The spirit of sports
By: Gregory Maynard
Patriots Day in Boston is what makes the city and this region so great. The long weekend, the promise of spring, the recreations of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the early season Sox game, and of course the Boston Marathon, make Patriots Day a true New Englander’s holiday. It’s a reprieve from the silent, solace of winter, and a taste of warmer days ahead. But that was taken from us this year. The promise of better days were replaced with sorrow, heartache and mourning following the bombings at the Boston Marathon finish line.
Expectations year in and year out are high for Boston’s sports teams, but this year’s were different. We can all admit that the Marathon bombings on Patriots Day touched the souls of all New Englanders and Bostonians alike. We didn’t expect a World Series title; we simply expected more heart out of our team, and more fight on the diamond. Well we got what we wanted and expected out of the Red Sox, and a whole lot more.
It’s only fitting that our most beloved, storied and historic professional sports franchise would give us something to cheer for again, and truly echo these important values we witnessed during those dark days. Sure, the team did something great for us by providing a welcome distraction all year, but we did something great for them: we inspired them. So for that, pat yourselves on the back, Sox fans; you helped this team win a championship.
We New Englanders are a unique bunch. We approach situations head on; we are proud and we are strong. The heroism displayed on that tragic day in April was truly reflective of the character of the people of New England. We showed the world what the power of togetherness and unity through struggle can accomplish, and how to handle adversity not only with pride, but with determination as well.
The 2013 Boston Red Sox took those same values of togetherness, cooperation and teamwork Boston showed during the bombings and simply channeled it to the baseball diamond. They were a rag-tag team of scrappy veterans and promising rookies coming off of a historic collapse in 2011 and their most embarrassing season in 2012. They displayed heart and hustle all season long, drawing strength and inspiration from the resilient New Englanders and Bostonians following the bombings. World Series hero Jonny Gomes summed up the season perfectly just moments after the final out was recorded, “Don’t think we put Boston on our back… I think we jumped on their back. They wouldn’t let us quit.”