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Point & Click

My husband Erik and I are rabid Red Sox fans.We cant pretend weve been this way for long. As a matter of fact, weve only truly cared about the Sox for about a month. Were counterfeit fans. We admit it. But now were hooked hook, line and sinker. Thats because Erik and I just got back from spending two weeks vacationing in New England mostly on the Maine coast. As it happens, we were in New England while the Red Sox were duking it out with the Yankees in the American League playoffs for the World Series.We all know now that the Florida Marlins won the World Series, (which is too bad for the Sox and the Cubs, but ultimately good since the Yankees need to lose once in a while).The Sox arent totally foreign to me. I lived in New Hampshire and Vermont for awhile, and I had a passing interest in the team. Go Sox. Whatever. Before our trip, Erik never had the Sox on his radar, let alone the game of baseball. Hes a rabid Broncos fan. Baseball? Whats that? Boring.All that changed on this trip. On our flight back east, we met a woman with a wicked thick Boston accent. She was distraught because we were going to be in the air while the Soxs first playoff game was starting. As soon as our plane touched the surface of the tarmac at Logan, she whipped out her cell phone and reported the score to all: Nuthin nuthin! she announced. The game had started just three minutes earlier. And so began the buzz. We initially thought New England in the fall meant leaf peeping, eating lots of lobster, checking out historical sites and taking in a different part of the country. We didnt count on the Sox. That first night in a pub outside Boston, it didnt take long for a fight to break out between a Sox fan and a Yankees fan. The whole place got quite rowdy, and the bar manager had to call the police. We loved it. Wow, the locals are really into these playoffs! we thought. The next morning, we got the paper and immediately flipped to the sports section. We made it to Ogunquit, Maine, and got settled into a little seaside motel, strategically located next to Vinnys a sports bar with about 100 TVs. We watched the Sox beat the Yankees there, cheering along with everybody else. Along the way, we came across a little T-shirt printing shop in Portland. We bought one of their T-shirts. Yankees Suck, it read in big, bold letters. We displayed it on the back seat of our rental car, a white Windstar van we nicknamed Rhoda, since her license plates were from Rhode Island. Most people would give us the thumbs-up when they saw the shirt. But in Boothbay Harbor, somebody was obviously a Yankees fan. Rhodas whole drivers side was keyed one night. We figured a Yankees fan did it. And so it went. Everywhere we went, people were talking about Pedro or Trot, or Garciaparra and his neurotic obsession with his batting gloves. In Bethel, Maine, we found the only place open during the off-season, the Sudbury Inn, and downstairs in the cellar, Suds the only public place to watch the game. The place was covered in Red Sox memorabilia. About a half-dozen locals of every age were planted in front of the TV, chanting and cheering. After the game the Sox won Erik went out to our car, pulled our Yankees Suck T-shirt, and gave it to the bartender. Proudly and graciously, Suds barkeep hung it over a stuffed rhino head behind the bar. We were in Boston for the final make-or-break game of the playoffs when the Sox were playing in New York. We ended up at Legal Seafoods and as the game dragged on past nine innings, I began to lose my enthusiasm along with my ability to stay awake. We headed back to our hotel room, and were sleeping when the Yankees Aaron Boone hit a homer in the 11th inning, breaking every Sox fans heart, and putting Boston out of contention.The next day, as we walked around Quincy Market, it felt as if someone had died in a way. The Sox havent won the World Series in 85 years, and havent made it to the series in 17. Now, theyll have to wait one more year to prove they can cowboy up and win the whole blasted thing. But next year, itll be different not for the world, but for us. Next year, well be cheering on the Sox, too, from start to finish.


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