Saturday, October 20, 2007

A Member of the Tribe

Growing up in Cleveland, back in the 1960s and '70s, I developed a fierce love for the Cleveland Indians. The fact that the Indians stunk, year in and year out during my childhood, didn't lessen my attachment. In fact, their woes may have made me more loyal, so that even thought I've lived in Boston for almost 20 years, I remain a Cleveland fan.

Now, ten years after their last trip to the World Series, the Indians have a real chance to get there again. Things were looking promising until Thursday night, when the Red Sox ace, Josh Beckett, outpitched CC Sabathia. Now the Indians have to win one of two games at Fenway Park. If they make it to the World Series, if they do win one of these two games, I have a feeling the Tribe will beat the Rockies and win their first Series since 1948, their first in my fifty years of life.

Meanwhile, I'm too nervous to sit and watch the games. After coming so close in '97, after waiting so long, I want it too much. It's as if I believe my life would change if the Indians won championship. I know that Clevelanders' perceptions of themselves and their city would change--they'd no longer be the home of losing teams, teams that never win championships.

My friends remind me that this is just a game. I know that intellectually, but in my heart and mind this is more than a game; it's a reflection of my own identity.

Crazy, hmmm?


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