LIFE managing editor and longtime Red Sox fan Robert Sullivan spent the past 10 days following the ALCS from the press box and the stands. This, his final entry, covers the last three games of the series, starting with the eventful Game 5:
In preparing to bomb back up to Boston for what I will always remember as The Brutal Game, a.k.a. Game Five, I decide to change my look from ballfan to ranchhand. I have not only the will but the wherewithal to do so, as I spent most of 1992 on assignment in Australia, and returned from Down Under with Coogi sweaters and koala dolls for family and friends, and a good deal of outback garb for myself. The Stetson of Australia is called an Akubra, and while I was posted in Oz I bought a good, widebrimmed one. It has a small, stylish feather. I picked up a Driza-bone riding coat that Clint Eastwood might envy, and added to my collection of western-wear boots. Lucille rarely allows me to go about Westchester County in this stuff, but just now I am riding off to Beantown, where the rallying cry of the moment is Cowboy Up!
If the cabbie from Ernie's Taxi thinks me strange, he keeps it to himself, and for his discretion receives a handsome tip upon delivering me to LaGuardia. I struggle getting my boots off and then back on at the X-ray machine, but nevertheless make the 11:30 Shuttle after a sprint across the lobby. The fellow taking my ticket at the gate looks me over carefully, then thinks he gets the gag. "Well, you sure are ready for 'Saddle up!' " I hold my tongue. Yes, I could summarily humiliate this New York dolt with an indignant, "It's Cowboy Up!, fool." But the Sox have squared things at two games apiece, I am confident of our chances and I am full of feelings of well-being for my fellow man. "Yeah," I say to the buffoon. "Right."
The flight is smooth, and in a snap of the fingers I am back in the land of the Bosox back in Xanadu, Shangri La, back where I belong. On the cab ride in from Logan to the Pru Center I notice that a sign redirecting traffic at one of the Big Dig work sites has been creatively altered. A graffiti artist with wit has taken his spray paint to the instruction REVERSE CURVE, modifying it to REVERSE THE CURSE.
How do I feel about all of this Curse of the Bambino nonsense? I reflect on the question as we make our way through downtown. I am happy that, as a book title, it helped the talented and friendly Globe sportswriter Dan Shaughnessy sell a few copies, but beyond that I figure I don't put much stock in it. I've felt all year that Theo Epstein and Bill James and their Rotisserie style of team-building is going to hit on the right combo one of these seasons maybe this one? and we will have deliverance from the Curse. I do hope the Yankees are in our way when that happens. John Henry, the team owner, says the World Championship is the only goal, though he admits that some of his club's fans care more about beating the Yanks. I'm in that camp, pretty much; it is, as I have often mentioned, very, very tough living here in the New York realm in October, if you're a Sox fan.
Have I mentioned the BLOHARDS? No, I don't think so. I am a BLOHARD. I am a card-carrying member of the Benevolent Loyal Order of Honorable and Ancient Red Sox Diehard Sufferers of New York. The club was started years and years ago by its forever president, Jim Powers, an ad exec from Fairfield, Conn., (but a real New Englander by birth, hailing from Duxbury, Mass.) We BLOHARDS lunch together in the city twice a year, when the Sox visit the Stadium in the spring, and again when they come in the fall. We have guest speakers; Fatass Clemens attended during his rookie year with Boston, and managers and GMs are regulars. Our lunches are fun and frolicsome, lots of gallows humor and "we'll get 'em next year."
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