To Boston fans far and wide he was “Jesus”, perhaps not Jesus of Nazareth, but the Jesus of baseball. Johnny Damon was largely credited for breaking the 86-year curse and Sox fans everywhere revered him as their savoir. After the Sox enjoyed the sweetest of victories against the evil empire, pictures of the longhaired, beard-clad Damon appeared everywhere with his “disciples” (Schilling, Ortiz, Millar, Martinez, Ramirez, Nixon). The sports page met the Holy Bible that year with editorials quoting scripture and cartoons depicting Damon seated at the head of the table during the last supper. The Sox had even taken on a new nickname; ”The God Squad”. For the otherwise unreligious Sox fans, all of the sudden, “Jesus” was in the house performing miracles and breaking curses.
However, the Bible never lies and we were warned, “ …if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or, 'There he is!' do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time. (Matthew 24:23-25). Clearly Damon was not the Jesus that Sox fans had hoped for; his true identity was revealed this week when he traded in his red socks and his soul.
Today my heart breaks for my brother. I remember going into his room as a kid and seeing pictures & newspaper clippings of Roger Clemens hanging on his wall. Many years later while Jermaine was watching ESPN I saw a clip of Roger Clemens pitching, only there was something wrong with the scene, Clemens was donned in a pin-striped Yankees uniform. When I asked Jermaine how this could be, he called it “the unpardonable sin”. Well, if Clemens selling out to the Yanks was an unpardonable sin, what Damon did this week was worse. The unapologetically unshaven face that was the face of the victorious Red Sox Nation will need a total makeover to join the evildoers. He’ll really need to call on the Fab 5 now! ...hopefully, they can do something with those pesky little horns while they’re trimming his beard and coifing his locks.
Shaun, if it’s any consolation, the story does have a happy ending: “But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. …The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. (Rev 19:20) …They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever (Rev 20:10).
I leave you with the a famous quote from 70s icon Gloria Gaynor, “I (we) will survive!” (…even if it takes us another 86 years…). - Love you, Bro!