Sleepless Red Sox fans don't seem to have learned any lessons from the team's two other World Series titles. For the third time in the past decade, Boston fans continue to stay up late to watch the Sox and sleepwalk through work the next day, a fact that The Boston Globe covered in 2004, 2007 and, now, again in 2013, as Boston Magazine's Eric Randall tweeted. "A World Series of taut, late-night thrillers is taking its toll on Bostonians," the Globe wrote on Tuesday. "They nod off on the T, slack off at work, and, when night falls, they stumble back to the couch for yet another round of hardball joy-slash-punishment."
But in comparison to the two prior playoff runs, this year's batch of tired fans look like weaklings. In 2004, the Sox played the Yankees in the AL championship series in 12-inning and 14-inning marathon games, the latter of which set a then-record for lasting 5 hours and 49 minutes from start to finish. So, too, the 2007 playoff run featured an 11-inning, 5-hour-long game against the Indians. This year, though? The longest game, reaching just four hours and 19 minutes, was back in early October against the Rays. And last night's game that apparently set off the Globe's sleep-deprivation alarm finished in under three hours. That makes it the shortest playoff game the Sox have played thus far this postseason. So what's with all the tiredness?
You could forgive first-year Red Sox manager John Farrell for his inability to get sleep this week — "No, I didn't sleep worth a damn last night," he said after losing Game 3 — but Boston fans, who have been there before, should really be used to this by now. Up 3-2 in the best-of-seven World Series, the Red Sox have a chance to capture its third title in the past decade and its first in front of Boston fans at Fenway Park since 1918.
Sleepy fans can take comfort, though; at least they can get updates on the game live from their own couches, unlike in 1918. As The Atlantic correspondent and historian Yoni Appelbaum notes on Twitter, the Army notified people of the Red Sox score via carrier pigeon. "Another interesting sidelight was the releasing of carrier pigeons at the end of each inning, the birds taking to Camp Devens a progressive report of the contest," an article read. Give it to Boston fans, then; whether with digital or auditory tweets, they remain deeply obsessed with their team.
(Red Sox bedding from Amazon.)