Red Sox race for the East

Red Sox race for the East

Red Sox race for the East

Ryan Thomas

Can’t you just feel the ghost of 1978 creeping up your spine? A 14 ½ game lead dwindling away like the last sands of an hourglass preparing to break the collective hearts of Red Sox Nation. It’s like that feeling you get on a cool September morning when you realize autumn is finally here, except a lot worse. Autumn has been replaced by the New York Yankees and that chill has been replaced with the realization that 1978 could very well be repeated in 2007.

Just the sight, or thought for that matter, of Bucky Dent’s homerun over the Green Monster late in 1978 brings chills back to all those who endured the pain of a monumental collapse at the hands of the New York Yankees. Even if you were not alive in 1978, or weren’t old enough to comprehend the magnitude of the situation, if you’re a Red Sox fan, you know what happened and you remember it.

Now that the race for the AL East is all tightened up thanks to a number of factors, the realization that 1978 could be repeated is not only in our rearview mirror, it’s sitting next to us, smiling.

Could you even imagine what it would be like to have another one-game playoff between two of the most storied teams is baseball history? The Red Sox, the Yankees, one game for all the AL East marbles. It would most likely stop all of Boston and New York for one night, as the audiences sat with baited breath to see if 1978 would repeat its self.

That one game playoff would be the most exciting part of 2007. As a Red Sox fan, how could you say no to that? Sure, you could cite the bad gut feeling you get whenever the Yankees play a big game against the Red Sox, especially since recently the Yankees have had the Sox’ number.

The 2004 historic comeback seems like ancient history at this point. And since no one without the name Beckett has been able to tame the Yankees’ lineup this season, I can understand any worries about a one game playoff.

But forget about all that for now. Sit back and look at this not from a cynical Red Sox fan perspective and not from an arrogant Yankees’ fan perspective. Just take it for its face value: two great teams, one ultimate goal.

Try and realize this: 25 years down the road, when you have kids of your own, you wont have to dig back into ancient history and tell your kids about 1978, which will seem like a lifetime away. Instead, educate them about 2007’s one-game playoff between the Sox and Yanks, however it may turn out. Perhaps the outcome will differ from 1978, and the story will be told with a glimmer in your eye and a smile on your face. Or maybe history will repeat itself and you won’t have such a valiant tale to tell.

Either way, you have to root for this if you’re a Red Sox fan, a Yankee fan, a Marlins fan, or just a baseball fan. Heck, even if you’re not a baseball fan you need to root for this.