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Hickok SportsThoughts

Sports historian and author Ralph Hickok of www.hickoksports.com sometimes meanders on about current happenings in sports and sometimes looks back in languor.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Age of Vicarious

I'm not sure if I'm a Red Sox fan or not.
But my very doubt contains the answer, right? If I don't know for sure, I'm probably not.
I live in that much overworked cliche called "Red Sox Nation," so I'm surrounded by Red Sox fans. Most of my best friends are Red Sox fans - although a few, believe it or not, actually root for the Yankees. Heck, most of my kids are Red Sox fans.
For the sake of my children and my friends, I like the Red Sox to win. I even root for them to win. I guess that makes me a kind of vicarious fan. (Could this be the Yawning of the Age of Vicarious in Red Sox Nation?)
I was vicariously jubilant when the Sox came back to beat the Yankees in the ALCS last year. The World Series sweep of St. Louis was almost anti-climactic, but I was still vicariously happy about that.
In fact, I was beginning to think maybe I was a real Red Sox fan.
Then the new season arrived, with disillusion fast on its heels. I realized I'm just not manic-depressive enough to qualify as a true fan.
Sorry, not supposed to say that anymore. Make it, I don't possess sufficient bipolarity to be a true Red Sox fan.
After two games, both losses to the Yankees, the true fans were saying, "Same old Red Sox. No pitching, can't hit with men on." (Yes, I heard that, and variations, from several fans.)
After two more games, wins over the Yankees and the Bluejays, it was pretty clear to all true Red Sox fans that their team was headed toward its second straight world championship.
So I guess I can't be a real Red Sox fan. I've never liked rollercoasters.