Monday, October 29, 2007

How sweet it is

Everything was put on hold—my work, my family, my life. My entire calendar had to fit around these ridiculously late nationally televised games. I willfully sacrificed my liver to the baseball gods. If someone were to tabulate my beer costs in the past month, I could rightfully become a shareholder in Sam Adams. I ate junk, gained weight, stopped exercising and shaving. I’m a spent man. And was it worth all of this to watch the 2007 Boston Red Sox win a second World Series in four years?

You can bet your sweet ass it was!

For those of you who might not be Red Sox fans (if you’re a Yankee, then I only have one thing to say: “Shove it, assholes! How do these apples taste?”), it might seem that this surrender of self just to see a bunch of overpaid grown men pig-pile, spray champagne, and ritualistically engage in some of the most homosexual acts you’ll see anywhere with complete exoneration is, well, absurd. It is. I’m no closer to understanding why I wore the same clothes for two weeks than I was before The Olde Towne Team sealed the deal. It’s the intangibility of being a Sox fan. You do these things because it makes sense on some raw visceral level. And the payoff is this: complete self-indulgent satisfaction with the universe.

Sure, it’ll wear off, and come February I’ll be ready to bitch and whine about the off-season dealings—the failure to sign so-and-so, things I might deem as inadequate preparations to further humiliate the Yankees. But for right now, for this brief moment in the ponderous continuum of time, I’m to revel in this feeling and realize, in the most existential of senses, that happiness doesn’t have to make sense.

So, to these filthy rich men that I openly berate on this blog, I thank you. For however briefly, you’ve made me a happy man.

Go Sox!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Roaches and champagne

One morning, while Nate Graziano was waking up from anxious dreams, he discovered that The Boston Red Sox were on the brink of winning their second World Series in four years...

The idea of The Red Sox winning another World Series seems as absurd to me as waking up to find that I've morphed into a giant cockroach (although I don't doubt that some on my ex-girlfriends routinely wish for that). I mean, seriously. Are The Sox really up three games in the fucking World Series, on track to sweep a team that continues to remind us that the National League is basically glorified Triple-A ball?

Here's what I'm going to do, and if the Sox lose this series, I'll take full responsibility for it. I'll become the e-Bartman. But I'm planning to buy a bottle of champagne this afternoon, and it will be chilling in my fridge during the Pats game, waiting and breathing beside a jar of Spanish olives.

Here's the plan: I encourage everyone reading this blog to join me and purchase a bottle of cheap champagne today(if you're...cough, cough...of age, that is). It doesn't matter if you're a Sox fan or not. Have it in your fridge. And if the Sox win tonight, send me a picture of you opening it. I'll post them here, beside my own. I've been wearing the same clothes since Game 5 in Cleveland. You'll see the outfit that my wife has termed "disgusting."

Let's do this. Go Sox!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Is this all a dream?

I keep waiting for someone to pinch me or smack me across the face with a crowbar and say, "Wake up, Nate. It's time to resume your life. Put down that dream beer and come here. Your son shit his diaper. This is real time, baby."

There's been an odd transference during the 2007 baseball season. All of a sudden, the Red Sox are becoming the Yankees with their engorged payroll, clutch hitting, and newfound winning ways; while reciprocally, the Yankees have become the Red Sox, a.k.a. the perennial losers of professional sports (yes, Cubbies fans, that's includes your team). So wake me up. This must be a dream.

I'm not sure what to make of last night's game. The die-hard in me wants to dismiss the 13-1 drubbing as a fluke, a matter of The Rockies shaking off the rust. But during the course of the game, I experienced a strange and eerie sense of confidence in The Red Sox, something as alien to me as partying with Republicans. Am I justified in feeling confident? Is this, indeed, the case? Are The Red Sox that good? Or are The Rockies that bad? I suppose I'll find out in a little over two hours.

In the meantime, for those of you who may have missed it, Steve Almond---a Boston-area writer and one of my favorite short story craftsmen---wrote an op-ed in The Boston Globe today that pretty much nails down Red Sox fans and calls us, rightfully, to task.

Ah, yes, Mr. Almond, in the words of Tom Waits, "You must be reading my mail."

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Letter to God (from an ex-Catholic): Part II

Dear God,

As You very well know, in his magnum opus "Song of Myself", Walt Whitman asked: "Do I contradict myself?" To which he replied: "Very well then I contradict myself (I am large, I contain multitudes)." Well, God, like dear old Uncle Walt, I also contradict myself---again and again and again. I acknowledge that in my last blog entry I bashed Tito Francona, who finally woke up and put Ellsbury in the line-up, and J.D. Drew, who took Cleveland out of the game with a first inning salami last night. So here I am, a pathetic little penitent, asking again for Your help.

Please, God, can you find it in Your benevolent omnipresence to please allow The Red Sox to win tonight's game? My children, as You know, are 2 and 4-years-old, respectively, and I rarely get out of the house, and another week of baseball on television will make all the difference in my life. Is that selfish? Besides, I want to see this obnoxious Cleveland sports writer, Scott Petrak,

choke on his own false prophesies and suffer a lifetime of acid reflux for his haughtiness. I realize my vindictiveness is a mortal sin, but please, God, loosen the lease. We're talking about the Red Sox.

I also realize Trot Nixon has already implored Your son, but I'm hoping that by going straight to You, we can get some results (meaning no disrespect for J.C.). God, please. I'm begging. Please allow The Red Sox to advance to The World Series. Allow me to see Yourself in Cleveland's misery, so that every time, for herein forward, when I visualize those jack-ass fans waving their little tampons (Tribe towels) at Jacob's Field, I can laugh derisively. Fuck the Indians, and may You please bless Boston.


Nate Graziano (peon)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Call me Herod

Call me Herod because I want someone’s head on a platter, namely Tito Francoma’s.

If it’s not apparent to non-Red Sox fans, let me begin with a simple lesson on our mentality: When the Sox lose, we need a goat. Bill Buckner. Grady Little. Bob Stanley. Mike Torez. Now I’m not going to be audacious enough to compare this ALCS with some of the team’s monumental and historical collapses—the 1978 season, 1986 World Series, or the 2003 ALCS—but if I’m going to make it through the winter, I need someone to scourge.

Okay, so let’s start with one of baseball’s most tried and true platitudes: The post-season is all about pitching. Obviously. But if I have to sit back while the Fox commentators give Jake Westbrook or Paul Byrd another blowjob, I’m going to start launching plates at the wall. These two guys pitched decently, fair enough, but it certainly helps when you have Nancy Drew (who, by the way, hasn’t hit the ball all year and plays the game with the enthusiasm of belly lint), Julio Lugo, and Coc(O for 4) Crisp’s bats in the line-up. Please, dear God, someone explain to me WHY THE FUCK Francoma continues to put these human stains in the starting line-up? Is he afraid of hurting their fucking feelings? You might ask, what would I do differently? Answer: Jacoby Ellsbury, Alex Cora, and Bobby Keilty. Could they be any worse than these other slugs?

And, while we’re at it, why wasn’t Josh Beckett starting last night’s “must win” game and positioning himself to start a potential Game 7? Unless he’s hurt (which we’ll find out tomorrow night), this seems utterly preposterous to me. How could you not know, as much as I like Tim Wakefield, that he wasn't going to eventually toss an inning of batting practice and take them out of the game? Seriously, Francoma’s proctologist is going to have his hands full this winter removing Tito’s head from his ass.

To add insult, these annoying Pink Hat fans who started following the Sox after Game 3 of 2004 World Series keep coming up to me and passing their irritating little farts of optimism like, “It’s not over yet. They can still come back.” Bullshit. They’re the goddamn Red Sox and they’ll always be the goddamn Red Sox. Let’s get it straight: The 2004 Red Sox were an anomaly—a group of guys with so much heart and soul that they played, perhaps, above their talent. The 2007 team is the opposite. They have a bloated bankroll, and guys like J.D. “Where do I sign for my check?” Drew making almost $15 million a year. Fuck him! God, I get so worked up.

In the end, and for most of life, it’s been seasons like this where my hopes are lifted—despite what I say on this blog, I really thought this team had a chance—only to be shot down, stomped, sliced into bite-size pieces and thrown into the sewer for the rats to eat.

I like your dancing, Salome. Whose head it is you want?

Monday, October 8, 2007

A letter to God (from an ex-Catholic)

Dear God,

First of all, let me apologize about the fifteen years I've been out of touch. The last time I visited you (on a non-holiday) was at St. Mary's Church in 1993, and that day I sat behind an old man who lost control of his bowels during mass and let a forty-five second fart fly that sounded like You were unzipping the sky. After this spectacle of Monty Python-esque proportions, the old man turned to me, shrugged, and said, "What are you going to do?" Understandably, I broke into a fit of uncontrollable laughter and had to excuse myself from the church and continue busting a gut in my car. I suppose that was slightly blasphemous.

No. I don't have any good excuses for not attending to mass or praying since then. There was a short stint in college where I fancied myself an intellectual and started reading Neitzsche and talking about how You had died. I'm sorry for the misunderstanding. But from what I hear, You're a pretty reasonable Deity, and it is with the utmost respect and contrition that I come to You with one humble, mortal request.

Before I get to that, I'd like to thank You for allowing The Red Sox to advance to the ALCS. I'm sure I'm not saying anything You haven't already heard from Curt Schilling, but the three game sweep of Angels (one might be inclined to think you'd favor Angels over Red Sox, but, once again, You've proven Yourself just and benevolent) was pretty goddamn sweet. Oops. Sorry.

Now, I come to You, as Your humble servant, to ask that You please, please, PLEASE make The Yankees lose tonight. Look, Cleveland has Trot Nixon playing for them, and after listening to the man in interviews for nearly a decade, I can say with some certainty that there's no one who digs your son more than Trot. Nixon credited Jesus for everything from a game-winning homerun to the passing of a healthy stool. You owe it to Trot, God. Think about that.

Then there's the fact that The Yankees are evil incarnate, the children of Beelzebub. If The Indians were to win tonight, I would see this as a classic example of Good triumphing over Evil on earth. It was very kind of You to strip that fat, greedy bastard Roger Clemens of his ability to pitch last night, thus making him a big $20 million lemon in the lot at The Bronx. Now, all I ask is that You, in Your infinite love and kindness, make those assbags in pinstripes lose tonight. It would be even better if You could also find a way to humiliate Johnny "Judas" Damon or Gay-Rod. Perhaps You could have one of those guys, like the gentleman in my last memory of church, lose control of their bowels while swinging at Strike Three with the bases loaded, turning to the crowd and the national audience with indelible brown stain on their pinstriped ass. But I don't want to seem too indulgent. It's a sin.

Thank you for listening to me, God. Hopefully, tomorrow the clouds will part and I'll see You smiling down at me and my fellow Red Sox fans.


Nate Graziano

P.S. You really need to lighten up on The Cubs. This is reminiscent of Your malevolent Self that punished the Puritans.

Monday, October 1, 2007


Congratulations, fuckers. I have only three humble requests left to ask of you:

1. Don't choke.

2. Stop drinking Bud Light. You make millions of dollars each. That stuff is piss. If me and my buddies made half of what you make, we'd be dousing ourselves in Guinness.

3. Most importantly: don't choke to The Yankees. If I have to watch Johnny Damon, Gay-Rod, and Jeter dry-hump on the pitcher's mound at Fenway, I'm going to off myself.