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Yes, that time of the year. Once again, the tension and intensity will inevitably build. The hope will follow. In all my years as a Red Sox fan, I still haven't found a way to slow it down. I try to keep telling myself that it will all end, almost assuredly it will all end in disasterous fashion.
I always believe that at first, and I can temper the optimism somewhat. But as sure as the sun, this team--like every Red Sox team before it--will do something, pull off some miracle comeback, or dominate so fully in the first round that all of my inherent cynicism will vanish.
Somehow, sometime in the next week or so, I will start to believe that this year will be different.
At the same time, in some small section in the back of my brain, I will know that its all for naught. But just like every year before this one, that small section of rationality will be inaudible. Even if I could hear it, I wouldn't be able to understand what it was saying. It's a language I only understand during the regular season.
This is the playoffs, and this year will be different.