The Boston Red Sox did something momentous on Sunday afternoon. Amid outbreaks of violence all over the world, the baseball team made headlines by actually winning a game, defeating the Atlanta Braves by a score of 8-6.
Don't snicker. This is hot stuff.
The Red Sox had lost a shocking 10 games in a row, the fabled franchise's worst tailspin in two decades. For its legion of fans, known gaudily as Red Sox Nation, the losing streak was nothing less than a catastrophe, an occasion for the "Nation" to gaze upon its collective navel and wonder what has gone so depressingly wrong since the Red Sox won the World Series last fall.
You read that right. The Red Sox W-O-N the World Series only seven months ago. What's more, this lovable band of players did so in unexpected fashion. The team had finished in last place the previous year. But a change in managers and a slew of powerful new players made all the difference.
Now, the Red Sox are back in last place in the mediocre American League East, where no team has yet put its stamp on the division. The Red Sox could very well WIN 10 games in a row and charge back into contention.
But their demanding fans will have to sit back and wait and see. Red Sox fans are like no other breed in sports. The team seemed snakebitten for decades, coming close to winning a championship only to come up empty and often in heartbreaking fashions (Remember Bucky "Bleepin'" Dent's home run in 1978? Or Bill Buckner's epic error in the 1986 World Series?).
Then, in 2004, a baseball miracle occurred. The Red Sox trailed the hated New York Yankees three games to none in the best-of-seven playoffs when the team caught fire and somehow won the next four games in a row, sending their traditional oppressors out to pasture. The Bosox went on to win that World Series as well as the one in 2007 and again last season: three in a decade. Pretty good!
But apparently, not good enough for a lot of Red Sox fans who are furious about the squad's awful start this season. They should chill and remember how lucky they are to have such an accomplished team. Fans of the Chicago Cubs, for instance, just want to qualify for the World Series, even once. And the Red Sox have been a juggernaut in baseball.
My point is that Red Sox boosters — and all sports fans, for that matter — should be grateful when their teams do well, thrilled when they win a championship, and forgiving when they mess up. Don't become consumed by winning. It's a sure path to failure.
Jon Friedman writes the Media Matrix blog for Indiewire.com. He is also the author of "Forget About Today: Bob Dylan's Genius for (Re)Invention, Shunning the Naysayers, and Creating a Personal Revolution." Read more reports from Jon Friedman — Click Here Now.
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