ready to join the dark side after that. Thankfully, the Greatest Comeback Ever happened, and I'm on my way to save the world. Kudos god. He sure showed my blasphemous ass. There's not a day that goes by that i don't thank the Big Guy for knocking me down like that and picking me back up.

Edited by Sille Skrub, 28 February 2008 - 06:26 PM.


#24 johnmd20


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Posted 28 February 2008 - 04:13 PM

I watch because that one strike might never come.

If the outcome were pre-determined, the joy is sucked out when the tightrope snaps. The most enjoyment coming out of a baseball game isn't watching the Red Sox beat the Orioles in May. It's watching how Papelbon can one day strike out three to win, and then the next day throw the exact same pitch and see it hit a mile for the loss.

Sports is a balancing act for the athletes, and by nature of the games, for the fans as well. Baseball doesn't allow for week long crushing defeats, because the next game is always tomorrow, and the best way to ruin tomorrow is to be obsessed with yesterday. The one exception is October, which my rationality disappears for raw emotion.

You mentioned the championship lasting for 13 minutes, but it doesn't. I thought 2003 was unfair because I wasn't ready to stop watching baseball, and I transfered that to the athletes. I thought the Red Sox should have come up to start the next half inning because I wasn't fucking done yet. Aaron Boone is an asshole, not because he beat the Red Sox...because they just weren't fucking done playing fucking baseball.

The tightrope was walked in the championship series in 04 and 07. Seven games with no margin for error what so ever. If not for men like Keith Foulke and Josh Beckett, walking that tightrope, that last strike never comes at least on the right side of the field.

Tony Clark is a gigantic man, who is reasonably good at baseball and...by grace of God and ballpark...I'm not saying how unfair the existence of Tony Clark is. The one strike came.

The one strike came to an Indians team last October.

I watch because it didn't come in 2003. I watch because it might come in 2008.

A fine post, well written, I actually got goose bumps at the end, so thanks.

Hmmmm, I should start a thread about my goosebumps. . . .

#25 DLew On Roids


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Posted 28 February 2008 - 04:30 PM

I used to watch because I considered it my sacred duty to support this goddamn heartbreaking organization until I killed myself.

Then they won the World Series.

Now I watch because kicking back with some beers and watching baseball is a lot more fun than doing my taxes or rebalancing my portfolio or playing with my children. I would watch from 7:00 pm through the end of the late games if that didn't mean I'd wake up on a beer-soaked couch at 5:00 am because I feel asleep with a beer in my hand.

(Edited because the thread was moved)

Edited by DLew On Roids, 28 February 2008 - 08:27 PM.


#26 samuelLsamson

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 04:53 PM

For me it's a mixture of reasons, but a large part is something close to the Pele experience related upthread.

There are times in baseball when the players involved approach physical perfection in their attempts to manipulate a ball so as to allow team-mates to traverse a diamond. It's like a Platonic ideal - some thrill of internal recognition that the ball's trajectory is exactly as it should be, when the bit inside my mind which spends all its time trying to predict the immediate future hits the notional home run an nth of a second before the Sox player does it for real. There's a moment of interior crystallisation when the mental foreshadowing is met and suddenly surpassed by the real play before my eyes, and then the surge wells up and and an animal cheer escapes from my throat, from the throats of those around me. It's beautiful.

Of course it's not just home runs, it's potentially any play, when that play is executed how it should be, how it just has been in my mind's instant pre-play. It almost feels like by watching and anticipating this event, I've somehow contributed to the play that's unfolded before my eyes. It's magical, and it moves me in a way nothing else seems to.

#27 Sille Skrub

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 05:30 PM

Outfuckingstanding thread.

I'm moving this one to the main board.

#28 bmacfarlane


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Posted 28 February 2008 - 05:36 PM

I don't think it's a simple answer. For instance, in my case if my uncle had hated baseball and loved fishing, I'd go fishing with the same anticipation and that's to catch fish and maybe one day catch the big one. Baseball is about the same, every day is about winning. The pitcher winning the battle with runners in scoring position or getting two outs with the tying run on third or the batter getting on base and getting into scoring position so a hit either ties or wins and maybe getting into the playoffs or winning the division or World Series. The smells, the crowd, the crack of the bat etc. etc. I guess I can't really quantify why I love the game, I just do.

#29 Trautwein's Degree


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Posted 28 February 2008 - 05:44 PM

I watch because I love seeing the joy with which Papi plays the game.

I watch because I love seeing Ellsbury run the bases.

I watch because I love the look on Paps face when he gets the strikeout to end the game.

I watch because I can't wait to see what the future holds for Buchholz.

I watch because the smallest guy on the Red Sox has the biggest balls....He's the one who it a bomb of Fucking Francis.

I watch because of Josh Fucking Beckett.

I watch because Manny is the greatest hitter to wear a Red Sox uniform since Ted Williams.

I watch because I can't wait to see that catch the Coco makes.

I watch because I want to see a gyroball.

I watch because I enjoy cheering for Wakefield and Varitek who have been with us for so long.

I watch because Mike Lowell is a gamer.

I watch because I want to cheer for JD Drew.

I watch because sometimes Dougie can still go deep.

I watch because boxscores do little for me.

I watch because Jon Lester who beats cancer then goes out and wins the World Series plays for us.

I watch because baseball is the greatest game ever invented.

Edited by Trautwein's Degree, 28 February 2008 - 05:46 PM.


#30 sfip


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Posted 28 February 2008 - 05:56 PM

This is a copy and paste of a post I made for a similar thread around a year ago. A couple of parts are crossed out and updated, for reasons you'll understand.
--------------
Pennant races. No sport is as exciting to me during a chase for playoff spots than baseball. Not football where standings change about once a week. Not basketball or hockey where there are 16 playoff spots. Also, as much we could bash Selig, he was right about the wild card. I'm not just saying that because it helped the Sox end the "1918" chants.

Speaking of, not hearing a "1918" chant ever again.

Debating baseball with others who feel as passionate about the Red Sox as I do. When you've never lived in the area of the team you root for, you don't take that for granted.

Finding out things that I'd either never find out or that I'd find out much later, inside or outside of baseball, if I weren't a member of this site.

Booing anything and everything about the Yankees. Then again, I live in a place that's well known for booing.

Doing what I can to calm posters down when they're panicking over a 3-game losing streak even though a season is 162 games.

Pointing out something in baseball to someone who knows a lot more about baseball than I do, but who didn't notice the point.

Looking around a ballpark and noticing people of all ages having the same interest I have.

Seeing my soon-to-be wife wearing a Red Sox t-shirt, even though they're her 2nd favorite team to the Phillies.

The rush I still get to this day after saying or hearing something that includes anything about the '04 World Championship, besides Fever Pitch.

Seeing an overpaid All-Star Yankee lineup get shut down in the playoffs, leading to Yankee Elimination Day. Seeing fans of the opposing team celebrate it and not feel a sense of entitlement that it should be a given, unlike so many Yankee fans.

Going to Fenway, even if I can only do so once a year. The smell of the sausage, peppers and onions outside the park is alone worth the trip.

Travelling to other cities with the main purpose of seeing their ballpark for the 1st time. Hearing all the hype about PNC Park, then last year a couple of years ago seeing it live up to the hype.

Seeing irony at a ballgame, like the '04 bash when Varitek had 2 SBs while Pokey Reese hit 2 HRs.

Seeing Manny look so effortless in preventing another runner from trying to stretch a Wall Ball to a double, years after seeing Rice doing the same thing, despite both of their reputations as slugging one-trick ponies.

Seeing a Sox defender fool an opponent's baserunner as to whether a fly ball will be caught or not.

Seeing a Sox defender go out of his way to cover a different base to prevent a runner from advancing (ex. popup lands in front of the centerfielder, both the SS and 2B are out in centerfield, but the 3B covers 2nd base to prevent the batter from getting a double).

Hearing "Dirty Water" after a Red Sox win, even though Boston was never my home.

The DH, and debating it in an NL city with fans who think seeing both pitchers strike out or bunt throughout the game is worth having the potential "strategic moment" that might not even happen in the game.

The anticipation of the trade deadline.

The anticipation of baseball transactions during the 1st few months of the offseason.

The standing ovation of a former Red Sox player during his 1st Fenway appearance as an ex-Red Sox player, as long as he's not now a Yankee.

Not knowing whether a singular Red Sox player is a Red Sock or Red Sox, since I've heard announcers say both.

Seeing Fenway saved and improved each year.

Seeing David Ortiz bat in a clutch situation, and deliver with amazing frequency.

Thinking back to Sox dramatic playoff wins even before '04, despite their reputation as always letting their fans down. '86 against the Angels. '99 against the Indians. '03 against the A's. Not to discredit Carbo/Fisk in '75 and previous ones for which I'm too young.

#31 InsideTheParker


  • SoSH Member


  • 11,088 posts

Posted 28 February 2008 - 05:59 PM

I like baseball because of the suspense.

What will be the outcome of each pitch, at-bat, inning, game, series, playoffs, etc.?
Will each team be able to handle well the play in the field, and if not, why not?
Will such-and-such player fulfill his promise and the expectations people have of him? Will his career be long or brief?
Somehow baseball has more suspense for me than other games.

Perhaps it is the pace.
It is leisurely enough to allow emotions to simmer, with brief moments of intense excitement.

Finally, as has been alluded to earlier, there is a great aesthetic thrill from watching beautiful execution of difficult tasks. Crisp's play in center field last year was full of beauty.

Actually, I get a kick out of comic moments also, especially when the opposite team screws up an easy play in a particularly hopeless manner.
There is a lot of theater in baseball. And you never know until it's over if there will be a happy ending.

#32 Sille Skrub

  • 3,957 posts

Posted 28 February 2008 - 06:14 PM

Great post, URI.

I watch because I can't remember doing otherwise.

Fenway feels like home. I still remember walking through the tunnel for the first time and seeing the grass and the monster and how small it felt. As soon as I pass through the gate all my troubles and worries get left behind, and a 3-4 hour Earthly nirvana awaits.

About 7-8 years ago, a buddy and I were grabbing a beer before heading into Fenway. We were chatting and during a lull in the conversation I turned to him and said:

"I don't think there is anything I'd rather do than watch the Red Sox play in Fenway Park. I don't think there is anywhere on Earth I'd rather be right now."

With an incredulous look, he turned to me and asked, "Really?"

I thought about it for a few minutes and reaffirmed my statement. I still think about it every time I walk up the stairs from Kenmore Station, through Kenmore Square and as I walk over the Pike on the bridge.

I stand by that statement today.



ETA: Drocca, as usual, has nailed it perfectly and there is nothing more to add other than I thank SoSH for the opportunity to read his work.

Edited by Sille Skrub, 28 February 2008 - 06:42 PM.


#33 Average Reds


  • SoSH Member


  • 10,550 posts

Posted 28 February 2008 - 06:27 PM

I watch because that one strike might never come.

If the outcome were pre-determined, the joy is sucked out when the tightrope snaps. The most enjoyment coming out of a baseball game isn't watching the Red Sox beat the Orioles in May. It's watching how Papelbon can one day strike out three to win, and then the next day throw the exact same pitch and see it hit a mile for the loss.

Sports is a balancing act for the athletes, and by nature of the games, for the fans as well. Baseball doesn't allow for week long crushing defeats, because the next game is always tomorrow, and the best way to ruin tomorrow is to be obsessed with yesterday. The one exception is October, which my rationality disappears for raw emotion.

You mentioned the championship lasting for 13 minutes, but it doesn't. I thought 2003 was unfair because I wasn't ready to stop watching baseball, and I transfered that to the athletes. I thought the Red Sox should have come up to start the next half inning because I wasn't fucking done yet. Aaron Boone is an asshole, not because he beat the Red Sox...because they just weren't fucking done playing fucking baseball.

The tightrope was walked in the championship series in 04 and 07. Seven games with no margin for error what so ever. If not for men like Keith Foulke and Josh Beckett, walking that tightrope, that last strike never comes at least on the right side of the field.

Tony Clark is a gigantic man, who is reasonably good at baseball and...by grace of God and ballpark...I'm not saying how unfair the existence of Tony Clark is. The one strike came.

The one strike came to an Indians team last October.

I watch because it didn't come in 2003. I watch because it might come in 2008.


I quoted the entire post because I find it to be outstanding. (As is the first post and the thread idea.)

I bolded the one phrase because it's the money quote for me.

One of the greatest non-baseball experiences of my life was watching my beloved Flyers beat the Penguins in 5 overtimes in the second round of the NHL playoffs in 2000. When Keith Primeau ripped a wrist shot over the shoulder of Ron Tugnutt at 12:01 of the 5th overtime, it was right around 2:30 am and I'd been watching for seven hours. And for the last four, I'd been on pins and needles with anxiety just pouring out of me ... all because I had no idea how it would end.

Each sporting contest is a beautiful combination of skill, artistry and luck culminating in a result that we cannot forsee. The result brings joy or agony ... replaced over time by hope. And the cycle repeats, endlessly.

So in 1986, my agony was eventually replaced by hope .... and I picked myself up and waited for the next game, the next series and the next season.

In 2003, I wasn't ready for the season to end, but when I came to grips with it, I moved on.

In 2004 and 2007 the hope was finally rewarded and replaced with joy.

2008 is just starting. And I have no idea how it will end, but I'm hopeful, so I'll be watching.

#34 montoursvillefan

  • 408 posts

Posted 28 February 2008 - 06:58 PM

Now I watch because kicking back with some beers and watching baseball is a lot more fun than doing my taxes or rebalancing my portfolio or playing with my children. I would watch from 7:00 pm through the end of the late games if that didn't mean I'd wake up on a beer-soaked couch at 5:00 am because I feel asleep with a beer in my hand.


Yes, the entire thread (a good one, thanks for the topic) was read, but before I get all serious or mean or angry or stand on my soapbox and weepy, this, immediately above, is fantastic, simply fantistic. Thanks for the laugh DLew, and memories...

Lighten up all, the defending champs are soon to pursue it all once again, again.

#35 LoweTek

  • 776 posts

Posted 28 February 2008 - 09:20 PM

Because...

I always will...because I always have

I can't remember a time I didn't

It's hard to do and it hurts but nobody dies and there's no crying

I gave it three ACLs...because I respect it

It is my oldest friend and the source of new friends

I'll surely see something I never saw before...because it's almost perfect

It survives...because it doesn't change

Everything else does.

#36 verloc

  • 67 posts

Posted 28 February 2008 - 09:57 PM

I watch mostly because it never occurred to me not to. Baseball is probably the only thing I will love for my entire life and never get tired of.

Plus, it gives me something to look forward to during a shitty day at work (read: every day). It also gives me something to read about on a legitimate news website, which is nice, because from November - January most the stuff I read could probably get me fired.

Edited by verloc, 28 February 2008 - 10:05 PM.


#37 ToeKneeArmAss


  • Paul Byrd's pitching coach


  • 2,298 posts

Posted 28 February 2008 - 11:13 PM

For forty-one years now. each spring I open a new chapter in the greatest book I've ever read.

It has suspense and intrigue, twists and turns I could never anticipate, and takes me on a roller-coaster ride of passion and emotion unlike anything my happy yet mundane life has to offer.

For thirty-nine of those years, the chapter has had an unhappy ending. But I just can't put it down. And each fall, no matter what, I find myself impatiently waiting for the next chapter to be released.

And the best part is ... the book never ends.



(Best thread ever, btw - kudos drocca!)

#38 wyatt55

  • 1,244 posts

Posted 29 February 2008 - 01:03 AM

Thought provoking and deep thread. Well done Drocca.

First - I relish watching the Boston Red Sox play baseball. Relish. It's an appetite for, appreciation of something I enjoy and take pleasure in. This pleasure for me derives from watching the striving involved in the game. The potential to see someone do something admirable and oftentimes heroic. A diving stab up the middle to preserve a no hitter. A spare catcher laying down a game winning suicide squeeze in a "meaningless" summer game. An all out sprint then diving catch to end a ballgame. A late game rally against all odds. Baseball taught me this heroism can come from the most unlikely of sources.

But it's not just the huge plays. There's heroism in the small parts of the game. Hitting the ball to the right side to move a man to 3B. A well executed hit and run. Getting the run home some way (any way) when he's at 3rd and there's less than two outs. A spot starter throwing 5 2/3 of two run ball. Admirable. Baseball has taught me that doing little things well matters.

Second - there's my emotional investment in this. I think we all have an innate aspiration towards that which is bigger, greater, deeper than ourselves. We have an urge to merge with that possibility.

I always shot down the idea of baseball or fandom as "religion": C'mon. There's no priests at the altar, No one telling you how to live your life. But I've re-considered after reading this latin-based definition of the word religion:

re-li-gion (ri lij' en) L. religio, religare, to bind back < re-, back + ligare, to bind, < bind together, to connect the lesser to the greater, the part to the whole

I believe captures some of the tribal aspect to this passion. The bind between me and the team I have chosen all my life to root for, win or lose.

#39 Goosewptc


  • holds the mayo


  • 4,118 posts

Posted 29 February 2008 - 02:15 AM

Baseball. It canít get any better than that. Thereís nothing that can describe the emptiness I feel between the last pitch of the World Series and the first pitch of Opening Day. Sure, we experience all the fun activities and holiday cheer during the late fall and winter seasons, but itís for a reason. Thereís no Baseball.

Iím not talking about a favorite team here. Any post on this board could be easily substituted on another board by changing a team name, player and date. Not one person or any group can proclaim themselves the best fans of Baseball. A team or player? Yeah, sure. Not of the game, though. Thatís where we stand out. Each Baseball fan has their own reason for loving the game.

I canít even describe my love of this game, this lifestyle, this thing we do to the point that itís been done justice. I just canít.

All my memories of childhood are somehow associated with Baseball. I miss my Grandfather. I miss having a catch with my dad. I miss walking to LL games. I miss hitting the ball, throwing the ball, catching the ball and running the bases. I miss being a young man.

Why do I watch? Iíll be the Grandfather in a few years. I still have a catch with my sons. I helped my kids get suited up during the LL years. I can still hit, throw and catch the baseball. I AM a young man again.

It canít get any better than that.

Drocca, this is your good stuff. Thank you.

#40 Guest_Corsi Combover_*

Posted 29 February 2008 - 04:00 AM

Great thread. I can't sleep, so I'll give my nyquil-induced response.

You know, Drocca, I agree with you. The fun of winning a championship lasts for very little. For me, it's more a feeling of relief, than a feeling of elation. My satisfaction comes from following this team from the coldest days of December through the warmest days of August and into October.

The ups and the downs are what make it so enjoyable. One-hundred-and-sixty-two games. Do you realize how many things can happen over 162 games? Ever heard of a roller coaster ride of a football season? Me neither. During a baseball season, anything is possible.

The walk-off victories. The crushing defeats. Seeing a guy break out of a disastrous slump. A called third strike to end the game. The speed with which they turn the 4-6-3. Rooting for an anonymous youngster during his September call-up. Sharing a bag of peanuts with my dad. The trading deadline. Getting to the ballpark early. The T from Riverside to Kenmore. Yawkey Way after a victory. Saving my ticket stubs. I could list more, but I won't.

I'm only 21, but baseball makes me feel young again. It's only a few times a year now that I get to throw a baseball around. I was never a great ballplayer, but I loved playing baseball as a kid. Being with my friends. The green grass, the high skies. Playing until I couldn't see the ball anymore. The smell of my glove. The satisfying feeling of a properly executed pop-slide. Feeling like a pro every time I strapped on my catcher's gear.

Watching the Red Sox gives me the opportunity to relive these memories. Vicariously as it may be, I love it. I need it. It's a part of me.

7:05 can't come soon enough.

Edited by Corsi Combover, 29 February 2008 - 04:02 AM.


#41 Hildy

  • 1,599 posts

Posted 29 February 2008 - 10:24 AM

It seems to me that one of the most beautiful things about baseball is its ability to speak to people and draw them in through so many different connections. I love baseball deeply, and so do many of my friendsóbut for entirely different reasons.
Me, Iím a sucker for a story, and thatís what a season is for me: a gorgeous, living Dickensian serial novel. You wait for each chapter, not knowing when youíre going to get a gut punch of a blown game plot twist or a joyous walk-off ending that can lift you up until the next game arrives. And the best part in this age of instant gratification is that you canít skip to the end. You have to live through the pain and the glory and you canít gloss it over.
And that has been the particular allure of the Red Sox over the years: they provided such great storiesóones that resonate and turn into lessons about loyalty and love and endurance and black humor and great joy. Thereís even a great villainóutterly necessary for any good story.
John Cheever said that all literary men are Red Sox fans, and I suspect thatís the reason why.
However, I think that for others, baseball speaks to them in a very different language. I watched my friendís 8-year-old son fall hopelessly in love with baseball last year when he got a pack of baseball cards for his birthday. When he turned the card over and saw all the numbers on the back, an internal light just flashed on, clear and bright. He loves the game because he loves the numbersóhe likes to recalculate Mannyís batting average as the game goes on, and he spends a great deal of time cataloguing his cards by batting average and ERA and stuff I never had a clue about when I was eight. For him, the language is numbers and how they tell the tale of a player and a team.
For others, the connection is through history and familyóhow baseball has shaped their relationships through generations, how it has twined as a steady, comforting thread through the decades of wars, and work, and bringing up kids. It is a touchstone that lets you look at the past and still picture, perfectly, the high soaring arc of a hard hit ball, be it in the year 2007 or 1907.
Anyways. Whatís your language?

Edited by Hildy, 29 February 2008 - 10:30 AM.


#42 Frisbetarian


  • ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫


  • 4,669 posts

Posted 29 February 2008 - 12:01 PM

Why do I watch?

That's an easy one. I fell in love with the game as a ten year old. Billy Rohr was at the threshold and I was hooked for life. In my mind the game is perfect. It's probably clichť, but it is amazing that the field is set up in such a way that a split fingered fast ball drops off the table right as it reaches home plate, a shortstop can make a play in the hole and throw out a runner by a half step, a base stealer has just enough time to get to 2nd before the catcher's throw.

I love to watch the choreographed ballet of the fielders when a ball is hit into the right center field gap with one out and the bases loaded, I love triples into the triangle, steals of third, crisply turned double plays, nasty hooks taken for strike three.

I love the stats and the way they have evolved and changed over the years, I love the arguments over a player's defensive ability (Rentaria sucked here, Felix), I love watching games at Fenway more than any other live event ever.

I love the passage of time and the way it affects how we watch, both on a fan level and on a personal level. Throughout the years I've watched rookies come up and have success, seen them mature into All Stars, then fade into twilight, coming back to the park years later as old men. I've watched the Saturday afternoon game of the week (right after Candlepin Bowling) on a black and white TV with the older couple that took me in and raised me, with, "Have a 'Ganset, neighbor," and "Mable Black Label" commercials between innings. Now I watch on a big screen HD TV and I still don't think I see it as well, or as completely, as I did on that little b & w when I was a kid. Every game I see makes me remember the players I've watched, and the people I watched games with, and loved, and lost.

Why do I watch? The game sometimes feels like it was made for just me. It is a part of me.

I watch because I think I love this game as much as I've loved anything except my family.

#43 Sille Skrub

  • 3,957 posts

Posted 29 February 2008 - 06:18 PM

Awesome, Fris.

Keep 'em coming folks! This thread has been great so far.

#44 Lucen


  • ERA=(ER/IP)*9


  • 3,348 posts

Posted 29 February 2008 - 06:33 PM

As others have said, great post Drocca.

To be part of a clan.


This is a big part of it for me. I really enjoy the tribalism that is prevalent in many fan bases. And I fully believe it's a bit of an evolutionary hold over from when tribal affiliations were necessary for us to survive as a species.

Personally, there's something comforting about walking down the street, seeing that familiar B on a cap and just nodding to someone who understands what that symbol means to me. When we win, that B means smiles when you catch the eye of the guy across the street also donning our hat. When we lose, it's a knowledge that you're not the only miserable SOB walking down the street at that moment.

In the end, when you're a sports fan... you're never truly alone. When I was working in Boston this fall I was staying in Providence and for most of the playoffs I found random bars to go watch the games at and by the end of the games there was always someone to talk to simply because of the hat I was wearing. How many affiliations in life are so overt and easy to recognize?

#45 ScubaSteveAvery


  • the goats! think of the goats!


  • 7,148 posts

Posted 29 February 2008 - 06:40 PM

I watch because of the way a three hour game can capture three years of emotion. The way baseball mimics the emotions of life fascinates me. On the outside it may look like little is going on - Pitch, play, out, pitch play out, wash, rinse, repeat; however, on the inside, on the field, so much is going on. From the silent dialogue between pitcher and batter, carefully calculating each other's next move and weighing the possible outcomes and then in the field, all the fielders thinking about all the possible plays to make when the ball is put in play. Such is life to me. I may look at somebody and it may look like not much is going on with their life, but in reality, there life is a whirlwind of thought.

I love the way the emotions in the game can switch on a dime. Take for instance, game 7 of last year's ALCS. Lugo's error, Okajima's DP, Pedroia's HR. Dread, relief, exuberance all in the span of fifteen minutes. Such is the emotions of life. Baseball speaks to me like no other sport can and I take notice of the expression of life played in the confines of a game where the goal is to bat a ball around a field. It is genius and beautiful. Golf comes close, but it just does not capture what baseball does.

Also, I have never played something or watched something in person that is so refreshing. The feeling you get at a stadium when you walk down the steps to your seat. The field out in front of you. The smell of live baseball. Its great.

In end, I watch because no other game or show speaks to me like the game of baseball does.

#46 Fratboy


  • Mr. MENsa


  • 12,068 posts

Posted 29 February 2008 - 10:57 PM

Because it's a part of me, a part of who I am. It sounds absolutely ridiculous to say that, that a sports team constitutes part of my identity, but I feel that way. Even though the Sox won the World Series in 2007, a couple days after Game Four, I felt this incredible void, this emptiness. A loss of part of me. Simply because there wasn't anymore Red Sox, anymore baseball. Sure, the parade was incredible and pacified me, but it was still there.

And now, with Spring Training, it's back again, and I love it.

So why I else do I watch?

The journey. The ebb and flow of the season, watching rookies grow, develop, mature, and turn into professional players. That's a joy. Seeing things that are unexpected, like the Buchholz no-hitter.

#47 Skiponzo

  • 903 posts

Posted 29 February 2008 - 11:18 PM

I watch for a number of reason, because I love games, because I've always cared and I'm habitual, because I've grown to understand so much more of the nuances, because I enjoy the strategic battle of pitcher vs. hitter. Mostly tho', I love the way watching a baseball game takes this 41 year old, with life pulling him in all directions and multiple responsibilities, and allows him a little time to just....be. The way I was when I was 10 and able to live in the moment. I have a hard time doing that anymore, somehow I've lost most of that ability, but when I watch the Sox I at least get a glimmer of it and it draws me.

Edited by Skiponzo, 01 March 2008 - 06:09 PM.


#48 shoebox91

  • 465 posts

Posted 01 March 2008 - 12:19 AM

I once heard someone say that it was good for the soul to root for something that you have absolutely no control over. I don't know if that is in fact true or not but watching this game is a wonderful break from the normal everyday crap that each of us goes through.

I grew up coming to Fenway often on the "T" with friends, family, etc. I always thought it was cool but it was just normal to me. Now that I live so far away I realize how much I miss it. Typical "you don't know what you have until it's gone" stuff. Now I have to much huge plans and travel a great deal just to see this team that I live and die with. I still do it though.

Thank God for technology. With things like SoSH, XM, and DirecTV I can keep up with news on the team and watch or listen every game. There has to be something MAJOR going on for me to miss a game. During Clay's no-hitter last year I was on a vacation. I got a call around inning 6 telling me that something special was happening and I needed to find a way to take in the game. I spent the rest of the game in my car listening to it on radio thanks to my XM.

I watch because it's fun. I watch because those guys can do things that I can only dream of. I watch because I feel a connection to this team that I guess was somehow part of my birthright. I watch with my kids so that they can feel that same connection. We are in the midst of a great time in Red Sox history. We deserve it and we're going to enjoy it.

#49 Goosewptc


  • holds the mayo


  • 4,118 posts

Posted 01 March 2008 - 12:53 AM

During Clay's no-hitter last year I was on a vacation. I got a call around inning 6 telling me that something special was happening and I needed to find a way to take in the game. I spent the rest of the game in my car listening to it on radio thanks to my XM.

This happened to me, too. I got a text message that I still have in my phone.

Received on: Sep. 1, 07 6:35 p.m.
Get the sox game on now


It is without a doubt one of the nicest and most impressive things that anyone has ever done for me. I would have missed it otherwise.

Thanks again, DeeJ!

Out of curiosity, Chris, who contacted you?

#50 DieHardSoxFan1


  • Smarter than Theo, just ask him


  • 2,777 posts

Posted 01 March 2008 - 02:30 AM

I suppose I agree with Dlew, mostly. I watched pre-2004 because I considered it a right of fucking passage to live and die with this team, not matter what, until the day I died. My grandfather did it, my father is still doing it, and damnit so was I. I can't remember if that's the only reason. I know I was completely immersed in the Pedro-era, and couldn't get enough of it. For years I watched basically every game, without fail. Nights would be planned around 7:05, and I wouldn't have to think twice about it. I considered this an early quest in my life, to see this team finally win it all. It was sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy in a way. But now, I watch just to enjoy. I no longer live and die with every pitch, or let the outcome of a game decide how I'll feel the next day, but I still get enjoyment out of it. And damnit, that's all I can ask for.