Curt Schilling on Playing in Boston
- From: "StanTheMan_Stasiak" <sstasiak@xxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 17 Dec 2008 18:45:25 -0500
Excepted from his blog, full article at http://38pitches.weei.com/, talking about Teixeira:
The trump card though, for me anyway, is that Boston offers something far beyond what any team or city can hope to bring to the table. It's a new age here, there are completely different expectations each year for the Red Sox, and from Sox Nation. I can't imagine not having experienced this city, the fans, the ballpark, as a hometown player prior to my last year (if this is fact my last one).
Think Packer football, Cowboy football, Yankee baseball, Penn State football, 'Bama football, all rolled into one.
Boston has become a sports mecca in a way. The Pats are the class of the NFL, the Bruins are the best team in the NHL, the Celts are defending World Champs and the Sox have created a new breed of sports fan. Gone are the loveable losers; now it's about winning it all, all the time. It's a 162-game football season with 19 Super Bowls (games vs. Yanks) thrown in. It's the topic of conversation every day of every week of every month.
But there's also the feeling that not so long ago it was different. I am not so sure we handled that first title in '04 with the class we would have liked and it's also very clear that the nation has taken a very keen interest in hating everything Boston these days. It's a smidgen of a taste of what Yankee fans endured in the late '90s. People hate winners. It's weird but true. The Sox went from the bandwagon of all bandwagons to social lepers in sports circles. Everyone loves to hate anyone who is on top for a lengthy period of time and this city is on top right now.
But to suit up in this uniform, take the field as a member of this team and play for these fans, there's nothing like it in my 23 years of professional baseball to compare it to. Nothing. Whether I come back or not, part of me will always be tied to this franchise and that roster of 25 guys that believed when no one else did or would.
When CHB called us 'Frauds' we busted our asses to not retort and validate anything about him, but we didn't need a sportswriter to tell us what we woke up and knew every single day. Until a ring was won here it wouldn't matter how many HR's you hit, games you won, MVP's, Cy's, nothing. Until you won the ring you were just like all the rest. Loveable? Maybe. But no different in the end.
That happened, and when it did this city changed, these fans changed and Fenway Park became a place I wish any player the thrill of playing in as a hometown player. No dollar amount or contract length can replace the things that happen in front of those fans on that field.
If the dollars end up comparable, I can't imagine spending eight years in a more enjoyable, passionate and winning environment than what has been created here.
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