Saturday, May 14, 2016

Bob Lobel: How Quickly Hate Turns to Love (& Vice Versa) for Red Sox Fans

By Bob Lobel (@boblobel)

There is nothing as remarkable as the ability of Red Sox fans to go from hate to love, and back again. It is apparently a part of the fabric of our unique culture to care so much about the exploits of our local entry in the American League. 

Of course, caring when you're in love is so much easier and enjoyable than caring when you're not. Pink hat or no hat, it doesn’t seem to matter. It’s a state of mind that is generational. We are in about as blissful a mode as possible, at least in recent memory, thanks to this remarkable reincarnation of the Boston Red Sox. 

Fans are seeing things they had long given up on seeing. Surrendering to the belief that bad karma had returned because of the three World Series titles. Patrons have been  snapped to attention, lest they miss something historic.  

It has seemed historic. 

What is really bogus, and somewhat disgusting, is the pandering the team is getting by talk show hosts who, just weeks ago, were predicting the manager being fired and David Price forever being booed for cashing a paycheck he didn’t deserve.  

Things change from hate to love very quickly when stuff happens like it has been happening. Just go around the field, position by position, and feel the remarkable positive vibes that surround Hanley, Travis, General “oh my” Bradley, Mookie, Xander and the rest. 

Dustin seems to have been lost in the dust, but is having a career year, which is saying a lot.  We haven’t even gotten to the catching, the speed, the power, the opposite field hits, and oh yes, David Ortiz. 

Didn’t he dominate the first month of the season? Didn’t he make heads turn, and have people asking him to reconsider retirement? Ortiz, the original Big O, has now been overshadowed by his mates.

The brutal comments about the pitching staff have been silenced by the offense. It's an amazing hate to love turnaround for a fan base that seems to love to hate. If hate is a strong word, then love must be too. One is just the absence of the other. This is the 30th anniversary of the 1986 team, one of the most celebrated teams that baby boomers seem to talk about more than any other. 

Meanwhile, senior citizens own the 1967 team. 

But boomers are locked into 1986, the really bad karma year. The World Series wins seem to belong to pink hats and those Millennials who think things have always been this sweet. 

Oh, what they missed! 

So now that spring is here, love is in the air, and you can say the Yankees (for the first time since the cheer existed) really do suck, enjoy it. 

Hate is just around the corner, waiting to return at any moment. The DNA speaks and it has never been louder than what is playing out on the Fenway grass right now.

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