The history books note that the Civil War ended in 1865, but if you are a Yankee or Red Sox fan, you are experiencing a different type of Civil War that has never ended. And if you happen to live in Connecticut, smack between New York and Boston, you’re right in the heart of the conflict. This unparalleled rivalry has been going strong for nearly 100 years. Every time the two teams match up there is always suspense, excitement and eye-popping drama.

   The Yankee-Red Sox competition has often been compared to a hammer and nail. Through the years, the Yankees have played the role of the hammer, while the Red Sox have unfortunately been the nail. This all started in 1918 when the Red Sox last won a World Series and promptly traded Babe Ruth – one of the greatest baseball players of all time – to the Yankees. Some people think the trade was brilliant, if so, you are probably a Yankee’s fan. Others say it was the worst thing that happened to baseball, you are a Red Sox fan. It has been said that this trade started a curse on the Red Sox, and they haven’t won a championship since. The Red Sox put their heart and soul into their baseball, but no matter what they do, the Yankees always pull some magic out at the last minute to beat them.

   If you ever want to get a Bostonian mad just say these four names to them: Bucky Dent, Bill Buckner, Aaron Boone and Grady Little. Within minutes, I guarantee you will be in either a heated verbal battle or an all out brawl. These names are sins to Bostonian ears because it is a constant reminder of the Yankees dominance.

   It is October, which means post-season baseball. People start pulling out their Yankees or Red Sox garb to show support for their team. In my school it seems to be equally divided between the Yankees and Red Sox fans. Here in Connecticut we are caught in the crossfire between the Yankees and the Red Sox. The Yankees have their devoted crazy fans in New York, and the Red Sox have theirs nuts in Boston, but here we are split between the two.

   During the American League Championship Series last year between the Yankees and the Red Sox it was very interesting to observe the way people acted about the whole debacle. At first people were walking on eggshells about the subject. If anyone mentioned either team, or the game the night before, it would become the topic of conversation and it would become very intense. For about a week it was all anyone would talk about. Even teachers get involved in this, talking about the game the night before, or suggesting to students to take off their team garb if it conflicts with their team allegiance. Some people take the Yankee-Red Sox rivalry more seriously than the upcoming presidential election. It’s more important if Pedro Martinez gets another win than if George W. Bush has fallen in the polls.

   Last year I had a big picture of Derek Jeter on the front of one of my notebooks. Sometimes it would generate positive remarks like, “he’s so hot”, but more times than not people would make rude comments about him and want him off my notebook. These people were obviously Red Sox fans and were disturbed by the daily reminder that Derek Jeter is apart of a dynasty that has kicked their butts for decades.

   I have been a Yankee fan my whole life and intend to stay that way until the day I die. I have always been a Yankee fan, but last year watching the post season drew me in and I became an addict. I could feel the tension and heat of the rivalry coming out of the TV. It was amazing and it just pulled me into baseball world. People said to me, since the Yankees win all the time it’s simple to root for a them. Well that’s not necessarily true, and it’s not always easy. They are looked down upon if they don’t win because it’s expected of them every time. The true Yankee fan knows that it’s not easy for them to win all the time, and they don’t win all the time.

   Take last year for example, they lost to the Florida Marlins in the World Series. People expect them to be shoe-in’s to win, but they aren’t. The Yankees usually make every game nail biting and exciting until the very end. The Yankee fan never knows what they’ve got up their sleeves. It’s true that most of the time they come out with the win in the end, but they give the fans a heart attack in the process. They’ve had more come from behind victories this year than any other team.

   The Red Sox fans on the other hand have been long suffering, since 1918 to be exact. Even though I am a Yankee fan I have a special place in my heart for the Red Sox because I have seen so many close friends and family suffer year after year from the blow of defeat. It’s tough, but they keep on believing and sticking with their team. One of these days the Red Sox will prevail and be the champions. It could even be this year. Who knows? I have a very close friend who has been a Red Sox fan his whole life. It’s tough for Dave year after year to watch his team fall when they get to the playoffs. It really does seem like there is a curse out there holding the Red Sox back from the championship.

   On July 1, my Dad and I were going to New York to watch the Yankees and the Red Sox play. We decided against it, though, for many reasons, one being that Pedro Martinez was pitching and we didn’t want to spend a lot of money scalping tickets to watch Boston shut out New York. I trudged home to my mom’s house and ended up watching one of the most intense, incredible games of all time. I was mad at first because this game was so incredible and I had the chance to go. But I just sat at the edge of my bed, in my pajamas, and watched what some experts are calling the most incredible regular season game of all time. Every player on that field gave their all. Derek Jeter went full bore to catch a ball hit by Trot Nixon of the Red Sox and my eyes popped out of my head as he went head first into the seats and crashed into a plastic chair. He looked like he had come out of a heavyweight fight with Mike Tyson. He is one of the greatest competitors I have ever seen. I wasn’t surprised to see him do that and neither was anyone else. The game went 13 innings and every second was edge of your seat exciting. The only thing that bothered me was Nomar Garciaparra. I usually like him, and I felt bad for him all year that he was hurt and not able to play. I even felt bad for him when they were going to trade him for A-Rod. But July 1, I just felt a strange feeling about him. He was such a loser sitting out of the game. He didn’t even budge the whole time. He was still sore about the A-Rod deal (I would be too), but still what a bad time to sit out of a game. He was the only player in either dugout that wasn’t used. He’s been the leader of the Boston Red Sox for years and during that game he didn’t even budge out of his seat. I love him, he’s a great guy, but that was the beginning of his downfall. I was very sad to see him go to Chicago a few weeks later, but I think it was for the best for him and for Boston.

   When that game was finally over and the Yankees won, I cried. It was that amazing. It just gave me chills. Every time these two incredible teams play they add another chapter to the ever growing book of their rivalry. There is no real answer as to why it is so exciting. Just like there is no answer to why Bucky Dent hit that home run in 1978. There’s no answer to why the ball rolled through the legs of Bill Buckner at first base. There’s no explainable reason as to why the Red Sox can’t penetrate the Yankees and win the World Series. There’s no answer as to why Aaron Boone cracked that walk off home run that sent the Yankees to the World Series, and sent the Red Sox packing last season. There’s no answer as to why A-Rod ended up in pinstripes instead of in Boston. “We definitely got some ghosts in this stadium” Jeter said to the press smiling an evil grin. These questions will persist until the Red Sox break The Curse of the Bambino, which might not be for a very long time. These two teams will possibly play each other in the next couple of weeks. Who knows what’s going to happen, but I can guarantee you that emotions will flare, and it will be extremely exciting, as it has been for the past 100 years.
   Rest in peace Babe.

  (Chelsea Murray is 16 years old and a junior at Wamogo Regional High School in Litchfield, CT)