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The term schadenfreude so aptly applies this week, because I am completely reveling at Red Sox fans misery. I’m usually not the type to outwardly express joy at another team’s misfortune, but there was just so much about the past few weeks to enjoy.
That’s because it all started last March.
The hyperbole kept coming, this time from Boston Globe and Sports Illustrated writer, Dan Shaughnessy:
“The 2011 Red Sox are the 1927 Yankees. They are Secretariat in the Belmont. They are the 1985 Bears and the 1995-96 Bulls. They are Nixon over McGovern in 1972.”
Sure the Sox looked good, but the best ever? They are the ’27 Yankees? They are a horse? That doesn’t even make sense.
It went on. ESPN, or the Fox News of sports, had a panel of 45 experts forecast the season. All 45 said the Red Sox would win the AL East. Thirty-three out of 45 predicted Boston to win the World Series. It was somehow a given they would win well over 100 games.
But the true experts, the Las Vegas odds-makers, had the Phillies with better odds to win the World Series than the Red Sox. So Boston wasn’t even considered the best in the league. Turns out, they aren’t even better than the Orioles.
The month of September was an epic disaster. A nine-game lead disappeared, sending fans scrambling for their pink Tom Brady jerseys. But as of 10:00 Wednesday night, everything appeared OK. The playoffs appeared wrapped up. Sully was coming down off the ledge. Then there was the collapse within the collapse. It was so historically bad, that even Met fans are saying, “Wow, I’ve never seen a collapse like that.”
Is there a more detestable guy you’d want on the mound for The Collapse? Seriously, look at his face. That’s not intimidating, that’s constipated.
Over the summer, I got into an argument with a good friend who is a Boston fan. He thinks the Yankees are the only team that takes advantage of no salary cap. He says the Yankees, and only the Yankees, spend money to buy championships. Absurd, right? So I take great joy that the final play of the season for “the best team ever,” happened right in front of the $142 million man. The same man that spent most of the season batting 8th, Carl Crawford. And while Crawford couldn’t snag a very catchable ball with the season on the line, his former team with a very limited payroll is headed to the playoffs.
Success for Red Sox fans is usually determined by Yankee failures. For example, no one talks about the ’07 Championship because they didn’t beat the Yankees. That’s what makes The Collapse that much better. They needed the Yankees to win. They were rooting for the Yankees to win. And the Yankees left them disappointed again.