When Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS began, I was in New Jersey on business. I sat in a crowded hotel bar with my boss, chewing a burger and sipping a beer and watching the Sox build a 4-0 lead. Surrounded by enemy agents, I kept to myself, silently applauded home runs by Nixon and Miller and shuffled off to my room when the late innings arrived. There, with the TV providing the only light in the room, I paced and moaned and rubbed my brow as I watched the lead evaporate and the unthinkable unravel.

We all know how this one ended. And I, like you, carried it with me for a long, long time. It ate at me as I sat at my desk at work. Churled in my gut as I waded in traffic, listening to sports radio. Haunted me even as the signings of Keith Foulke and Curt Schilling were announced that winter.

If someone had told me back then the way things would unfold in 2004, I would not have believed them.

Does it even make sense? Dude, we were toast. Done. But we came back. And we treated the Yankees to a whipping never before seen in the history of Major League Baseball.

It is too much to digest. A World Series game at Fenway this Saturday night? OC and Minty and Johnny and Curt and Miller and Pedro and Manny on the national stage? With a chance to bury this alleged curse once and for all?

It makes no sense, and yet it’s the only thing that does make sense. I dunno. I’m going to bed. I haven’t slept in a week. And now I’ve got a few days off to charge up for Game One.

Today, we’ll leave the talking to you. Leave us a comment. Tell us where you were when that final out was recorded. Tell us how you felt. Tell us who you’d like to see us taking on in the World Series. We know you’re out there. Talk to us.

In closing, I’m man enough to admit that I was wrong when, four short days ago, I counted them out. Good thing they displayed more faith than me.