Confession of a Loving Fan

 

“What I’ve learned about marriage: You need to have each other’s back; you have to be a kind of team going through life.”  Tom Petty.

This has been a complicated week. There are the big things. The moronic tweets of our President, the unfathomable massacre in Las Vegas, the devastation in Puerto Rico, and the roll back of accessibility to birth control for women. Those are the really big bad things. Those are the things that make my heart hurt in a big way.  The loss of Tom Petty isn’t in that category, but it is a sadness and a reminder of the fragility of life.

But, there is also the other thing. The thing called baseball. As all who know me know, I love baseball. I have loved baseball since I was a young child. I have loved the Boston Red Sox since I was a young girl. I loved sitting at Fenway Park, recording every pitch, with my dad, my brother, and my grandfather. I loved running onto the field, clutching a piece of Fenway dirt, when the Sox won the last game of the 1967 season and became the “Impossible Dream” team. I loved sitting at Fenway Park last weekend, 50 years after that memorable afternoon. and remembering (and even feeling) my dad and grandfather in the stands with me.

And now, my beloved Red Sox are in the division playoffs and I should be rooting for them with all my heart, as I have done for decades.

But, there is yet another thing. Thirty eight years ago, I married a Texan and carried a bouquet of yellow roses down the aisle.  (cue: The yellow Rose of Texas)

We were young and didn’t know what awaited us down the road.  Michael was 8 years old when the Colt 45s came to Houston and quickly became a diehard Houston fan. Although we both loved baseball, we didn’t think to include baseball conflicts in our vows. With the Astros in the National Leagues and the Red Sox in the America league, any chance of conflict was far fetched unless both teams made it to the World Series and that seemed extremely unlikely.  We even have a brick at Fenway Park declaring our loyalty to both teams.

Fast-forward many, many moons.

The Red Sox, after years of  disappointment and curses, have now won the World Series three times in recent memory. I was in the grandstands as the last out was recorded in the most recent win of 2013. That was a moment I will never forget. (I hope).

 

Meanwhile, the Astros have only been to the World Series once and were eliminated in 4 games. Not a pretty memory for Astros fans.

In 2013, for reasons too complicated for me, the Astros joined the American League. Now, here we are in 2017, the Astros have become a great team and the Red Sox and Astros are in the division playoffs against one another. Michael is so excited.

All of his buddies are so excited. I am so conflicted.  I love the Red Sox, have never rooted against them and yet….

Here’s the yet: Houston suffered a devastating blow from Hurricane Harvey. Houston has never won a world series. I love Houstonians. I know how good it feels to win. Houston is a wonderful, young, positive energy team – reminding me of some of the great Red Sox teams.   How can I forget the fun of “Cowboy up” or the power of the 2013 Boston Strong championship?

I want Houstonians to have that good feeling and I find myself confused this year. During each play of the game, my muscle memory roots for the Sox and yet, I find that I am not unhappy that the Astros are ahead in this series and looking very good.

As Tom Petty, whose lyrics and music will live on once said,

“What I’ve learned about marriage: You need to have each other’s back; you have to be a kind of team going through life.”

And, so, for the moment, I might have Michael’s back. Although I am still wearing my Red Sox paraphernalia, and “Boston, you are my home”, I publicly admit to being confused.

Either way, we are looking forward to the American League Championship series united in our hopes to have a team in the World Series this year.  And, either way, baseball is a wonderful distraction from all the truly devastating things going on in the world.

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