Curse? What Curse? or The a difference a Decade Plus makes

by Datechguy | June 15th, 2018

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Curse? What Curse? or The a difference a Decade Plus makes

An inter­est­ing thing hap­pened to me the day before yesterday.

I work in a place with a lot of peo­ple who are either under 30 or not from the new Eng­land and are going absolutely mad about the upcom­ing world cup and com­pletely excited at the prospect of it com­ing to the US in 8 years.

Dur­ing the con­ver­sa­tion about sports I causally men­tioned the Red Sox being in first place and how it is such a change from the time of the Curse of the Bambino.

Now there was a time not all that long ago that if you said “The Curse” in New Eng­land every sin­gle per­son regard­less of age knew what you were talk­ing about with­out hav­ing to men­tion Babe Ruth, the Yan­kees or “No No Nanette

They had no idea what I was talk­ing about.

Yes­ter­day I expanded the exper­i­ment, at work I ran­domly asked almost two dozen peo­ple two questions.

  1. If I say “the curse” to you what am I talk­ing about?
  2. If I say “the curse of the bam­bino” what am I talk­ing about?

Of the two dozen peo­ple I asked two peo­ple knew at once what the curse was, two more real­ized what I was talk­ing about when I men­tioned “the bambino”.

The rest didn’t have a clue.

Just 14 years ago that would have been unthink­able. For gen­er­a­tions the curse of the Bam­bino was an inte­gral part of being a New Eng­lan­der. It would not even have been nec­es­sary to include “of the Bam­bino” just ref­er­ence to “the curse” would have been enough for heads to nod. Books were writ­ten about it. Plays were made about it. HBO’s real sports did a full show on it.

and it was the rea­son why in New Eng­land, Bucky Dent’s mid­dle name isn’t Earl.

To say “the curse” was an obses­sion would be the ulti­mate under­state­ment. When 2004 began you would have been hard pressed to find a sin­gle man woman or child in New Eng­land that didn’t know what the curse was.

Then this happened

and this the next day

and this a few days later

and this

and then finally the fol­low­ing week.

a few days later my sons and I were part of the 3 mil­lion peo­ple who poured into Boston for this

It was the biggest thing you ever saw in the area. We have won two more World Cham­pi­onships (2007 & 2013) and as of today two years after the retire­ment of Big Papi the Red Sox sit in first place and are likely to win over 100 games this year. It’s a great time to be a Red Sox fan.

But it seems like nobody cares anymore.

It’s been just under 15 years later and I can be in a place full of peo­ple who live in New Eng­land who have no idea what I’m talk­ing about when I bring up the curse and that is going to grow when you con­sider that high schools and col­leges around New Eng­land will grad­u­ate tens of thou­sands of stu­dents this year who have no mem­ory of a time when the Red Sox were not Cham­pi­ons. 15 years ago every sin­gle caller on sports talk radio would be in a state of excite­ment with the Red Sox neck and neck bat­tle of titans in the AL East on the 100th anniver­sary of Babe Ruth’s last World Series win in a Red Sox Uni­form. Noth­ing else would have mattered

On Thurs­day night the 1st place Red Sox were about to start a 4 game series against the sur­pris­ing 1st place Seat­tle Mariners. An epic bat­tle, yet what was the topic of con­ver­sa­tion on the home sta­tion of the Red Sox as I drove in…An inter­view with Tom Brady’s wife and Brady’s inter­view with Oprah!

It was typ­i­cal. Dur­ing the Sox amaz­ing run if you turned on sports talk radio you were much more likely to hear about Tom Brady not show­ing up for vol­un­tary work­outs and should the Celtics make a play for Lebron James than Red Sox talk. On the late night drive a few days ago I actu­ally heard a guest state that the only rea­son a host men­tioned the Sox at all is that the sta­tion com­pels him to because they carry the games.

If the Red Sox had not won that world series in 2004 or 2007 or 2013, this would not be the case but with vic­tory came com­fort and with com­fort the loss of col­lec­tive mem­ory of the shared frus­tra­tion that united us here in New England.

In the last hour of the week I noted four guys talk­ing sports at work, none of them were dis­cussing the Sox Seat­tle series or the game in progress (The Red Sox would win 21 despite a nail bit­ing 9th) all they were inter­ested in was Rus­sia beat­ing the Saudis at the world up and if that Russ­ian team was the real thing or not.. As I lis­tened to them for a brief moment I found myself miss­ing the curse that was the com­mon bond that bound six states and every­one in it together…

… but then I remem­bered all those won­der­ful moments from 2004 and that regret dis­ap­peared over­whelmed by a wave of pure joy that come over me faster than you can say: “Big Papi”

The curse was a cul­tural mile­stone but I’ll take win­ning any day.

Clos­ing thought. I won­der how much larger over the norm the grad­u­at­ing classes of 2023 will be in New Eng­land and if any­one will real­ize the rea­son why?

An interesting thing happened to me the day before yesterday.

I work in a place with a lot of people who are either under 30 or not from the new England and are going absolutely mad about the upcoming world cup and completely excited at the prospect of it coming to the US in 8 years.

During the conversation about sports I causally mentioned the Red Sox being in first place and how it is such a change from the time of the Curse of the Bambino.

Now there was a time not all that long ago that if you said “The Curse” in New England every single person regardless of age knew what you were talking about without having to mention Babe Ruth, the Yankees or “No No Nanette

They had no idea what I was talking about.

Yesterday I expanded the experiment, at work I randomly asked almost two dozen people two questions.

  1.  If I say “the curse” to you what am I talking about?
  2.  If I say “the curse of the bambino” what am I talking about?

Of the two dozen people I asked two people knew at once what the curse was, two more realized what I was talking about when I mentioned “the bambino”.

The rest didn’t have a clue.

Just 14 years ago that would have been unthinkable.  For generations the curse of the Bambino was an integral part of being a New Englander.  It would not even have been necessary to include “of the Bambino”  just reference to “the curse” would have been enough for heads to nod.  Books were written about it.  Plays were made about it.  HBO’s real sports did a full show on it.

and it was the reason why in New England, Bucky Dent’s middle name isn’t Earl.

To say “the curse” was an obsession would be the ultimate understatement.  When 2004 began you would have been hard pressed to find a single man woman or child in New England that didn’t know what the curse was.

Then this happened

and this the next day

and this a few days later

and this

and then finally the following week.

a few days later my sons and I were part of the 3 million people who poured into Boston for this

It was the biggest thing you ever saw in the area.  We have won two more World Championships (2007 & 2013) and as of today two years after the retirement of Big Papi the Red Sox sit in first place and are likely to win over 100 games this year.  It’s a great time to be a Red Sox fan.

But it seems like nobody cares anymore.

It’s been just under 15 years later and I can be in a place full of people who live in New England who have no idea what I’m talking about when I bring up the curse and that is going to grow when you consider that high schools and colleges around New England will graduate tens of thousands of students this year who have no memory of a time when the Red Sox were not Champions. 15 years ago every single caller on sports talk radio would be in a state of excitement with the Red Sox neck and neck battle of titans in the AL East on the 100th anniversary of Babe Ruth’s last World Series win in a Red Sox Uniform.  Nothing else would have mattered

On Thursday night the 1st place Red Sox were about to start a 4 game series against the surprising 1st place Seattle Mariners.  An epic battle, yet what was the topic of conversation on the home station of the Red Sox as I drove in…An interview with Tom Brady’s wife and Brady’s interview with Oprah!

It was typical.  During the Sox amazing run if you turned on sports talk radio you were much more likely to hear about Tom Brady not showing up for voluntary workouts and should the Celtics make a play for Lebron James than Red Sox talk.  On the late night drive a few days ago I actually heard a guest state that the only reason a host mentioned the Sox at all is that the station compels him to because they carry the games.

If the Red Sox had not won that world series in 2004 or 2007 or 2013, this would not be the case but with victory came comfort and with comfort the loss of collective memory of the shared frustration that united us here in New England.

In the last hour of the week I noted four guys talking sports at work, none of them were discussing the Sox Seattle series or the game in progress (The Red Sox would win 2-1 despite a nail biting 9th) all they were interested in was Russia beating the Saudis at the world up and if that Russian team was the real thing or not..  As I listened to them for a brief moment I found myself missing the curse that was the common bond that bound six states and everyone in it together…

… but then I remembered all those wonderful moments from 2004 and that regret disappeared overwhelmed by a wave of pure joy that come over me faster than you can say: “Big Papi”

The curse was a cultural milestone but I’ll take winning any day.

Closing thought. I wonder how much larger over the norm the graduating classes of 2023 will be in New England and if anyone will realize the reason why?

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