Sully grew up in Boston. Well, South Boston if I need to be specific, and he plans to live there his whole life. He loves everything about Boston, from the rushing and squealing sounds of the T at South Station to the yelling and whining of college students with fake IDs trying to get into the bars near Quincy Market to all the cloying smells of Fenway Park. He firmly believes that nothing in the whole world could compare with Fenway Park. The scent of sausage and peppers mixed with the odor of ancient beer, wet paint and lingering sweat make Sully aware that he's at the home of his favorite team- the Boston Red Sox. Sully loves the Red Sox. He is a season ticket holder, autograph collector and font of statistical knowledge. His wardrobe consists of Red Sox shirts, jackets, sweatshirts and he even has a few Red Sox ties and a worn pair of Red Sox crocs for the beach. His house is full of memorabilia, pictures and a framed copy of the Boston Globe from October 28, 2004.
What isn’t apparent while looking at his life and possessions is that Sully is a deeply religious man. He attends worship at his United Church of Christ congregation every week. He serves as a deacon. He tithes 7.63% of his income and he’s trying to increase it this year. Sully is a person of such deep and abiding faith that the people who know him treat him as something of a prophet. They listen to him when he offers advice. They listen to him when he has a suggestion at church. They listen to him when he speaks about God. People think that Sully has some special bond with the Almighty. He really seems that connected. Sully- when asked about it- shrugs it off – he knows that he and God are tight – but he doesn’t brag about it. Being a reluctant prophet is a tough enough gig without publicity. So- day after day- baseball season after baseball season Sully lived his life with faith and trust in God. Until one day....
Now the word of the Lord came to Sully, son of Patrick saying “Arise go to Yankee Stadium in the great City and cry against it for their wickedness has come before me.” But Sully rose to run away to Los Angeles to see the Dodgers – fleeing from the presence of the Lord. So he went to Logan airport, paid his fare (including the extra $25 for a piece of checked luggage) and got on board a Jet Blue flight heading to LAX. But the Lord hurled mighty mechanical difficulties at the plane. And they sat at the gate for hours. Soon the passengers cast lots – using those little pretzel sticks from the beverage cart- saying “this stinks- let’s cast lots to figure out on whose account this evil has come upon us.” So they did- and the lot came upon Sully so they looked at him, sitting innocently in seat 26B, and said to him,...well, they said to him a lot of things- after all they were from Boston and had been sitting in the plane for a few hours. They were more than a little annoyed... anyhow- the gist of it was – they wanted to know who he was- and mostly what he had done that has so annoyed God that God was causing the flight to be delayed so grievously.
And Sully said, “Me, I’m nobody – usually- just a guy- the kinda guy God talks to on occasion- but here’s the thing- God wants me to go to New York - New York! And there I am supposed to prophesy to the Yankees and then they will change their ways and the Lord’s curse will be listed from them.” Well, as you might imagine- this little bit of information shocked the passengers causing a riot and so then the TSA agents boarded the plane and came upon Sully. They bound him up and dragged him off the plane. Then they threw him into a holding cell in the belly of the airport. Due to a little known clause in the Patriot Act- known as the Whale clause- Sully was in the belly of the airport for three days – and from his cell Sully prayed to the Lord saying,
“I called to the Lord out and he answered me; out of the belly of hell I cried, and you heard my voice. 3You cast me into the deep, into the heart of the forgotten places, and the emptyness surrounded me; all your waves and your billows passed over me. 4Then I said, ‘I really messed up - I am driven away from your sight” 5The wall close in around me; the lonliness surrounded me; I went down to the land whose doors closed upon me forever; yet you brought up my life from the hell, O Lord my God. 7As depression a, As depression was closing in – I remembered the Lord; and my prayer came to you, into your holy temple 8”
And then the Lord spoke to the TSA supervisor and Sully was released.
Then the word of the Lord came to Sully a second time saying, “Arise – go to Yankee stadium, in the great city, and proclaim to it the message that I will give you.” So- Sully rose and took the Bolt bus to Grand Central Station and then the shuttle train over to the stadium and at the gates of the stadium he cried out -
“Forty Days more and Yankee Stadium Shall be over thrown.” And word got back to Yankee Management and they arose from their thrones and removed their Brooks Brothers suits and covered themselves with sack cloth (or sweat pants from Wal-mart) and the management made an announcement over the Public Address system and by use of the Jumbo-tron – and they said
“Let everyone cry mightily to God. Let everyone turn from their evil ways – like pretending to be hit by a pitch.... or cheating in other ways.... because who knows – God might turn from his anger so we might not perish into the bottom of the standings.”
And when God saw that they repented- God decided not to punish the Yankees. But this really ticked off Sully. So he prayed to God saying:
“Seriously? This – this right here is why I was trying to get to LA. I know you are a gracious God, merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love. But the Yankees? Really the playoffs again?” Then he cried out, “ O Lord, Take my life from me for it would be better for me to die than to live.” And Sully went out into the last row of the bleachers and sat in the sun refusing to move until death.
And the Good Lord appointed a plant to grow down out of the scoreboard and give Sully shade. And Sully was thankful for the shade – but the next morning God caused a rat – one of those gigantic New York City Rats- t to eat at the plant and so, with the plan gone - the sun beat down on Sully and Sully was sad because the plant died. Sully cried. He cried because of the Yankees re-gaining Gods favor but mostly he cried because the plant was gone. Then God said to him,
“You feel badly about the plant- which you didn’t create or make grow- it came and was gone in one day – and yet you are upset because I show mercy to the Yankees and all in the great city. Really, Sully – there’s no crying in baseball.”
So Sully went home to Southie pondering all these things in his heart.