Just go forward in all your beliefs, and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine. --Obi Wan Kenobi
Though it was just the third time in the team's star-crossed history that it had secured back-to-back post-season berths--the last time was in 1998 and 1999, and before that was all the way back in the glory days of 1915 and 1916, when the Sox won back-to-back championships--this year's Wild-Card clinch was met with a celebration that was conspicuous in its relative absence.
Sure, there was champagne matting in Jheri curls and Afros in the clubhouse; there was a for-the-cameras embrace between Curt Schilling and Pedro Martinez; there were the usual whoops and hollers from Kevin Millar, but there was no champagne doled out to fans; no T-shirts and caps donned over grins; no miced declarations of love between players and cheering crowds; no promises to "Cowboy Up".
In a way, that's a little sad. Back-to-back postseasons in a grueling game are not to be treated casually, especially given our nefarious luck. I've often been heard to curse the Yankees' sense of "professionalism" that often looks more like smug boredom. Let's not become them.
And yet it's nice that our team isn't stopping to celebrate this milestone, given that there's still a mathematical possibility of making a run for the division and given the hardships they all know lie ahead. It's a comfort in the post-season daydreaming that the Sox aren't going to pause too long over just getting their foot in the door--and that maybe this will be the year it doesn't slam shut.