I'm not superstitious, but I believe in a curse that plagues the Boston Red Sox. A territory haunted by a history that refuses to stop repeating
itself, Red Sox Nation has struggled for nearly a century to rid itself of the Curse of the Bambino to no avail. This well-documented legend is
typically explained through a series of tragedies inflicted upon the Red Sox by their supposed rival, the New York Yankees.
But before we move on, let's be clear about one thing: a rivalry is defined in terms of "equality of desired qualities," and there's hardly a
semblance of equality in the Red Sox/Yankees feud. Sadly, the alleged Boston/New York "rivalry" exists only in the minds of Bostonians. Red Sox fans
hate the Yankees, but pity most aptly distinguishes the New York sentiment towards the Red Sox. The Bomber backers know that such a state of
competition will evolve only when - or if - the Red Sox beat the Yankees in the playoffs.
Was Saddam's Iraq our country's rival? Absolutely not. Much like its Superpower counterpart, the Yankees dominate with a greatness founded upon
superior artillery and a confidence bordering on arrogance. Jealousy, blind hatred and a history of folly, on the other hand, infect the psyche of the
defeated. Likewise, mutual contempt, not competition, characterizes the Boston/New York conflict that is much less a rivalry than an overblown
Now that we're clear that Red Sox/Yankees conflict isn't even a rivalry, let's see if we can crack the foundation of this alleged Curse. Only then
will we understand the true impetus behind baseball's most storied discord.
How can I believe in a curse without being superstitious? The answer is painfully obvious and contingent upon a state of mind that, in essence, has
nothing to do with the Curse of the Bambino. Forget about Ruth. Forget about Bucky Dent. Forget about Aaron Boone. Forget about the distortion and
contortion of numbers, dates and coincidences that supposedly support the existence of the Curse as we know it.
The real curse of the Red Sox is the pessimism of the Red Sox fans. A function of neither mystery nor mystique, this curse is as alive and as tangible
as ever, an ever widening wound that has grown saltier than the Boston Harbor itself. It's not of the past but of the present. It stirs violently in
the tortured soul of the card-carrying members of Red Sox Nation. It preys upon Bostonians' boundless negativity, an affliction deeply rooted in anger
and envy, and its gluttony knows no bounds. And it's not just in some of them - it's in all of them.
The consequences of these sins have been deadly for the Red Sox. Vexed by the hex of their fans, the players feel it: the impending doom, the
inevitable end to every season that Red Sox Nation has come to expect if not sadistically embrace. They are choking on the very bone their fans pick
with the Yankees.
Red Sox fans, reconsider your position. Lose the "Yankees suck" chant. Nothing about winning 26 World Championships sucks. What sucks is your
mindless pessimism. After all, neither the baseball gods nor the ghosts of playoffs past decide the fate of your team.
Just as negativity is your legacy, it's also your curse. More importantly though, it's your choice. You can reverse it, or forever be immersed in it.
Which is worse? Choose wisely.