This post was crafted by Rabbi Marc Baker, Head of School at Gann Academy. He took the words right out of my mouth...Being a lifelong Buffalo Bills fan I feel a certain kinship with the old man in the story who could have been my father, who coincidentally, was also born in 1918. My father used to say in life you could count on three things; death, taxes and the Bills losing.
"Last week, as I drove to a Grandparents’ Breakfast at my school, I heard something on NPR that brought tears to my eyes. Commentator Bill Littlefield read a poignant essay called “The Old Red Sox.”
Picture an old man and a young man talking, when the old man says in a less than enthusiastic, almost dejected, voice: “They’re gonna win the World Series.”
An exchange ensues between these two representatives of two generations. The young man cannot understand why the old man isn't thrilled with the fun and excitement of the Red Sox winning in 2004, 2007, and again this season. It’s fun, he says.
The old man laments the fact that things are not as they used to be. “What are we, the Yankees?” he asks. “This is fine, if you’re in it for the fun,” he says to the young man. The old man misses the dependability of the good ol’ Red Sox, whom we could always count on to raise our hopes and then lose. And not only lose, but lose with artistry.
This is a beautiful piece about the gap between generations, relevant for anyone who thinks about continuity, tradition, transmission, history, memory, family. What does the future look like through the eyes of a tribe’s elders? How can the younger generation appreciate the experiences of those who came before them?
Littlefield captures the feelings of sadness and loss that we feel when the world changes around us, even for the better. What does it mean that my children will never know the longing that Red Sox fans felt since 1918, the year my grandfather was born?"