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A lot of people have already said a lot of things regarding the meaning of this strange, scrappy, magical, bearded band of men we call the 2013 Boston Red Sox. After two years that included fried chicken, beers, and the worst season in recent memory, these guys took advantage of the period between the heartbreaking end of the Bruins Cup run and the beginning of Patriots season to bring Boston back to its roots: baseball.

It was awesome to have a baseball team that was not only winning, but also likeable, on the diamond at Fenway again. But if you say you picked the Sox to win the Series this season, you are (probably, most likely) lying. That’s what made October so fun: it was totally unexpected.

Every championship win is special (something that can be kind of hard to remember when your teams have won eight in twelve years), but at the risk of being cliché and repeating something you’ve heard over and over again: this one was more.

The Marathon Bombings shook everyone in the Greater Boston area to their cores. As someone who grew up a mere fifteen minutes from the race’s starting line, who has friends and family who volunteer along the route and at the finish line, never in my wildest nightmares could I have imagined a tragedy like this happening on Patriot’s Day. But—as tends to happen in these situations, far too many of which we’ve seen the past few years—the good in humanity outshone the bad. Not only did Bostonians and marathon runners band together to help one another, so did people from across the country and the world.

Where do the Sox play into all of this?

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The 2013 Stanley Cup Finals will be remembered for a variety of reasons: it was the first final in twenty years to feature at least three overtime games,  it was the first final since 1979 to feature two of the Original Six franchises and it included perhaps the most improbable Stanley Cup-winning comeback in NHL history, a 17-second burst of offense that began with the Blackhawks pulling their immovable force of a goalie, Corey Crawford, and ended with a rebounded shot from Dave Bolland.

Really, it was an alignment of all the things that make postseason hockey a seemingly different sport from regular season hockey, one which people are more willing to ingest as a result of the excitement and fervor with which each team plays its games. No one leaves anything on the ice during the playoffs, or at least that is what fans are led to believe, and when a team has already played a legendary first-round series, with a legendary game 7, it is hard to continue putting out the effort to defeat team after team in route to a championship.

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