Root Root Root for the Home Team

At Fenway rooting for the home team (they lost)
Recently, I saw something disturbing on Facebook.  A friend of mine had removed his Red Sox trailer hitch cover.  He was so upset with the team that he decided he was done being a Sox fan.  I get it.  The team has been absolutely embarrassing since last September's colossal collapse.  The final straw for my friend was the lack of attendance by most of the current players at the funeral of Johnny Pesky.  Johnny Pesky, beloved by Red Sox Nation.  The only non-hall of fame Red Sox player to have had his number retired by the team.  Skipping the funeral of this Red Sox legend?  Shameful.  An absolute disgrace.

I've never considered giving up on the Sox.  Well, I have given up on anything good coming of this season.  I'm not an idiot.  I have only been able to watch bits of games before disgustedly changing the channel.  Most of the time, instead of watching, I check the score and (the horror) the standings each morning.  It is no fun being a fan this year.  But give up on my team?  It would be like giving up on my family.

Wait, maybe that is putting it too strongly.  I don't think of the Sox as my family.  Heck, the guys don't even know me.  But if you follow a team though the good years and the bad ones, when they have a spectacular season, when they go all the way, it is a special kind of magic.

It's kind of like our kids.  Whether our kids come up through our farm league, or if they come to us from another team, they are ours.  We invest in them. We never give up on them. We'll do anything for them to reach their full potential.  They are not always perfect. But when they are not, we don't rip their pictures off of our mantels. We keep believing in them. Some seasons are just not awesome.  For example first grade was a bad season for Jemberu.  But how much sweeter the success of second grade was for him and us. At the start of this new season, 3rd grade, I am hoping for a grand slam. (That would be something like Jemberu not reminding me daily that he is going to school under protest.)

We have all lost our tempers and behaved in ways we wish we could take back.  Remember when Youk and Manny had it out in the dugout?  Unprofessional.  Embarrassing.  A lot like a family.

As my family knows well,  I have been embarrassing.  I have been irrational. I have been selfish. They never once kicked me out of the clubhouse.

Families disappoint each other from time to time.  I am kind of glad for that.  Perfection is too much pressure.  We can't expect our team to win the World Series or even having a winning season every year.  You can't predict which seasons (or even games)  are going to be winners for your team or your family.  The unexpected happens.  A key player gets injured and is out for the season.  A family member can become ill or unreasonable or can let us down.  There are days we feel like we will never get it right and days so perfect we feel like we have thrown a no-hitter.

Perfect families are boring (at least that is what I imagine).  Their successes expected and their failures crushing.  It would be like being a Yankees fan.  All those championship rings...ho hum.

Let's never be ashamed to back the home team.  Especially when they are not at their best.  When they get back on track, we will be proud of them, and of ourselves for not giving up on them.  The victories are that much sweeter for hanging in there during the defeats.