Let's get one thing straight: I hate sports. I especially hate team sports and all of the macho baggage that goes with it. I dated an amateur baseball player for 6 years and he nearly killed my dormant feelings for the game, and the Red Sox, which budded when I was 8 years old, wearing my red sox jacket over my leotard in ballet class. I also hate sports fans with their yelling and posturing, getting their sense of self worth from the performance of some overpaid strangers who are supposed to somehow represent them as people. Having said that...WOOOO!!!! GO SOX!!!
This year's ALCS is different. This was not sports, This was plain old good against evil.
The Yankees are obviously, and nominally, The Evil Empire and George Steinbrenner is Darth Vader (ok, I know yesterday I said that was Dick Cheney, but it's such a good metaphor, I'm going to work it into the ground.) He treats his players like they're a bunch of Imperial Storm Troopers. No long hair, no facial hair. Everyone has to look the same, and everyone has a cold, dead look in their eyes. They do whatever has to be done to win, no matter how immoral it is (I'm looking at you, A-Rod, you a-hole.) And when Darth decides who's responsible for their loss, he's going to strangle that dude with the Force. Last night I had the same feeling I had the first time I saw Luke Skywalker blow up the Death Star. "Yer all clear, kid," I yelled to Johnny Damon, his copious cranial hair a veritable "fuck you" to the Yankees, "now let's blow this thing and go home!"
Or look at it this way: The Red Sox as the Bad News Bears. Curt Schilling in the role of Tatum O'Neill as the pitcher who leads the team to the least likely victory ever, possibly in the Houston Astrodome, if it hasn't been razed yet. Perhaps Manny Ramirez is our Jackie Earl Haley, a bad boy who underneath just wants approval. Or maybe he's Engelberg, the fat kid who can barely make it around the bases without passing out from exhaustion. David Ortiz is the Muslim kid who idolizes Hank Aaron and ends up in a tree in his underpants when he doesn't measure up. Except for the underpants part. And poor Mark Bellhorn is Lupus, who everyone picks on but who manages to ignore the criticism and eventually triumph.
So the point is, this is not just baseball, it's Shakespearean, it's Sysiphusian (is that a word,) except nobody dies (well, not inside the stadium,) and they finally get that rock up over the top of that hill. Then it rolls down the other side and crushes Derek Jeter.