By Bill Simmons
Page 2

Editor's Note: As you can imagine, the Sports Guy e-mail box was filled to capacity after the Sox took home the pennant. Here are some of the highlights:

Name = Greg Fanikos
City = Red Sox Nation, Boston Branch
Today's Globe reveals that Red Sox team doctors tested the procedure to repair Schilling's ankle on a cadaver before fixing Curt for Game 6. My question: Has anyone in death ever done more for living? Shouldn't the cadaver by MVP? And how great would it be if the poor guy was a Yankees fan? The curse reversed by a corpse!! You need to investigate further. BELIEVE!!

Name = Abby
City = New York, NY
I am a lifelong Red Sox fan currently living in the enemy territory of New York City, and I just want to make one observation. This city is ordinarily overflowing with people wearing Yankees hats. Last night before Game 7, I walked home after work, and every third person I saw on the street was wearing one. In the space of 30 minutes, I saw literally hundreds of Yankees hats. But this morning on the way in to the office, do you know how many people I saw wearing a Yankees cap? One. During rush hour ... on a crowded subway ... in the Yankees' own city. Just one. And do you know who was wearing that hat? A homeless man passed out on the subway platform. He probably picked it out of the gutter last night after some fair-weather Yankees fan threw it away in the midst of a colossal hissyfit. Schilling & Co. didn't just make 55,000 people shut up, they made an entire city with millions of Yankees fans shut up. It's great to be a Red Sox fan in New York right now. Everyone's frowning, and then you'll see one person floating down the street with a huge grin on their face, and everyone else is glaring at them because they KNOW it's a Sox fan, but they can't say a word. I'm in heaven. For the first time ever, I was actually giddy with excitement at the thought of going to work, because I knew I was walking into an office full of pissed off Yankees fans. Life is good.

Name = Dean Miller
City = Jacksonville, FL
One question for you ... what will life be like if Boston wins it all? I mean generation after generation has lived with "The Curse" (which isn't officially over until Boston wins the World Series). I told a buddy of mine I think life for you would be like that of Linda Hamilton at the end of Terminator 2 ... you know where she's driving down a dark road, saying to herself, "We are in unchartered territory ... no one knows what the future will hold..we just have to take it day by day as it comes ... "

Name = Chandler
City = Boston, MA
NO ONE can sum it all up better than my best friend Joey P in NYC

"I've gained 10 pounds in seven days (steady diet of pizza, McDonald's, and beer). I haven't slept more than 4 hours a night in a week. I can't form a rational thought in my head. I have ridiculously large bags under my eyes. I'm emotionally spent. I've listened to Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" on my iPod 87 times in a row since Sunday with no interruptions. I have no voice. My immune system is as sturdy as balsa-wood. My thumbs hurt from the 673 text messages I've sent in the last 5 days. I haven't exercised in three weeks. My body is ready to crumble.

... AND I COULDN'T FEEL BETTER!

To the Yanks fans ... I'll refrain from the taunting I've endured from your end for years. All I have to say is welcome to 24 years of my life so far. The scene at the end of Shawshank Redemption when the warden looks in the lock box when the police are streaming down the road and he finally realizes Dufresne screwed him ... I'd like to think that's how Yankee Nation felt last night.

Name = Brad
City = Chicago, IL
We say all too often that sports moments transcend the monotony of daily life and give us a glimpse of what is possible. Last night was transcendent. Last night renewed my faith and belief that the improbable can become probable, that good can overcome evil, and that no matter how dark it gets there is always hope.

In the coming days the writers will make their lists and compare this win to the other great upsets and comebacks ... and they will invariably ruin it. But, today I will enjoy the calm satisfaction before it is dissected and talked to death. I will sit here with the morning sun shining on my back and take comfort in the fact that at least for a brief moment in my young life a group of ballplayers renewed my faith that anything is possible.

Thank you Boston.

Name = Brian Johnston
City = Memphis, TN
Where can I buy stock in "The Sports Guy and Gal welcome Johnny Derek Simmons into the world July 20, 2005"?

Name = Matt Parker
City = Brooklyn, NY
Do you think Francona is on the Yankees Payroll? How do you bring in Pedro in the 7th? Maybe he's one of those historical reenactment buffs and wanted to see if he could duplicate Grady's Last Stand. What was the thought process here?

"I could leave in Lowe, who's on cruise control, then bring in any random middle reliever if he gets into trouble. That way, I have Pedro ready with 4 days rest to pitch game 1 of the series or game 2 on 5 days. On the other hand, I really enjoy that 'Who's Your Daddy' chant."

What I'm saying is, is it too early to register fireterry.com?

Name = John
City = Fort Myers, FL
Did you see the look on Brian Cashman's face after Game 7 ended? I think you should be on hand to commemorate the Brian Cashman face into the Pantheon of Faces at this year's induction ceremony.

Name = JD Smith
City = Replacing the 1918 chant
If the Red Sox win the world series, will Sox fans start chanting TWO-THOU-SAND at Yankee games?

Or does YEAR TWO THOU-SAND have a better ring to it?

Name = Jason L.
City = Philadelphia, PA
"We understand George Steinbrenner must be embarrassed, frustrated, and disappointed by his team's failure in this series ... unlike the Red Sox, they chose not to go the extra distance for their fans in New York" -- The Red Sox Nation

Name = Mark Buckley
City = Chicago, IL
I didn't know what to do. I sat there and watched Pokey flip the ball over to first and that was that. It was official. I watched all the interviews, I watched the press conferences on ESPNews. I called a few friends and a few called me. And then I went to bed. I wake up this morning and go online to read the Globe and while I'm reading, ESPN has the Top 10 plays from the ALCS and all of the sudden I just start sobbing uncontrollably. Ortiz ... more tears. Damon ... sobbing like a child. I don't understand it. I think I've frightened even myself at how much I care about this team ...

I'm going to go watch more Game 7 highlights and weep openly now...

Name = Dan
City = Hoboken, NJ
Bill,

I wish you could be here in NY listening to sports talk radio right now. Every single caller is trying to find some excuse for the Yankees' loss, from saying that Torre has nothing to work with (a fair point -- the Yanks definitely would have pulled it out if the payroll was $300 million) to the fact that they knew, and have known all along, that the Yankees should have gone out and gotten Schilling this past off-season because Brown and Vazquez are bums. There are no words to describe the joy I take in listening to the these formerly smug, full-of-themselves "my team is bigger than God" yahoos reduced to blaming John Olerud's injury for the series loss.

There's a German term called schadenfreude, which means "a malicious satisfaction in the misfortunes of others." To say that every Mets fan is the personification of the word is an understatement.

Name = Jason McCallum
City = Newtown, CT
I write this to you from work on The Morning After. I can't talk to anybody because my throat is swollen. All contact is being done electronically. I won't even talk about the game. I want to tell you about afterwards.

I was at Yankee Stadium. When the impossible happened, all that was left were Red Sox fans. We went down to the dugout and stayed for an hour or so while the players came out and doused us with champagne. Incredibly, Steinbrenner ordered the stadium closed while players were embracing fans and the police and ushers started throwing us out. But as we exited the stadium, as far as the eye could see, Red Sox fans had flocked to the area and there were hundreds, if not thousands, of them. What followed were hours of joy- hugging, mosh pits, jumping, high fives. You name it. We did it, and we did it in style. No obscenities, just good clean celebrating. The players loaded onto the buses to standing ovations, chants and they returned the favor by waving and saluting us. As the Yankees drove off in their cars we greeted them with wishes for a long, cold winter. They sat miserably in traffic tie-ups as we reminded them of their monumental choke job.

We all went home around 3:00 a.m. and hugged perfect strangers good bye as straggling Yankee fans looked at us in awe and disbelief. Just pure joy in the air. I know this is long and you might not read it all. But you are our forum here, and please print at least one note from a fan who was present. Put the message out about what our team did for us, and about how we threw the biggest Red Sox party we ever attended, right there in the House That Ruth Built.

Name = Andy K.
City = Ithaca, NY
When Francona brought in Pedro, did anyone else think "YOU'RE RISKING A PATIENT'S LIFE!"?

Name = Phil Soto-Ortiz
City = Fairfield, CT
Well, Bill, who knows if you've read any of my e-mails over the two-and-a-half years I've been reading you and writing the occasional barb -- so congratulations. Frankly, as a Yankee fan, I don't know what to think. The only way I can put this in perspective is this is as if the Pope declared to Catholics everywhere that there is no God. Because everything on which I've based my life has been ripped away. Now we're left to straddle the fence, wondering, if the Sox lose the Series, is there still a curse. I'll never root for the Sox, but at least if they will, there will be no ambiguity. The curse will be over, and we can all go about our lives as fans of our respective teams, the way everyone else does. We hate you, and you hate us, and we have all the history and you have the most recent, most astounding chapter, and it can go from there.

As an aside, it should be clearly noted that if, and only if, Roger Clemens were to win Game 7 at Fenway Park, the Curse is alive and well. But that can't happen. Can it?

Name = Matt Ward
City = Leesburg, VA
You weep for the Yankees and curse the Red Sox

While the Yankee death was tragic, it probably saved lives.

Name = Jon Galpin
City = New York, NY
Bill,

Congrats. Seriously. You and the devoted fan base of the Red Sox truly deserve this moment. I look forward to tangling with your team again next year -- maybe we can win Game 7 in your yard in 2005. Historic and hideous 3-0 collapse optional. However, I am moved to point out a major point where you misread the Yankees and their fans badly. This is not the most devastating loss in franchise history. We do not measure ourselves against you. You measure yourselves against us. We measure ourselves on championships won and lost. Mariano's blown save in the desert in 2001 will always be more painful. That night still bothers me. Hell, even gagging away a 2-1 series lead vs. the Marlins last year was worse than this year. True Yankee fans don't love the Giambi Yankees. The 2002-2004 Yankees are Steinbrenner's mess. But we still live and die with every pitch just as you do. So good luck in the series. I hope you win in 6 games and cherish it forever because another year of listening to Red Sox Nation whine about how unlucky they are is one year too many.

PS -- See you next August when we have a 10-game lead

Name = Vince
City = Coronado, CA
So, tell all these damn college kids to calm down. What are they, 20? 21? Please, Boston isn't Detroit. I remember my first beer, too. If there was any rioting/destruction/cars being turned over it should have happened at retirement homes across New England. Punks too young to even remember 1986 need to get back to their school work.

What have these kids suffered through? Aaron Boone? Jeanne Zelasko? When they can say they remember where they were for Hendu and Buckner, that they remember Bucky freakin' Dent, not getting Fingers and Rudi, Ed Armbrister, Fisk's homer, Rice's broken hand, that they were alive for Bob Gibson, Jim Longborg's ski trip, Tony Conigliaro's beaning, etc., that they buried their father who lived his whole life rooting for the Red Sox and never saw them win it all, THEN they can go nuts. And that's just the stuff from my lifetime. There's a whole 40-something years before that I didn't live through. Watching video of kids smashing up Kenmore Square is like watching Barney Gumble chug Dom Perrignon.

That said, Woo-hoo! I feel like smashing a sign or something!

Name = Phil R.
City = Binghamton, NY
If the Red Sox go on to win the World Series, should you rename the Ewing Theory, the "Nomar Theory?"

Name = Mitch Perkal
City = New Jersey
After the Yankees lost the series, I went back and looked at your 13 levels of losing columns to see where this catastrophic collapse ranked. I realized that we were victims of the top 12 levels of losing. There is no possible worst way to lose a game/series. The way we look at sports is changed forever. Any comeback is possible. Any upset is possible.

Name = Gregg
City = New York, NY
I hate to be the one to bring this up but as a Red Sox fan, I fear we be set up for the ultimate heartache and a curse that makes Ruth cower. Could this all possibly be a big cosmic set-up to have Roger Clemens be the one to extend and rejuvenate the curse. It is almost too scary to think about. First they trade the greatest hitter of all time and then the greatest pitcher of our generation. If Clemens is on the mound in Boston for a Game 7 and wins, I think the curse of will enter as Dan Duquette would call it "the twilight of its career."

That being said, LET'S GO CARDINALS!!!

Name = Jason B.
City = Indianapolis, IN
You wrote: "the general sense of superiority from a fan base that derives a disproportionate amount of self-esteem from the success of their baseball team. I didn't care that they kept winning as much as they were a-holes about it. Not all of them. Most of them."

Patriots fans, paging Patriots fans. You have a call from Pot Calling The Kettle Black on line 1.

Name = Mitchell Epner
City = New York, NY
Until yesterday, I believed that the sun rose in the East, gravity works, paper covered rock, rock breaks scissors, scissors cuts paper and the Yankees beat the Red Sox. Last night took that away from me.

Are you happy now?

Bill Simmons is a columnist for Page 2 and ESPN The Magazine. His Sports Guy's World site is updated every day Monday through Friday.




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