Today you can be buried in a Red Sox casket or have your ashes laid to rest in a Red Sox urn. While many chose to show their team loyalty until the end, maybe there's room for a little restraint when it comes to the afterlife and your favorite MLB team. Bill Littlefield comments.
So you decide to get yourself buried in a Red Sox casket – or that your ashes should reside in a Red Sox urn – or the surviving members of your family make that decision on your behalf – ho, ho, dad would love it – no matter that your last thought might have been a simple ceremony featuring, perhaps, Mozart or Brahms rather than Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline.” What could go wrong? Well, God could be a Yankees fan.
Okay, probably not. Asked which country God favored in a war, a wise Rabbi once said, “God is on the side of the suffering.” If we can assume the same reasoning applies to God’s preference in baseball teams, the creator is perhaps a Pirates fan. Or maybe his current sympathies are with the Mariners. No. Of course that’s wrong. Now as ever, for suffering, there are only the fans of the Cubs. How would such a God respond to the decision of one of his or her children to choose to rest at the end in the colors of a team that has not only won the World Series a couple of times recently, but that has long been one of the richest of baseball’s very rich teams? Shouldn’t it be about as hard for the Sox or anyone surrounded by the red and white of their symbols and images to enter the kingdom of Heaven as it is for a camel to get through the eye of a needle? “Lighten up,” you say, and I hear you. Why shouldn’t the dead and those attending them have a little fun with the final inning? But what if God doesn’t have a sense of humor? I grant that there are arguments against that possibility. The duck-billed platypus, for example, and jello, Bob and Ray, and bowling shoes. Still there may be an argument for solemnity, or at least for restraint, at the end, and what fails to say restraint more ostentatiously than the bright logo on a casket of an organization that has been instrumental in driving player salaries and ticket prices ever higher while charging full fare for a seat with an obstructed view? I don’t mean to suggest that it would be more appropriate to be laid to rest in the colors of any other wealthy team co-owned by a man who made his many millions outsmarting the markets that have since crashed to dust. But as long as we’re at it, who can doubt that some might feel more comforted being carted to their rewards as Angels – or even Padres - rather than as Red Sox?
This program aired on December 4, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.