More Than a Game?

Sports, of course, don’t matter. They never have. Whether your team wins or loses doesn’t change the realities of your life — your job, your relationships, your health.

Well, it shouldn’t. We all know this.

So now Red Sox Nation giddily anticipates game four of the 2004 World Series, dreaming of a sweep. (Me? I’m dreaming of David Ortiz and steroids. That’s all I remember.) The rest of the country is probably getting sick of all the Boston bullshit.

But there are contexts in which sports is truly, deeply meaningful: the way they can bond people, strangers and family alike; the shared history of a geography, an event, or an emotion (“the thrill of victory,” “the agony of defeat,” etc.); the diversion they provide from all the things that are supposed to be important to us. And nobody derives meaning from sports better or more than Red Sox die-hards.

All my pompous talk is meant to lead to this.

Sift through this massive discussion thread, and prepare to be touched and perhaps appalled how much this baseball team means to these fans.

Boston needs one win in the next four games to win the World Series. And if that happens? I expect that it will be a lot like seeing the Wizard of Oz: We long-suffering Boston fanatics will learn that we’ve always had what we wanted, but we didn’t know it. Sports, and the Red Sox, will matter just a little less.

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