Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Still We Believe 

I saw Still We Believe: The Boston Red Sox Movie last night. If I could sum the movie up in one word, it would be "merciful."

The ALCS-winning home run by Aaron Boone arrived unexpectedly, despite everyone in the theater knowing it was coming. I didn't even have time to look away from the screen before it was over, and the movie moved on to the postgame clubhouse scenes.

But the movie is more about the fans than the team. It follows a handful of fans through the 2003 season, beginning with spring training. "Still We Believe" shows the rise and fall of fans' emotions, as they sway from "this is our year" to "it's ovah. O-V-A. Ovah." The emotional swings sometimes happen in the course of a single inning.

And that, really, is the essence of Red Sox fandom. You're torn between hope, against all reason, that this could be the year, and the dead certainty that the Sox will blow it and rip your heart out yet again. Somehow, they will find a way. And they seem to keep upping the ante on creative and shocking ways to blow it. But one of these days...

As an illustration of that dichotomy of hope and pessimism, "Still We Believe" is a success. I left the theater thinking, "This could be the year." Foolish me.

Still we believe, indeed.
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