Uh-oh. I have something in common with David Brooks.
With Opening Day around a quick corner (yay!), the conservative pundit is considering withdrawing his loyalty from his beloved Mets and bestowing it on the new team in his town, The Nationals, who are the reincarnation of the Montreal Expos.
I, too, have changed allegiances, and it still causes me some confusion. And I didn't just jump from Team A to Team B. After nearly 30 years, I switched sides in the oldest and most heated rivalry in American sports. (If you're interested - which I understand you probably are not! - I wrote about it here.)
Allan and I have been re-watching the 2004 post-season - he has the whole thing on DVD - as our own personal Spring Training. Last night the Red Sox completed their historic comeback, the Yankees completed their historic collapse, and Yankee Stadium belonged to Red Sox Nation. I felt a little pang, but mostly the joy in my heart told me which side I'm now on. I don't like to see certain players (Mariano, Bernie... can't think of anyone else...) lose. But I do love to see those Yankee fans heading for the exits.
So here it is, folks. A one-time offer, never to be repeated on these pages. I am about to quote David Brooks. Brooks whose opinions are loathsome to me. Brooks who I believe is a complete fraud, since he's way too intelligent to believe half of what he writes. But also Brooks, who is a serious baseball fan. He writes: "...but I go into the season adrift and uncertain, tempted by my lowdown cheating heart, caught between a lifetime love and an enticing new fling."
That describes how I felt going into last season, 2004. By now, I've learned that this budding new love in my heart is no casual fling.
The Red Sox and Yankees open the 2005 season against each other, both in the Bronx and at Fenway. This means the Yankees will be in the visitors' dugout when the Red Sox raise the American League pennant that was so very nearly theirs, and that beautiful World Championship flag that changed the world forever. The fun begins this Sunday night.