Editor’s Note: In the spirit of seeking sunshine during a gray winter, and to help usher in the upcoming baseball season we will be featuring baseball movies every Monday between now and Opening Day. Today we travel to Red Sox Nation on the big screen.
In the movie What About Bob?, the title character, played by Bill Murray, sums up the world as being comprised of two types of people, those who love Neil Diamond, and those who do not.
My aunt falls into the category of someone who loves Neil Diamond. Her love of all things Neil Diamond goes so far as having “Sweet Caroline” as the ringtone on her phone.
While this causes some members of the family to burst out into fits of side splitting laughter whenever she gets a call, it is something that she enjoys.
Like Neil Diamond, one tends to either love the Boston Red Sox, or hate the Boston Red Sox.
It probably is not too surprising then that Neil Diamond and the Red Sox are so intertwined that Red Sox fans belt out that same Neil Diamond song as my aunt’s ringtone during every home game.
While the Red Sox have a long history of winning, they also had a long period of “cursed” play where the diehard fans wondered if their beloved BoSox would ever hoist the World Series trophy again.
After winning World Series titles in 2004, 2007 and 2013, the Red Sox have certainly been on a bit of a winning streak lately.
But before the start of the winning streak, members of Red Sox Nation had to look towards the silver screen to see a place where the Sox could be champions.
Enter the movie Fever Pitch which explores the fanatical side of Boston Red Sox fandom, while also exploring interpersonal human relationships in the form of a baseball romantic comedy or “Rom Ball.”
At its surface, the terms romantic comedy and baseball should not really be uttered in the same breath. But upon deeper inspection, one can accept that baseball fans have long had a romance with the game that often starts when they catch their first game or pick up a ball and glove for the first time.
In Fever Pitch, the romance is between a Red Sox loving man, played by Jimmy Fallon, and the conflict that arises as he tries to choose between his love of his team and the pressure he feels to grow up.
The movie resonates with fans in different ways depending on where they see themselves along the spectrum.
For some people at a crossroads, they can think about whether they need to give up their childhood love of the game and get a real job.
For others watching, perhaps they long for a return to when they loved the game as much as the characters in the film.
Others may be somewhere in the middle finding balance between a so called normal life and support of the home team.
Regardless of where one stands in terms of their personal baseball journey, Fever Pitch offers a glimpse into a year of fandom related to one of the teams with the most rabid fan bases in all of baseball.
Of course, the movie also may or may not have helped break some of those dreaded Red Sox curses. So, it should be a must have for any member of Red Sox Nation along with a Niel Diamond greatest hits album.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I suddenly have the urge to listen to some Neil Diamond.
Copyright 2015 R. Anderson