Roid Sox Nation?

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Slate's Culture Blog
July 30 2009 1:45 PM

Roid Sox Nation?

There’s a guy at Harvard who claims that happiness doesn’t last (it’s good news: unhappiness doesn’t either!) because we humans wildly overestimate how happy or unhappy any given event will make us. He’s got all the research and the tenured professorship, but I have—the 2004 Red Sox. For my whole life, I imagined that a Red Sox world championship would make me deliriously happy. I was not wrong. And the effects have not worn off: Right now, just thinking about this play , I was so overcome with warm and fuzzy feelings that I momentarily forgot that we have dropped seven of our last 10 and are now 3.5 games behind the Yankees.

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So my reaction to the news that David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez were on a list of players who tested positive for steroids in 2003 is this: I am disappointed (Big Papi, did you have to?) and defensive (hey, the other guys were doing it, too!) but not, on the whole, any less happy. Besides, I tell myself, this was in 2003—and we all know what happened then . Even if the whole team was popping steroids like sunflower seeds, it was not enough to overcome the incompetence of Grady Little. The 2004 championship remains untarnished.

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Or so I tell myself. One of the joys of being fan, even in the age of Moneyball, is the freedom—the obligation?—to be irrational.

Photograph of Manny Ramirez courtesy of Flickr user KeithAllison .

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