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Harvard Business School Essay 6

6. What do you wish the admissions committee had asked you?

You could call it fanatic or pathetic (or dare I say… prophetic?), but I wish the admissions committee had asked me about my love of the Boston Red Sox.

Like a red badge of courage, the mantra of the Red Sox fan is, “wait ’til next year.” Despite numerous successes in the regular season, the history of the Boston Red Sox is checkered by dramatic failures under the bright lights of playoff baseball. As any New York Yankees fan will obnoxiously attest, the Sox have not won a World Series title since 1918. I intend to be in the hub on the crisp autumn night when the Red Sox win their sixth World Series Championship.

From a sociological perspective, I am keenly curious to see how a population that has endured years of frustration will react to finally receiving something it’s waited so long to experience. How will Boston fans deal with success after years of failure? How will the attitudes of an entire city population change with such a dramatic shift in their frame of reference, from losing to winning? Paralyzed by elation and celebration, the city could shut down for a week, but then what?

Beyond the curiosity, I’m simply a rabid baseball fan and I want my team to win it all. Having grown up in Vermont and having lived within earshot of the raucous cheers of Fenway Park for nearly a decade, I’m a card-carrying member of the ever-hopeful and ever-heartbroken group of fans known as “Red Sox Nation.” I’ve only been around for 26 of the 85 years since my beloved team last tasted World Series champagne, but I share the painful burden of those who have come before me. Seeing the Red Sox overcome decades of anguish would be an experience unlike any other.

I intend to be there when the Red Sox win it all. Someday soon the winds of fate will change direction and the October air will sparkle with the call of some incredulous sportscaster: “…And it’s a long drive to deep left field, back, back, back… and it’s out of here! Fenway Park is erupting in bedlam! The Red Sox have just won their first World Series since 1918! The Curse of the Bambino is history!”

Trust me: it’ll happen. Just wait ’til next year.

November 22, 2004
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