Every week, NPRI President Andy Matthews writes a column for NPRI's week-in-review email. If you are not getting our emails, which contain our latest commentaries and news stories, you can sign up here to receive them.
I get ribbed a lot for being from Massachusetts, what with the state’s famed affinity for big government, high taxes and liberal politicians.
But I’ve always been quick to defend my home turf, and to point out that what the Bay State has to offer isn’t all bad. There’s the rich history, the amazing seafood, the breathtaking foliage in the fall.
And, of course, the Boston Red Sox.
In case you missed it, the Sox were crowned World Series champions on Wednesday night, beating the St. Louis Cardinals 6-1 to take the Fall Classic in six games. It was Boston’s third World Series title in the past decade and, remarkably, came just one season after the team posted its worst record in 47 years to finish dead last in the American League East division. All championships are sweet, but that incredible turnaround made this year’s all the more satisfying.
Baseball has always been in my blood — I started playing Tee ball at the age of four or five, and I’m told my first word was actually “ball” — but growing up a Red Sox fan was an utterly miserable experience. Just about any sports fan will be quite familiar with the team’s legendary championship drought, which lasted 86 years before the Sox finally won it all in 2004. To put that in perspective, my grandfather was born April 4, 1920 and died just three days shy of his 84th birthday, and the Red Sox didn’t win a single World Series in his lifetime.
Not that they didn’t come close. Four times during that span they came within one game of winning the prize, only to fall short. I wasn’t born until 1978, so I was spared having to witness much of that heartache first-hand. But believe me — New Englanders made sure to raise their children to be well-versed in the agonizing story of the Olde Towne Team.
These days, however, that team has a whole new identity. No longer the hapless losers of yesteryear, the Red Sox have become baseball’s most dominant club of the new century, and Boston fans are showing off a whole lot of swagger of late, enjoying that clam chowdah with a side of braggadocio. I’ve been known to slip back into my once-prominent Boston accent on occasion — usually after a couple pints of Sam Adams — and you can be sure I’ll be letting it fly a bit more loosely than usual in the coming weeks.
And, if you live in the Reno area, you will have an opportunity to hear that accent for yourself. On Nov. 12, I’ll be at NPRI’s Northern Nevada office for a special “Thanksgiving Thank You” event open to all Institute supporters and anyone else who’d like to drop by. (Come on, you had to know I’d work in an NPRI angle at some point.) My attempts to recast the event as a Red Sox victory celebration were nixed by the staff (so much for being president!) but it’s going to be a fun time either way. We’ll have plenty of finger food and beverages, and you’ll have a chance to mingle with some of our staff and Board members and get an update on our work.
So I have three requests of you. One, come join us on Nov. 12, anytime between 3 and 7 p.m. (We’re at 1225 Westfield Ave., No. 7, right across the street from Reno High School.) Two, forward this email to anyone else you think would be interested in stopping by.
And three: If you know any people from Massachusetts, be sure to take a moment over the next few days to congratulate them on an outstanding baseball season.
Now if we could just do something about their politics…
Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next time.
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