I am Mike Harrington
living with ALS
We have fight, grit, and HOPE.
I’m a Red Sox fan. The last 17 years or so have been wonderful… 4 World Series wins, countless playoff appearances, great players, and beating up on the Yankees.
My first 24 years in Red Sox Nation were MUCH different. There’s a Simpsons clip where Sideshow Bob steps on a rake, gets hit in the face, then turns around to step on another rake and get whacked again (repeat ad infinitum). THAT is what being a Sox fan was like. The Buckner game in ’86, falling in love with Roger Clemens only to have him leave, being just good enough to compete but still miss the playoffs, and squandering the prime of greatest pitcher to ever take the mound, Mr. Pedro Martinez.
The lowest point in my fandom came in game 7 of the 2003 ALCS. The boys from Boston were winning and were about to go to the World Series … then it all fell apart. The Yankees tied the game, it went to extras, and Aaron (effing) Boone hit a home run that broke my heart. I stormed out of the sports bar, left my open tab and credit card behind, and went into a weeklong funk.
The 2004 ALCS was set to have the same amount of disappointment, just with less of a stomach punch. The Yankees had a 3-0 lead, and were going to sweep the Red Sox right out of the playoffs. Then… magic happened. Dave Roberts got a big steal. David Ortiz hit some big home runs. The Red Sox did what had never been done, and overcame a seemingly insurmountable deficit to beat their bitter rival and go on to win the team’s first World Series in 86 years.
Our ALS fight is the Red Sox in 2004. We’ve been beaten down. Suffered losses and disappointment. Been punched in the stomach again and again. But we have fight, grit, and HOPE. We just need a little magic to get over the hump, solve this disease, and beat the evil Yankees (for this analogy, at least. Sorry, Mr. Gehrig).