Cowboy up!

For Red Sox fans, this victory is a reminder of four years of disappointment since the last time the Sox made it to the ALCS in 1999. However, the Sox will not stop here; their mission is a World Series, and no Red Sox fan will be satisfied with anything less.

So I assume that you loyal readers are expecting a column similar to last week’s, when my energy jumped off the page and my enthusiasm was unmatched. Be patient, readers, because first I must address a pressing issue.

Last Friday, after the Red Sox lost the first two games to the A’s, I received an email from a very misguided Amherst alumnus from the class of 1967 who read my column last week. I will refrain from mentioning his name in order to protect his family and friends. This alumnus referred to himself as a “lifelong baseball fan and a former Boston resident” of 20 years, yet he mocked my prediction that the Red Sox would beat the A’s and had the audacity to consider himself a Yankees fan.

He began his letter with a clever thought: “Your column about the ALDS brings to mind two great principles of life: 1. It is better to be courageous than right, and 2. Only laughter makes tragedy endurable.” Mr. Alumnus, I wholeheartedly agree with your theory (although some of my peers might argue that I often forget the former). He then continued, “It took a lot of guts (or perhaps blind-truly blind-faith?) to write your column.” Mr. Alumnus, this is where I disagree. When your loyalties to a team (the Celtics or the Red Sox for me) run deeper than almost everything except your family and God (this includes friends, sorry guys!), then it is not blind faith, it is belief, loyalty and honest faith. I cry when my team loses; I rejoice when my team wins. You will never hear anyone refer to me as jumping on the bandwagon; I’ve been riding the same wagon my whole life!

Most Red Sox fans will agree. The reason we believe that the Red Sox will win the World Series this year is not because they are our favorite team; it’s because they are the only team and we are 100 percent behind them every step of the way. We live and die with the Red Sox. We are die-hard fans who know no other team besides our own.

The Red Sox will beat the Yankees. If I’m right, then it’s worth not being courteous, and if I’m wrong, I’ll be batting .500 this year for my Red Sox predictions. Mr. Alumnus concluded his email with this thought, “guts and character count more than being right � and maybe someday you’ll be right!”  Well Mr. Alumnus, I was right once, and I have true faith that I will be right again. Thank you for writing, but in the future, make sure you mock the Red Sox after they are out, not after they are down to their last strike.

Thrashers Tragedy

Thrashers Tragedy

Dany Heatley, the NHL Rookie of the Year two seasons ago with the Atlanta Thrashers, was charged on Monday with first degree vehicular homicide and faces prison time of three to 15 years. Heatley, only 23 years old, was driving on a two-lane road at 80 miles per hour with his teammate and friend, Dan Snyder, when Heatley’s Ferrari crashed into a brick wall.

On Sunday night, Snyder died in an Atlanta hospital, where he had laid in a coma for six days. Heatley will recover from tears in both his ACL and MCL, but will likely be recovering for an extended period of time. Whether he plays hockey ever again is an after-thought right now.

It’s a shame that it takes a tragedy like this for athletes to stop and think about their life decisions. Although it appears that Heatley was not driving under the influence of alcohol, there is no doubt that he was driving irresponsibly. When 23 year-olds are given millions of dollars, expensive, fast cars, luxurious houses and fame, the possibilities for ruin are endless.

Snyder’s death is even more tragic because he was a good young man. He was not the one with the Ferrari or the millions. He was a struggling rookie who was just trying to make it into the league. He was probably in awe of Heatley’s Ferrari and wished he could live Heatley’s life one day. Now Heatley will have nightmares about one joyride gone bad.

This accident brings to mind the death of Bobby Phills four years ago. Phills, a guard for the Charlotte Hornets, was racing with then-teammate David Wesley at over 100 miles per hour when he lost control of his car and spun into incoming traffic. Wesley pulled to the side of the road and watched his best friend die.

How does someone recover from something like this? The thought of seeing his best friend dying right before his eyes must haunt him every day. Who knows, maybe these are just freak accidents that could happen to any 23 year-old with any car and any amount of money. More than likely they are and they do, but you’d think that people with so much potential and so many positive things in their lives would be able to make good decisions.

When I was little, my mom used to tell me, “Think before you do anything.” I think about those words every day, with every decision I make. If only Dany Heatley’s mom told him the same thing when he was a boy. And if she did, shame on him for not remembering what his mother told him. It may be too late, but next time I’m sure he’ll be more careful. Let’s pray that other people learn from his mistake.