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My new Red Sox hat

Filed in: culture, personal, sports, Sun, Sep 26 2004 06:20 PT

This week, I reclaimed my New England heritage. I bought a new Red Sox hat.

With 8 games to go in the baseball season, and a looming playoff showdown against New York, Boston is in the midst of Red Sox mania. It’s made all the more present by a 3-game series against the Yankees at Fenway Park. You can see it on the subway (that is, the T): the Sox hat is a uniform here. Even the women are wearing them. Yankee apparel, by contrast, leaves you open to at least a verbal altercation.

The hat is a symbol of sporting struggle. And the dirtier, the better. The die-hard fans have a hat they’ve worn since before they can remember. It’s frayed on the bill, and doesn’t look like it’s ever been washed. Even my brand new one looks a little bit faded. If you see a hardcore Sox fan wearing a crisp new Sox hat, it’s a reasonably safe bet that they’re going to a formal event, like a court date or a funeral service.

Entire generations have come and gone hoping for a world championship. And god forbid we finally win. I was in Denver when the Avalanche won the Stanley Cup. There were riots in LoDo. And that was the first year the Avs played there. It’s been 86 years for the Sox. Boston will be a smoking crater. But, I think everyone will agree, it’ll be a hell of a way to go.

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