Saturday, August 2, 2008

Remember when we loved that Manny didn't care?

We will be telling our children and grandchildren about this decade here in Boston. A decade that saw at least:
  • 1 NBA Championship
  • 2 World Series Championships
  • 3 Super Bowl Championships (+ 1 perfect reg season capped with a Super Bowl loss)

It's an easy groove to get into, the annual victory parade. Easy to call up WEEI and demand championship-level teams year in and year out as if Boston and New York were the only places that playing professional sports.

But remember the beginning of the decade? The Red Sox could not get past the Yankees. They owned our best players.

One guy didn't care about that. Now, I know that professional athletes supposedly don't care about curses and history, but I think that's bullshit. If you're dealing with a hitter or a team that always seems to get you, it works into your mind. For years, Peyton Manning couldn't do a dang thing if he saw Bill Belichick on the opposite sideline.

But Manny didn't care. He didn't care about teh Curse because he didn't care about the Red Sox. Didn't care about the Babe because he didn't care about baseball. He did his job, and because of his enormous talent, didn't have to work that hard.

Which means that during, say, the 2004 ACLS, he was a monster. He didn't care.

I'm not saying he gets a pass for what he did in 2004. But I am saying there was a time when it was great that Manny didn't care. We can't be sentimental -- that's what got Bill Buckner on first base in the 1986 World Series. But we can and must recognize the past for what it was.

Thanks for the World Series, Manny. Thanks for keeping it lose, and making Ortiz a better hitter. Now feel free to call Adam Vinatieri for directions on how to get the hell out of here.

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