This afternoon, we’ll see the third World Series ring ceremony at Fenway Park in ten years. Does that even make sense?

Take a minute, if you must, to let it soak in. And try to remember where you were when Aaron Boone took Timmy Wakefield yard in the 2003 ALCS. And the hangover you woke up with the next day. And how you couldn’t bring yourself to eat or drink or listen to sports radio for days after. And how you swore we’d never get that close again, that we’d blown our best shot to take down the Yankees and win it all, and how Pedro’s arm would only be so good for so long. Remember calling your dad as the Yankees spilled on to the field in celebration, almost crying (alright, maybe you were crying) because you both wanted it so bad. Because you so desperately wanted to believe that there was some sort of great cosmic payoff in the works for a lifetime of keeping the faith. Because, most of all, you knew that Dad was sick. And that there wasn’t a lot of time.

And then, bam. The very next year. Prayers answered. Nirvana achieved. Vengeance exacted. In the most thrilling and unimaginable way possible.

Best of all, Dad got to see it happen.

Ten years later, my old man’s gone. But the Red Sox, amazingly, just keep winning. And it’s still every bit as exciting. And unbelievable. We are through the looking glass, still in a world that seems odd and unchartered. And I never, ever want to take it for granted.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a grill full of meat and a cooler full of beer to attend to. So to you, your dad, you mom, your dog, your butcher, your pizza delivery guy and Stephen Drew, I say Happy Fenway Opening Day.