On April 15, 2013, those in Boston mourned. Two terrorists armed with explosives and a hatred for this country wreaked havoc on a day that should have been remembered for achievement and perseverance.
Having grown up in a coastal New Jersey town filled with Manhattan commuters, I am familiar with the horror that accompanies watching the city you love undergo the calamity of a terrorist attack. The idea that one with so much hate in his heart would want to wound a place where your memories overflow like a fountain is near unthinkable. Though the Boston Marathon tragedy and 9/11 are incomparable in scope, both tragedies cloaked two great cities in sorrow. The citizens of Boston and New York have long been intertwined, whether because of their sports rivalries or the overall character that is exuded by two very specific brands of natives.
Anyone who has been lucky enough to spend time in Boston or around the wonderful people that inhabit the city, can speak to the specific type of attitude and charm Bostonians represent.
If you have walked in the shadow of the Green Monster, and soaked in the history and age of Fenway Park — you know.
If you have walked the common at Harvard University, or grabbed a drink at a dive bar in Allston — you know.
If you have sipped Sam Adams outside Faneuil Hall, basking in the history of early American heroes — you know.
I have been so lucky, and though my roots are engrained in the bright lights and attitude of New York City and New Jersey, tonight I will be rooting for the Boston Red Sox.
The 2013 incarnation of the Red Sox epitomizes the type of character the city has become famous for. In one year, they have gone from last-place fallen giants to a first-place group of the craziest personalities this side of Dr. Seuss. Led by 21st-century icon David Ortiz, the Boston Red Sox have played tough, scrappy baseball all year long.
It was less than a week after the Boston Marathon tragedy that Mr. Ortiz grabbed the microphone at Fenway Park. In an on-field tribute to the fallen, he rallied the city with his now-famous line: “This, is our f****** city.” Those five words followed the team and stayed with them through late-inning heroics and impossible story lines.
In the 2013 World Series, the Red Sox face off against the St. Louis Cardinals, another storied franchise that has relied on the character and charm of their players to fuel their post-season run. Though their team is just as talented, and may have some of the best homegrown talent in history, I find something about them polarizing — maybe it’s the brightness of the color red, adorned by each and every fan, rallying around their equally scrappy players.
The color is similarly adorned by the Red Sox but neutralized by the majestic combination of navy blue and grey.
Perhaps it’s the image of the St. Louis Arch, a structure that pales in comparison to the majesty of a building as small as the Old North Church.
Maybe it’s their success. They have appeared in the postseason five times in the last eight seasons. And, though the Red Sox have been successful, part of me still thinks they are looking to defeat what was once an 86-year draught.
Regardless of what may cause the queasy feeling that enters my stomach when I think of the Cardinals, I know in my own mind some things will never change. Clam chowder will always taste a little sweeter than barbecue ribs. Sam Adams will quench my thirst for beer more so than any Budweiser ever could.
The city of Boston doesn’t need this; the city of Boston deserves this.