I live in Brooklyn, but that hasn’t always been the case. Before I landed in Park Slope (WHAT!), I lived in Boston for almost 15 years, and I was born in Connecticut.
What I mean to say is: I’m a Red Sox fan. Always have been, always will be. And that means that my son is also a Red Sox fan. That’s just the way it is. And as much as it pains me, there are some things he needs to know.
Despite the fact that he will grow up in a world in which there is no curse (mostly because there never was no curse, but whatever. Shut up, Shank.), there are still some uncomfortable truths about his favorite team that my son will need to face.
I could go way back to when Babe Ruth was traded, I could talk about the team’s shameful history of segregation and racism, I could even bring up Bucky Effing Dent. But I was either unborn for or oblivious to those events when they occurred. Luckily, the Red Sox have provided me and other members of my generation with a handful of traumatic experiences to call our very own. Starting with Buckner, moving on to Boone and cresting earlier this year with a nice, fat, beer-drenched choke-job.
But for me, that error at first base is the one that resonates the most. There was a time when my older brother (a Yankee fan; we grew up in the New Haven area and my family is divided between the Sox and the Yanks. The playoffs can get UGLY.) would taunt me with the error, calling me into the room if it was about to be replayed, just because he was a sadist. Buck even helped lose me a bet; when the Sox eventually lost the Series, I was forced to pay Howard Elkies two dollars.
Nowadays, after two championships, the sting has worn off – I will, one day, share this with my son. But not yet. Because even though these Inappropriate posts are about sharing things with you that I dare not show my young son, I don’t even want to darken my older readers’ days with the actual footage. So instead I offer this:
Ouch – even that slightly less crushing (and painstaking! – the whole eight-minute video is amazingly accurate) version still hurts. So here’s a nice palate cleanser for you -and for my son. Because while he needs to know the real history of his team, he also deserves to grow up without being burdened by it.