Today is October the 17th, 2003. I am seething with anger, hate and venom. Yesterday evening I was numb to the core for about 6 hours. I seem to be bouncing back and forth.


Because I'm a Boston Red Sox fan. I just watched either the second-worst or worst (depending on your perspective) collapse in baseball history. Cubs fans, I got your back on this one. Both teams were up 3 runs with 5 outs to play in their corresponding LCS games. Both teams have a history of failure and disappointment that stretches out across a century. (Incidentially, we're sick of being reminded -- we know better than anyone else)

Why does it feel so bad? Some history for the uninitiated...

I was twelve years old in 1986, a bright-eyed kid who absolutely loved baseball, and loved the Red Sox. I watched Bill Buckner miss Mookie Wilson's ground ball. I saw Ray Knight jump for joy. I cried. At that age, I thought they might recover to win game 7. My dad, older, wiser, heart broken a few more times, knew better.

Seventeen years later, I had almost forgotten how awful I felt back then, let this 2003 team into my heart. And it's OK -- I loved this team, who lived by this rallying cry of "cowboy up." It was a silly quote from a great guy, Kevin Millar, who wanted to ignore all the negative energy that comes from playing baseball in Boston, ignore all the ugly past, the mythic curse. (The exact quote, for the pedantic, was "I want to see somebody cowboy up and stand behind this team and quit worrying about all the negative stuff and talking about last year's team and 10 years ago and 1986," following an August 20 8-6 loss to the Oakland A's)

I still love this team, and because I am a Red Sox fan, I'll be optimistic in April again. I love hearing the phrase "pitchers and catchers report."

Hope springs eternal.