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October 24, 2004

The Yankees lead the Red Sox 3-0 in the 2004 ALCS. Three games to none. Now I'm not a superstitious guy, but I have seen the apparent effects of karma enough to know not to talk smack until the deal is sealed. I yelled at my friend Gary Graham in Vegas in August 2003 when he was saying "It's Over!" on a game that my friend Rod and I had several hundred dollars each riding on (which we were watching at the ESPN Zone). Why tempt fate?

But in this particular case with the Yanks and BoSox, I felt comfortable enough to let it ride. Remember, Yankee fans feel a championship is their birthright; we've covered this before.

What happened this time around is known to all who care about sports... the Red Sox rallied to win the final four games of the ALCS, beating the Yankees in Game 7 in the Bronx and going to the World Series to face the Cardinals (who themselves had beaten the Red Sox in two post-curse World Series Game 7s, though nobody ever talks about that).

I'll say this: people sure love to stick it to Yankees fans when New York loses. Not two minutes after Boston clenched the pennant, my brother Matt (an Orioles fan) text messaged me with a well-timed taunt. Of course, the Yankees set the Orioles back ten years with the infamous 1996 ALCS Game 1 Derek Jeter home run that Jeffrey Maier pulled into the stands, so Matt has reason to hate the Yanks. But the e-mails and calls and taunts at work were anything but welcome with the mental state I was in, with the Yankees having just choked like no team in baseball history had ever choked before. Even Yankees fans were mad at me for jinxing them, like my friend Brook:

From: Gardiner, Brook
Sent: Friday, October 22, 2004 10:26 AM
Subject: Way to go

Way to go moron.
You're overconfident jinxing article cost the Yankees the world series.

Please Don't make that mistake again.


Actually, I think it was the Yankees pitching that cost them, not some article I wrote, but any way you slice it, the facts are that Ugly Boston is in the World Series and the Yanks are out of it. And that burns. It even took away my will to write on here for a few days.

There were some good things on the sports tip that happened this weekend. Mississippi State beat Florida, which is great on about 12 levels. I-AA Maine beat MSU, remember. Living in Tampa, I've grown to have even more of a disdain for the Gators than I did before I moved here in April 2001, and I didn't much care for them then. The game was on TV (Jefferson Pilot Sports), so MSU got some nice coverage, including down here in the Sunshine State. I don't know which part is better: that the Bulldogs won, or that Florida lost. I'll take them both in a nice package though, thank you very much. Tennessee beat Alabama, which is always a good thing. And BCS-buster Utah won, keeping their chance of a BCS game alive. I know, I know, why the hell would I cheer for Utah? It's more than I'm cheering against the BCS. I want there to be 5 or 6 unbeaten teams at the end of the season. Let USC and Wisconsin and Auburn and Oklahoma and Miami and Utah all run the table. I really would like to see that happen.

The Cardinals are losing in the 8th inning of Game 2 of the World Series as I type this, which is depressing me. Better finish this up before I go on another self-important rant. All I can say is: let's hope that the WS mirrors 1987 (the last time St. Louis was in the World Series) through Game 5, in which the Cards lost the first two games in Minneapolis, then won three straight at home at Busch Stadium. The fact that a Wild Card team (Boston) gets home field advantage over a squad (St. Louis) with 105 wins is ridiculous, but you can thank Bud Selig for tying in the result of the All-Star game with home field advantage, as opposed to giving it to the team with the best regular season win total. But there I go making sense again...

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