"Fenway Park is a shrine. People go there to worship." -Bill "Spaceman" Lee
I just got totally validated by a NESN commercial. [Add that to the list of things I never thought I would have a reason to say.] You've probably all seen it, they show a bunch of shots of fans at Fenway, and say things like "This isn't a fan club, it's a Nation," and "being a Red Sox fan is something you're born with," blah blah blah.
But then comes a statement that I will agree with until the day I die: "it's more than devotion; it's like a religion." [Possibly slightly misquoted. But that's the gist.] I'm a secular person. I haven't been to a church (in the traditional sense, at least) since I was a small child, and I don't feel like I'm missing anything.
On Facebook, my religion is listed as "Boston Red Sox," and though some people might think that's downright blasphemous, I think sports fandom often falls within the realm of religious. One of Webster's definitions for religion is as follows: a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith.
If you look at it objectively, the "cause" for Red Sox fans is the team, and we certainly follow them with ardor and faith. Personally, I know more about the Red Sox (and baseball generally) than many church-goers know about their religious tract of choice, and I while some people wear a cross around their neck, I wear a Boston "B."
Hopefully my more religious readers won't be offended by this post; please know that was not my intention. But for those of you who find themselves feeling out of place at traditional churches, you can come with me to Fenway - my personal Baseball Mecca.