After re-emerging from a 21-day float through the Grand Canyon and getting back up to speed in civilized society this week, it became apparent that our trip was perfectly timed.
If ever there was a World Series to miss, this was the one.
Coming off an extended river trip like the Grand Canyon and readjusting to normal life isn’t always an easy thing to do. Driving a car can be a tough adjustment. So is paying cash for something at the gas station. Sifting through over 400 outdated emails is overwhelming. Hell, even seeing yourself in the mirror is frightening.
On Sunday evening I was dealing with all of this and dealing with it fairly well until I turned on the TV for a few football highlights and was blindsided by a dose of reality. There they were, members of the World Series-winning Boston Red Sox leading the New England Patriots onto the field before Sunday’s football game, the World Series Trophy in hand. This was a dose of reality I hadn’t expected to deal with upon my return.
Don’t get me wrong: Following the Boston Marathon bombing, the Red Sox World Series victory was great for the city and those who love it. Seeing the Red Sox victory parade reclaim the Boston Marathon finish line was a nice sentiment, as was hearing President Obama calling the World Series victory “therapeutic medicine” for the city of Boston.
But the victory doesn’t change the fact that I don’t like the Boston Red Sox one bit. I would almost prefer to see the Yankees win a World Series, over the Red Sox. Almost.
Since I missed the World Series – and most of the postseason leading up to the World Series – there’s no need to get into the specifics on how or why Boston was able to win it all. (I hear David Ortiz, World Series MVP, had a pretty special series. I bet there will be an asterisk behind his name in the coming years, right?)
All I know is that I took a river trip and missed a Boston World Series win and I feel lucky to have missed this painful fall classic. If I’d been here, a very good friend of mine would have turned into a complete and obnoxious enemy during the series. And it’s my friend’s ability to become a loud and diehard Boston Red Sox fan is what I would like to discuss here.
“Roy” and I go way back. We were pretty much neighbors growing up. We played football together. Drank a ton of beer in college together. Ski-bummed it up in Telluride together for a few years. A powerful love of Budweiser, the Denver Broncos and Led Zeppelin were the common threads that helped our friendship last all these years. That love, and our intense hatred for the Boston Red Sox. We sat together in a bar with tears in our beer when the Red Sox swept our Colorado Rockies back in 2007.
Now things have changed.
Roy found himself a fantastic gal from New England and they got married. A great couple, despite her love for the Red Sox. Stubborn in his ways, I didn’t think married life for Roy would change him much.
Boy, was I wrong.
Just before we were going to embark on our river trip, as the Red Sox began their championship postseason run, Roy showed up at my house wearing a Red Sox jersey. He’d completely gone bonkers for the Red Sox. Hell, I think I even heard a Boston accent come from his mouth.
Here’s a guy I’ve known for more than 25 years, who never once wavered in his hatred of the Red Sox. Now, all of a sudden, he has a ring on his finger, he’s wearing a Red Sox jersey and telling me how he’s got to get home in time for first pitch. I am fairly certain the guy doesn’t even own a Rockies jersey, and now he’s wearing a Red Sox jersey? I felt like I was talking to a complete stranger. His new love for the Sox kept me up wondering if a good marriage can actually have an effect on the teams we root for or against.
I married a Southern gal whose family is all about the Crimson Tide. Do I wear Alabama gear? Hell, no. I still wear Tennessee Volunteer orange, despite the fact that they’re no good. At family gatherings, yes, I am the butt of many Alabama football jokes.
Like most Coloradans, Roy is a Broncos fan first and foremost (at least, I think he is). Yes, we are Colorado Rockies fans, Avalanche fans and Denver Nuggets fans, but now and forever, the Broncos come first. I am starting to wonder if Roy could take it a step further. Maybe Roy has secretly been a Tom Brady fan, all this time. Maybe seeing his Red Sox and the Patriots on the field together last weekend was a dream come true? What if Roy’s wife was a Raiders fan? Would he soon be wearing a silver-and-black jersey to the next backyard barbecue? A year ago, I would have said, hell, no. Now, I’m not so sure.
In a way, I envy Roy. He found a new love for a team he once hated. He found a new love for a team that is actually good. A team that can win championships. He had a fun and exciting October, watching his Red Sox. Somehow, I really hope the Rockies can pull it together sometime soon, and get a World Series rematch against the Red Sox. Only then will we find the truth about Roy.
As it is right now, I don’t know. What I do know is that October was a fantastic month to be away from professional sports.