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Apparently, Red Sox Nation has found a home away from home. It's located near Times Square, in -- of all places -- the Sports Illustrated building. It's a place where I'm constantly surrounded by Red Sox fans who congratulate themselves so often in the hallways that I feel like I'm doing the mambo in order to avoid being hit by another high-five.
As the newbie in the office, I am forced to assimilate with the Red Sox Mafia so I can attempt to carry a conversation with coworkers and editors in the lunchroom. My boss tells me he doesn't know what to do with himself now that he's seen his team win a World Series. He says he might give sports a rest for a while, maybe take up the oboe, even take the family on vacation.
The same goes for Matthew Waxman, a fellow writer at SI On Campus, who says he has reached the pinnacle of his career as a sports fan and doesn't care if the Sox, Patriots or Celtics ever win again.
After listening to them and others around the office, I walk away shaking my head in disbelief. It's as if Red Sox fans have found a new lease on life, promising to pay more attention to their loved ones and spend less money on luxuries such as the MLB Extra Innings package or Manny Ramirez wigs.
I'll believe it when I see it -- or better yet when I am spared from listening to countless conversations centered on Curt Schilling's ankle, Johnny Damon's hair or Pedro Martinez's little friend.
The truth is Sox fans have short attention spans and one-track minds. From spring training to Halloween, they're like characters from a video game, with little energy bars attached to them. As long as the Red Sox are playing, 99 percent of their energy goes to the Sox, while the other 1 percent is divvied up between the Patriots, Celtics, Bruins and the occasional call to the family.
Every article they read deals with Boston's pitching rotation. Every show they watch offers commentary on that night's game. And God forbid we should get through a conversation without at least one "Sports Guy" reference.
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If I know them, they'll be back next April stressing over Terry Francona's lineup. Want to talk about something else? Not going to happen. Talking to a Sox fan about anything aside from their team is like talking politics with Paris Hilton -- it goes in one ear and out the other.
Other than their self-indulgent misery -- which will now be tested since they can no longer whine -- the worst thing about Red Sox fans has nothing to do with their team. It has everything to do with the team that resides 30 miles south in Foxboro, Mass. Although every Sox fan in the office professes allegiance to the Patriots, they sound as if they couldn't care less about the team's recent 21-game win streak and a potential third Super Bowl win.
"I can't worry about the Patriots as long as the Sox are playing," said Waxman, who drove to Boston last week for the Red Sox victory parade. "The Sox are full of characters like Nixon, Cabby, Schilling, those are my boys. Who am I going to get excited about on the Pats? David Givens? Christian Fauria? The Patriots are just a boring team."
An amazing statement considering the Patriots are as close to a dynasty as you'll find in the NFL these days. The Patriots are like the model son who gets straight A's in school but is overshadowed by the troublesome, yet potentially genius son, who finally brought home an A after years of straight C's.
The office hysteria over the Sox during the playoffs was so contagious that my cubicle neighbor Maggie Haskins, the same one who was on ESPN's Dream Job, used the term "we" when referring to the Sox. The problem is she's a Chicago Cubs fan. The day after the Sox won the World Series, she put up a cardboard sign that looked like it was made by a homeless man that read, "1 curse down, 1 to go, Cubs in '05."
It's all pretty pathetic, and I'm not just talking about Maggie's handwriting. I can only hope that with the end of the baseball season and the curse, Sox fans -- and, more importantly, my editors and coworkers-- will be able to focus on more pressing matters than Theo Epstein's marital status and Kevin Millar's drinking habits before games. Even as Sox fans seem cordial and level-minded these days, Maggie constantly reminds me how long before this paradise ends.