Wood E. Jonsohn is a Boston Red Sox fan who revels in glory when the New York Yankees lose.

Wood E. is not a lover of the so-called baseball experts because he is an expert in his own right. Wood E. learned long ago that assuming is dangerous, as one New York Times sportswriter discovered in 2004.

The headline of the Oct. 17, 2004 edition of the most hallowed of newspapers, The New York Times , said it all, yet it said nothing.

“All Over But the Routing.”

New York’s staid, conservative purveyor of its own reality borrowed a page from the city’s tabloids.

Yes, we really know you will conclude that not only is the routing of the Boston Red Sox a foregone conclusion, but you realize that, since no playoff or World Series team ever overcame a 3-0 deficit, the Red Sox might as well pack it in.

Only they didn’t.

I savored every word of the article, reading slowly and deliberately.

First, there is a reference to the First Baptist Church, a building that is a few blocks away from Fenway Park, which, unlike Yankee Stadium, still hosts baseball games.

The church’s Sunday sermon was “Why Does God Allow Suffering?”

Of course, the arrogant, over-confident New York writers and the New York Yankees’ fans never dreamed that it was they who would suffer more than any fans or team in the game’s history.

“The Yankees humiliated the Red Sox in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday, 19-8, all but sealing their 40th World Series berth in front of their bitter rivals.”

What a tremendous difference between sealing a pennant and “all but sealing” a pennant.

It gets even better. There is a disclaimer that no one, except perhaps some “insane” fans from Boston, believed it wasn’t over.

You see, the experts know that once you have three games and your opponent has none, you have won. Getting the fourth win is just a formality.

“The Yanks have won every game of this best-of-seven series, and they would need an unprecedented collapse to lose the pennant. No team has recovered from a 3-0 deficit, and the Red Sox seem ill-equipped to try. The faithful need a miracle, which is never a Red Sox specialty”

Aren’t the experts great?

A related article in the newspaper that decides which news among all the news that’s fit to print is published, empathized with the Red Sox fans.

Fans who root for a team that loses find compensation elsewhere. According to psychologist Christopher Peterson “…at some level, I think we do like it.”

Ask any Yankees’ fan if she would rather have had her team beat the Red Sox or if she likes the fact that the Sox became the first and only team to win a playoff series after trailing by three games.

As former Brooklyn Dodgers’ manager Leo Durocher once said, “Show me a good loser and I’ll show you an idiot.:

After winning the pennant, the Red Sox swept the St. Louis Cardinals to become World Champions.

To me, 2004 tops any of the Yankees’ championship seasons because we overcame a deficit New Yorkers knew was impossible to overcome. The Red Sox rose from the dead, beating the team that wasn’t supposed to lose.

How satisfying it was to see the experts from the New York Times eat their words.


TYLER KEPNER. (2004, October 17). All Over but the Routing :Yankees’ Offensive Express Flattens Boston’s Hopes. New York Times (1923-Current file),SP1. Retrieved May 26, 2010, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 – 2006). (Document ID: 1058931992).

BENEDICT CAREY. (2004, October 17). Maybe Red Sox Fans Enjoy Their Pain :Ideas & Trends. New York Times (1923-Current file),WK12. Retrieved May 26, 2010, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 – 2006). (Document ID: 1058929572).

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