It is no secret that Red Sox Nation is a phenomena that is hard to explain. No matter where we or they go, there are Red Sox fans…everywhere. That point has been proven, yet again at the site of the Olympic Winter Games, in Vancouver. Not once, but twice!
We start with Hannah Kearney, the first American to win a gold medal at this Olympiad. Hannah is a 23 year old from Vermont who took top honors in the womens’ moguls over the weekend. In a post-race interview with Bob Costas, Kearney revealed that she is a huge Red Sox fan and that underneath her ski jacket, she was wearing a Jacoby Ellsbury T-shirt. Not sure if it’s his “old-school” number 46, or the new number 2 he starts to wear in 2010. Nonetheless, pretty cool to note that the former PawSox standout has played an inspirational role in helping the United States to a gold medal.
I’ve often wondered what the guys think as they walk through a mall or stop at a gas station and they see someone wearing “their” jersey. I’d bet most of the fans would “freak” if their hero stopped up and said “hello”. I once asked Dustin Pedroia about that very topic and the former rookie of the year and MVP admitted it was “cool” to see others wearing his name and number on their back.
The Nation has also been represented by another American skier, Michael Morse of Duxbury, Mass. (same hometown as former Boston College basketball star Bill Curley) Morse finished fifteenth in his event (mens’ moguls) while wearing a Red Sox belt buckle. Morse prepared for his run while the loudspeakers blasted “Shipping up to Boston” by the Dropkick Murphys. Somewhere, Jonathan Papelbon was smiling. That isn’t the only connection that Morse has with the Sox. He threw out a ceremonial first pitch at Fenway Park on May 19, 2008. If that date sounds familiar to you, you’re a good Red Sox fan. It was also the date of Jon Lesters’ no-hitter against Kansas City.
There are still a couple of arduous weeks left in these Olympic games (Not a big fan of the Winter Sports) so there are probably going to be more Sox revelations. After all, many great New Englanders are representing not only the United States, but their beloved Red Sox Nation.