Thursday, September 29, 2011

Introducing The Artie Lange Curse

As part of the new ESPN Magazine Curse comes the prophetic words of a Nostradamusian Artie Lange. When a man who stabbed himself a half dozen times and lived to tell the tale talks, ya' listen.

From 1918 to 2004, the Red Sox didn’t win a World Series. That’s a long time. As a lifelong Yankees fan, a fun little exercise I like to do is to list some of the things that did happen in those 86 years. For instance: World War I ended, women got the vote, the Great Depression began and ended, Kirstie Alley started to look like Captain Lou Albano, TV was invented, the Hindenburg crashed, World War II started and ended, Steven Seagal’s brilliant film career started and ended, rock ’n roll began, we put a man on the moon, Wilt Chamberlain ”met” 20,000 women, Abbott met Costello, Bill Buckner was born, O.J. did not kill his ex-wife (although someone clearly did), macaroni became pasta, communism fell, Willie Nelson rolled 38,000 joints and some creep invented Rollerblading. And what else happened? Let me think ... oh yeah! The New York Yankees won the World Series 26 times.
Mr. Lange during a broadcast of Howard Stern. Best. Sidekick. Ever

I often think of building a time machine and going back to the late 1980s. I’d walk into Boston bars on the day each year when the Red Sox were eliminated from the playoffs and say, “Cheer up, guys. I come from the future, and I want to assure you that someday, both Wade Boggs and Roger Clemens will have World Series rings.” Then I’d leave. Boy, what a cute little surprise they’d be in for years later.

I hate the freaking Red Sox. It may be childish, but I love busting their chops. However, let me make one thing ABUNDANTLY clear: I do not hate the city of Boston. As a matter of fact, I love Boston. I love the layout of the city and the small streets that create their own world. I love the food, especially late-night sausage sandwiches in Faneuil Hall or the Gino Cappelletti linguine at Tecce’s. I also love the people, how loyal and local they are—I mean that as a big compliment. The attitude is almost like we’re not from Earth, we’re from Boston. I also love how even the hot chicks speak in thick Boston accents. There’s nothing like making out near Fenway with a chick who sounds like Ted Kennedy. I’m used to making out with chicks who just look like Ted Kennedy.

That being said, I have no choice but to hate the Red Sox. I don’t particularly like the Celtics or Bruins. And I’ve never been crazy about the Patriots either, mostly because of that annoying pretty boy, Tom Brady. Over the years, I’ve had some fabulous conversations with Gisele Bündchen—I really thought we had a special connection. Of course, I was drunk and it was actually just a poster of her. But it still pisses me off.


Those teams don’t bother me like the Red Sox, though. You see, I grew up in North Jersey in the ’70s. When the Yanks played the Sox on Oct. 2, 1978, in a one-game playoff to decide the AL East champ, I was 10. Beating Boston in that game meant everything, and I’ll never forget that day. My father, in yet another example of stellar parenting, let me stay home from school to watch the game. By the time Bucky Dent came to the plate in the seventh inning with the Yanks down 2-0, most of the neighborhood was at my house watching it with us. Hatred for the Red Sox filled the room. When Dent hit that three-run homer, pandemonium ensued. I actually dropped my Devil Dog.

Later, Carl Yastrzemski popped out to end it, and the “Boston sucks” chants rolled off our tongues. That’s the day when the Red Sox became what they will always be: the annoying dork in class that everybody laughs at while he’s being wedgied in the corner. There was no way not to despise the Red Sox. For life. As I grew up, my father always figured I’d be guilty of two things: a lifelong hatred of the Red Sox and a felony. In his honor, I achieved both. When the Red Sox did finally win, I’ll admit, it stung. It felt like going back to the high school reunion and that annoying dork had become a wildly successful millionaire.

I do take solace in the history of the Red Sox franchise, though. It’s clear now that they do well in the first 18 years of every century. So every Red Sox fan who is being born right now will endure the same hell their grandparents and great-grandparents did. The best part for me? In 2104, when the Red Sox finally win again, my liver will have failed decades before.

Nice to see Artie back at what he does best: spewing hatred for hilarious effect. I miss him on the Stern show. And I'm sure Joe Buck does too.WARNING: ALL SORTS OF NOT SAFE FOR WORK LANGUAGE


Nostradamus said...

Funny, I though the "dork in the corner" Sox were a lot more likeable than their modern counterparts.