Friday, October 19, 2007


I have a confession to make. This may shock some of you, though not my family. Although I live less than 15 miles from Fenway Park I am not a Red Sox fan. I do pay some attention to the Yankees, blasphemy in this part of the world. Knowing what's up with the Yanks allows me to interact with my family - a number of whom are die-hard Yankee fans. Truth be told I don't pay much attention to major league baseball, and when I do my team of choice is the Cubs.

With the Sox vying for the American League championship it is extremely difficult to avoid Red Sox fever. Last Thursday, before the playoffs started, the local news spent all but 8 minutes on the Red Sox. That 8 minutes included about 5 of those were the weather report. Actually the total for other news should probably be even lower since at least a portion of the weather was focused on the game time weather.

I grew up in a sports focused household. My father coached college football, baseball, and at one point basketball. TV watching in our house was primarily sports, that's still the case in my parents house. I remember many a Sunday morning when brunch was accompanied by the Canadiens hockey games. There was at least one year when my parents borrowed a second tv so that the adults could watch both NFL playoff games. In high school I played a sport in three of the four seasons (field hockey, volleyball and softball) and I managed the girls basketball team. And when I couldn't play softball (because the season overlapped with the summer league I played in) I coached the freshman team.

I grew up in a small city without professional sports. The sports I watched were college teams, high school teams and whatever pro teams were on the game of the week. I have not been focused on sports since I started college (a long time ago). I've been to about 4 football games since I graduated from high school. Part of this is that my father left coaching shortly after I entered college. My wife grew up in a house where sports were rarely watched, so on those occasions when I do watch a game she rarely sticks around.

I'm glad the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, but the shift from perpetual underdog to front runner has created a frenzy in the local media that is unappealing. I don't mind them reporting on the games, I'd be astounded if they didn't. But a little balance would be appreciated. The obsessive coverage is almost enough to turn me into an Indians fan. No hate mail, please, I said almost.

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