Whatever happens with the World Series – and as of this writing, our boys of summer are down 2 games to 1 on a really miserable, could-have-gone-either-way call in the Game 3 bottom of the 9th that gave the Cardinals a W that, let’s face it, should have gone to the Red Sox based on Pedroia’s magnificent next-to-last play alone – this has been a good season to be a Red Sox fan.
Coming off a miserable 2012, in which they were the worst team in the their division, and one of the least likable teams in the history of organized sports, the Sox turned into the best team in the league.
And they did it without any of the prima donnas, head cases, and a-holes that have graced their roster in the recent past. (Blessedly, the Dodgers were able to take several of them off our hands. Whine on, fellows.)
No, this team is actually pretty likable. Their theatrics have been on the field, not in the clubhouse or the dugout or the press. And those theatrics have been just plain fun to watch.
Other than for those ick-factor beards that so many of them have been sporting.
Personally, I don’t mind the neatish beards that Ellsbury, Pedroia, and Papi wear.
But Napoli, Ross, and Gomes.
Yuck, just yuck.
But, hey, whatever it takes to win, and if superstition around the wearing of the beards has helped the local nine this year, so be it.
When I’ve thought about those beards, I’ve mostly thought Amish. Or House of David, the religious-cult ball team that barnstormed in the early decades of the twentieth century.
Until I saw a piece on Boston.com about it, I hadn’t made the association with the Smith Brothers. But darned if a few of our boys don’t fall somewhere between the bro to the left, with the modest, nicely trimmed facial hair, and the long-beard bro to the right.
The Smith Brothers!
Although they were the cough drop of choice during my childhood, these days it’s pretty much a Luden’s, Ricola, or Hall’s world out there.
I still remember opening the box, peeling back the white, waxed paper inner packaging, and popping one of those tasty little cherry cough drops into my mouth. Almost made me want to have a cold or a sore throat.
The licorice were okay, but nothing beat those wild cherries. (They now come in more flavors, including honey lemon and apple pie, which I won’t be trying because I know if won’t taste anywhere near as delish as my mother’s apple pie did.)
I can’t remember the last time I saw a box of Smith Brothers. (Probably in the Vermont Country Store catalog – it’s definitely their cup of tea.)
But I will be on the lookout for them now that they’re going to be donating part of their sales during the World Series – which, I’m hoping, will get back to Boston later this week – to the Jimmy Fund, a cancer-related charity that has been a long-time philanthropic focus – since the days of the beardless Ted Williams – of the Red Sox.
They’d also like everyone to start referring to Boston as “Beardston” for the duration. All because they noticed that:
“Mike Napoli and Jonny Gomes look just like the Smith Brothers,” Mark McCumby, a Smith Brothers’ senior vice president, said in a statement. “Just like the Red Sox, our products have been attacking green monsters in one form or another for decades.” (Source: Smith Brothers press release.)
Fingers crossed that our boys – yucky beards and all - bring it back to Boston and the Green Monster.