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Your 1:30 a.m. Sidebar on Red Sox Fandom

It's 1:30 a.m. and I am packing. This is a horrible, horrible process.

The reason I am packing is because I start a new job in Connecticut on Monday. I am moving out of the great state of New Hampshire for the first time in my life for a job that is, thankfully, still in New England. I'll kind of be in Yankee territory, but I hope you all forgive me.

ANYWAY, packing ... moving ... ah, yes. My point in all of this is that I am taking care of all my clothes right now. I am tossing a bunch into a giant Good Will pile because a) the clothes don't fit anymore and b) I'm too lazy to pack all these clothes. The shirts I can not -- under no circumstances it seems -- get rid of are my Red Sox player shirts.

You say this: "But Randy, you don't need to get rid of them! Keep them! Keep the throwbacks and the current ones. They show class!"

Yes, you're right. However, all these player shirts are two sizes too big for me. I've lost a lot of weight recently and now they don't fit. I try to make them work and wear them, but for the most part I can't. That means Trot Nixon sits in the closet. The same with Jonathan Papelbon (I got it before he was good, trust me), Josh Beckett (birthday present) and Dustin Pedroia (bought it post-World Series '07). And most importantly, Bill Mueller (I have no idea how I got this or when or where. I know no details other than this shirt will never ever leave my possession. It is ratty, disgusting and will forever be mine.)

So what do I do?

I'll keep the shirts. At least for now. But this brings up a good question regarding fandom: when do you cut the ties?

For instance, how many Red Sox hats do you have? Are all mostly in good condition or old and beat up? Do you like the beat up ones better? For shirts, can you ever have a shirt that is too holey? (Answer is no.) Do you still wear that Holy Holey shirt in public?

We could discuss Red Sox underwear, too, but I'm not going to go that far.