Sunday, March 23, 2014

Day 357: 2013 Red Sox Recap: Bearded Band of Brothers

October 30, 2013: "Ninth inning of game six. Two balls, two strikes, two outs. Red Sox lead the St. Louis Cardinals 6-1. Koji ready. He turns on the rubber, the 2-2 home..."

We all know what happened next... something that hadn't transpired in Fenway Park since 1918—a World Series Championship clinching win. It's a moment that gives me full body chills even now five months later.

NESN put together an amazing compilation of the 2013 season's events and subsequent Championship called "Bearded Band of Brothers" that is a must-see for any Red Sox fan. I've had the DVD for months and finally just watched it today. Maybe it's because the start of the new baseball season is just over a week away and the 2014 Red Sox haven't done anything too exciting in spring training. I needed a little pick-me-up, a reminder of what can happen to this team.

I know it's asking a lot for a repeat of the fairytale magic that occurred last year and I know the chances of winning the World Series in back-to-back seasons are somewhat slim, but watching that DVD just reaffirmed what a special team this was and could be again. As long as they continue with the same team-unifying attitude and positive outlook, it could happen.

This video covers everything from those dark days of 2012, to the blockbuster deal with the Dodgers, to the unconventional and controversial players signed in the offseason. Then from that special walk-off win on Patriots Day, to the darkness of the events that happened on the heels of that win, to the week that followed leading up to the capture of the bombers and David Ortiz's heartfelt declaration.

And in the wake of that tragedy, this video documents the never-say-die, fight-till-the-end outlook this team displayed for the rest of that extraordinary season. It seemed like every other night, there was some heroic feat that catapulted them to yet another win. Whether it was a lights out pitching performance, a diving, run-stealing catch, or yet another walk-off win, each and every player contributed to the team's successes at some point.

It was also a season that was defined by many different themes. When Will Middlebrooks innocently hashtagged a tweet following the Marathon bombing with #BostonStrong, it became the motto for the entire city. And let's not forget Koji's post-save high five parade... or the massive horde of players who waited at home plate to excitedly (and sometimes violently) greet every guy responsible for a walk-off win. But most of all, it was the year of the facial hair with beards so long there was quite possibly small, woodland creatures inhabiting them... and where the handshake or ass slap was replaced by a beard tug.

And of course, October and all its glory.

Like most things related to that amazing worst-to-first performance, the DVD made me cry, it made me laugh and it made me smile. I smiled a lot. If you need something to get you pumped up for 2014 Red Sox baseball, click HERE to buy this DVD. Go Sox!

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