Love, war and baseball


They say opposites attract and it may be true. You have your spenders and savers, the extroverts and the introverts, the Capulets and the Montagues. Although a struggle, some couples manage to make it work.

Some opposition in a marriage is actually a boon; it keeps the home fires burning, keeps it interesting, shakes it up a bit.

There are, of course, some differences that cannot be overlooked. These are the ones so deeply rooted into our moral fiber that they cannot be overcome. What could be so monumental? Democrat versus Republican? Maybe … worse? Red Sox fan vs. Yankee fan? (Or insert your own favorite sports rivalry here; seriously, it doesn’t matter.)

I live it.

2007. Game Seven of the American League Championship Series against the Cleveland Indians. We were in Boston at a bar next to Fenway Park while the game raged on. Three hundred beer-swilling, rabid Red Sox fans watched as Dustin Pedroia slammed a two-run home run, and then the chanting starts – “Yankees suck!”

My Yankee-loving husband is bewildered: “But they’re not playing the Yankees,” he stammered.

“Doesn’t matter,” I reply, “It’ll even happen at a Patriots game.”

Needless to say, my husband went on to express how immature and ridiculous this was.

How do I explain this – he’s right, but “The Chant” can break out at a golf tournament or a child’s spelling bee, anywhere in New England at any time.

Much like the Hatfields and McCoys, the exact incident that started the greatest sports rivalry of all time is relatively unknown; it just seems to have existed since the first person yelled, “Play ball!”

Unlike the Hatfields and McCoys – who eventually threw in the towel – our rivalry rages on and plays out in our living room from April through October.

I can’t recommend a cure for the incurable. One can lessen the pain by trying not to antagonize the other. Don’t sing “Sweet Caroline” when the Sox are up by one run. Instead, I find it’s best to let it run its course, which is only seven months out of the year, and then call a general truce until April.

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