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Now Batting: One Nation Wearing Red Sox

The not so distant future…

Nobody saw them coming, but all anybody ever had to
do was look around and they would have noticed
them everywhere.

On a professional level, they were dismissed as front-runners and annoying bandwagon jumpers. In reality, they were clever, crafty,
patient and tenacious.

Other people thought what they saw in these fans were the actions
of simpletons, but those supposed simpletons were proven to be
brilliant once the world realized whwat they accomplished.

Like many important aspects of life, this story begins with education. Boston stands as a city literally built around education. Boston's schools, universities, colleges and institutions are in fact the foundation Red Sox Nation stands upon.

At the most basic level, these fans were judged as impressionable
college kids. Once they graduated they assimilated into the workforce
the knew better.

The world believed they were "just" schools and they were correct.
The students pouring out of all the institutions of higher learning
in New England and especially the Boston area possessed diplomas
in all fields and industry. They were destined to fill out a starting lineup of doctors, lawyers, teachers, artists, accountants, engineers, scientists and
writers; all experts in their chosen field and vocation

They were citizen soldiers who began as students.

As students, they were not indoctrinated, they were introduced.

They were not brainwashed, they were enlightened.

They were not force fed, they were merely shown the table and invited to partake of the bounty

They are out there everywhere.

They are the future and thousands more enlist every year.

The one key element the steady stream of graduates had in common was their citizenship in the Nation and citizenship supersedes degree. “Sweet Caroline” replaced “Pomp and Circumstance.” Season tickets trumped grade point average. Far flung Alumni
Associations were actually field offices of Red Sox Nation. They show up in Boston young, eager and yearning to learn. The instant attraction to the Red Sox merely serves as proof of nature taking its course. Nothing was ever formalized or implemented by design;
it just sort of happens. Young people from all over the world come to Boston for an education, learn about the Red Sox, and become naturalized citizens of the Nation.

Higher education and the Red Sox go together like the Yankees and remedial reading. In a city loaded with intellectual power,
the power of the sophisticated complexity of the Red Sox stands as a prime example of natural attraction. They learn, they study,
they cram. Some fail, but most succeeded. Regardless of the outcome, they grew to love the Red Sox and these loyal citizens go
on to serve as both the decisions makers and rank and file.

As students spend any where from two to six years in town, the bond between fan and team deepens and grows. In Boston, watching
the Red Sox cannot simply be classified as going to a ballgame; rather, one attends an event of epic, cosmic, and possibly even
biblical proportions. The Red Sox do not merely participate in the National Pastime, they define it and command their attention fulltime.

As students progress along in their education, they learn they cannot live without their Red Sox. They attend games at Fenway, watch games in bars, take bus trips down to New York to reinforce the troops behind the lines in the Bronx . They purchase the caps,
sweatshirts and assorted items proud to proclaim their loyalty and allegiance. Each graduating class from every institution of
higher learning in Boston contains a high proportion of shock troops ready to blitz the world with the message of the Nation.

Many newly minted citizens decided to stay in town while many more scatter across the globe. They go forth and insinuate
themselves into every facet of their professions and local societies. They persevere and work their way up to manager,
executive, president and power broker; over time they become the leaders who call the shots and run the table.

Smart phones and the Internet age permit them to maintain contact and communication in ways the Royal Rooters never imagined. Camaraderie increases in spite of distance and time.

The graduated citizens in Boston purchase season tickets and continue to celebrate the team's accomplishments on site. They use
Alumni Associations to maintain contact with their alma mater and distribute tickets in Boston to gain converts. Graduated citizens
(or the GC as they become known) in managerial positions allow employees to skip work on opening day and for the occasional
weekday matinee game in Fenway.

GC that settle across the country bring their Nation with them as they move. They flock to local ballparks when the Sox
visit their towns. GC in towns the Sox do not visit throw parties and sponsor road trips to towns that do.

In professional and societal terms, GC give each other raises and promotions. They vote each other into office and pass laws that
favor each other and the Sox. They pursue an unapologetic policy of what began as Mannyfest Destiny and The Papi Principle and
evolves into the Crawford Compact - the Nation lays claim to all lands outside of New England in the name of the Red Sox.

As the Nation grows and expands, one GC comes to symbolize the entire Red Sox experience and proves to be the catalyst for unprecedented growth and popularity of the Red Sox.

She is the valedictorian of the initial graduating class of the new Epstein University School For Curse Law & Management, Class of '04.
This brightest star in the Nation sky and model citizen turned out to be a woman, Theresa Kennedy Ortiz, known as Tessie to her
friends and as TKO to her enemies

Tessie graduates from Ep U with a law degree and moves to private practice at the firm of Burleson, Fisk and Lee. After many
successful years she gravitates towards the world of politics and forms alliances and strategic partnerships along the way.
Her eventual rise to the United States Senate launches her on the fast track to her ultimate goal: an unabashed Sox fan in
the White House.

She calls in decades worth of favors and promises and makes a run for the Presidency. She forms her own Nation Builders Party
and joins the fray to challenge the Democrats and Republicans. Her campaign slogan, “A Red Sox for every foot” captures the anti -corporate, anti-establishment and anti-Yankee imperialism spirit prevaiant throughout the country and the world at the time.

She is accused of being a socialist and communist when the New York Post states, “The Sox are not the only thing
red about her!'

TKO counters and says even though the Yankees are blue, they still represent the color of money, so Yankee blue is the new
money green. This comment sufficiently confuses critics long enough for her to add, “Red is the color of the Sox, red means stop,
stop the spending, stop the war on small market teams, and stop the Yankees!”

TKO expands on the infamous “Evil Empire” image of the Yankees and links them to every major political issue of the day.
She explains in logical detail how the Yankees contribute to inflation (overspending), manipulate the broadcast and cable industries
(via the YES network), restrict immigration (by only allowing baseball players into the country after they have signed contracts on
foreign soil to play for Yankees once they enter the United States), cause hurricanes and tsunamis (by attempting to control the
weather to avoid rainouts at home and trigger them in the opposition's cities), inflating military research spending (appropriating
funds for “Stealth Pitching” research and development of so called “Super Bats”), campaigning to move the Baseball Hall of Fame
from Cooperstown, New York to the Bronx while voiding the membership of all non-Yankee players. The final indignity as reported
by TKO has the team from the Bronx conspiring with Major League Baseball and nefarious business interests to repeal baseball's
luxury tax and implement a special “Yankee Tax” with all teams actually contributing money to the Yankees in tribute to their
sustained greatness.

The vengeful public, ever resentful of greedy and scheming Yankees, rallies around TKO and her red banner proclaiming,
“There's more to the country than New York and there's more the baseball than the Yankees.”

The fact that TKO runs against Republican New Yorker and avowed Yankee fan Rudy Guiliani and Democratic New Yorker and poseur Yankee fan Hillary Clinton only serves to strengthen her support outside the New York metropolitan area and carry her into the
White House by a wide margin. TKO correctly points out that Hillary poses a double negative threat, a phony Yankee fan who is
actually a closet Cubs fans. “She has curses coming and going; is this who you want as your President?”

Madame President is immediately dubbed “Madame Fenway” by the New York media, a moniker she openly embraces and proves
apt when she demands to be sworn in by Sox GM Theo Epstien on the steps of the Capital building.

Charges of political patronage and cronyism are immediately leveled against Madame Fenway when she appoints several hometown heroes to key Cabinet and administration positions:

Terry Francona is named Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and immediately begins renaming the ships of the US Navy; aircraft
carries now ply the seas rechristened with such names as the USS Ted Williams and the USS Fisk while submarines cruise silently
beneath the waves under names such as the USS Fenway Frank.

Curt Schilling is appointed King of the FCC and he immediately regulates all sports talk radio out of existence except for SBN,
the Schilling Broadcasting Network, an “All Curt All the Time” radio station broadcasting simultaneously on every federally licensed
FM radio station; essentially, all of them.

David Ortiz accepts responsibility to chair the President's Council on Physical Fitness so he can teach everybody how to beat the Yankees.

Louis Tiant accepts the appointment as Roving Talent Ambassador to Latin America

Former infielder Jerry Remy appears daily before the media as White House Press Spokesman. One of Remy's first announcements
is to announce Madame Fenway's new policy to deal with the troublesome issue of illegal immigration; she orders construction of a
“Green Monster” along the length of the Mexican and US border.

Red Sox fans from around the country rise up to join the Nation. GC run for elected office and vote each other into all levels of local,
state and national government while others appoint each other into key positions within the federal government.

With GC proposing radical new laws, in possesion of clear majorities in both the House and Senate, and Madame Fenway in the White House, pro-Red Sox (and anti-Yankee) bills become law in record time:

The Stars and Stripes are replaced by the Stripes and Sox; a new national flag retaining the red and white strips while replacing the
stars for each state with little pairs of Red Sox – except for one – under intense pressure from Yankee controlled New York City,
the State of New York resists and offers a compromise measure of replacing New York's star with a Yankee Uncle Sam style top hat.
The measure is soundly defeated and New York is ordered to accept its pair of Red Sox.

All across the land, states begin to flee the country to join the Nation and further isolate New York and its Yankees from the
United Sox of America.

All of New England joins together to form Greater Boston.

“Yankees Suck” is added as the new last line of the National Anthem and enthusiastically supported when played before ballgames.

Boston 's unique Patriot's Day celebration is adopted as a National Holiday – except in The Bronx.

Via an act of Congress and executive order of the President, the Red Sox are officially designated America's Team and henceforth
travel on Air Force One for all road trips.

In the last bastion of Yankee-dom in New York City , the GC finally vote enough of their own into office (including the Mayor)
to allow them to forcibly eject the Bronx from the City of New York.

Isolated and alone, the Yankees come under the scrutiny of a revitalized NASA: the National Advancement of Sox Agenda. In a
stirring and memorable speech, Madame Fenway vows, “NASA will land Red Sox on the red planet by the end of the decade!
The Nation shall conquer the Universe!”

Her multi-trillion dollar plan to have the Red Sox build a ballpark on Mars already dubbed “Marsway: The Universe's Most Beloved Ballpark!” coincides with her true agenda of banishing the Yankees to the Moon, forever condemned to play on the dark side in a
lunar crater carved out to resemble Fenway Park... and they must wear road gray uniforms at all times. No more pinstripes.

The Sox go on to rule the literal universe in addition to the baseball universe until the Yankees escape from the moon and establish
an Evil Empire in a far corner of the galaxy and the Sox are forced to mount a determined resistance against their diabolical forces.
That story remains as yet unwritten, but you have a pretty good idea of how it will turn out in the end…
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