Years ago I penned the piano falling from the sky and flattening Red Sox fans. 1967 wasn't so bad, the Sox prohibitive underdogs to the Cardinals of Gibson and Brock. No expectations. 1975 brought a miraculous series, squashed by the Big Red Machine. Ed Armbrister, where are you now? 1986 continued the misery, a thousand paper cuts in a vinegar plant, combining servitude in the ICU at Bethesda Naval Hospital with the apocalyptic collapse against the Mets.
I'll ignore the 1972 'bad trip' around third base of Luis Aparicio leading to a half-game pennant loss, the 1978 Torrezian playoff game drilling by the Bucky Dentist, or "why does my wife ask me to call her Pedro?"..."Because I never take her out (2003)". The former meant little in the big picture, and WS I erased the Yankee defeats better than any tranquilizer. The worst demons hit the fan.
Maybe young Sox fans envy grizzled Sox addicts the suffering. How many Sox fans can remember 1946 with the controversy about Pesky holding the ball? Most of those will suffer amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles sparing them memories both good and bad. Exorcising your demons via Alzheimer's should never be a primary choice.
How many championships is a fan entitled to during a lifetime? Never enough. Find the right place at the right time. We lived in Washington during the Redskins' golden age as they captured a trio of Super Bowl titles. Red Sox fans would have to have a collective meth addiction and the age of Methuselah to approach the 'Skins' fans disillusionment.
But Boston fans need a calculator. The Bruins had their pair of titles in the '70s and Celtics fans had perennial celebrations during the "11 for 13" Russell era. As a UCLA Bruins fan during the 60's and 70's, I savored a 9 for 10 run. Okay, so they're the OTHER Bruins, but it still counts...for me.
The Patriots could never equal the four for four frustration of the Buffalo Bills, the Vikings' long Super Bowl drought, or the Cubs' wandering around baseball's desert since 1908. Dan Marino, Ernie Banks, Charles Barkley, Carl Yastrzemski and others never earned a title. Who exorcises their demons?