World Series Champions. Day five.

I still don’t sleep. Don’t eat much, either.

But I’m always thinking. Thinking of how the Red Sox, formerly a mere obsession, have become a veritable part of my family.

I spend actual moments wondering about how the guys are doing. I review tapes of the ALCS with a fondness usually reserved for home movies. I’ve got a three-foot stack of newspapers and magazines in the corner of my office, presumably for a time capsule [and let me heartily recommend SI’s Special Red Sox Commemorative Issue that just hit newsstands. Verrrrry nice.]

Here’s a story that illustrates how much the Sox are ruling our world these days. On Friday, I’m in a bar on the South Shore, having an after work brewski or two with Matthew, a regular poster on our comments section, who had flown up from Miami for the Sox victory parade. We sat drinking and jawing as the Friday night crowd started filtering in. Suddenly, the entire place goes quiet, and all eyes are on the two massive plasmas at either end of the bar.

On the screen, an image that has us all spellbound: Pedro and Ortiz, with Mickey Mouse ears firmly in place, being interviewed from Disney World on SportsCenter.

Not a single glass tinked, not a single fork clanked. All were silent as the two World Series heroes mugged for the camera, full of the goofiness and bliss that defined this year’s team.

And when it was over, we all smiled. A few people clapped. It was as if suddenly someone reminded us just how awesome our world has become over the last week. And we heartily agreed.

And, come on…those hats?!? I want a half hour show. Every damn week. Those guys in those hats.

Every. Damn. Week.

Those hats.

So, long story short, today’s post is little more than a collection of the things I’ve learned from the 2004 Red Sox. In no particular order.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Don’t cut your hair, man. Just don’t.

If you can’t play the game because you’ve hurt your leg, arm or sack-bag, don’t sit on the bench and sulk or lounge in the clubhouse watching your She’s the Sheriff DVDs. Wave a towel, make some noise and cheer your motherfriggin’ boys on, Clementine. Because that’s what being a team is all about. For more info, see: Youkilis, Kevin; Gutierrez, Ricky; and Burks, Ellis.

Take no one for granted. Back in Spring Training, Mark Bellhorn was just a guy we brought on board to back-up Pokey at second base. Today, dude’s a cult hero and a Sports Illustrated cover boy.

Living well is the best revenge. When Gary Sheffield let loose a steroid-fueled tirade against our lads, the Sox never snarked back, preferring to tuck it into their caps and make their statement on the field. I’m guessing Sheff heard it.

I used to think Tim McCarver was the single most powerful irritant television has ever produced. Then I saw the ads with this guy:

Speed is king. The single most important play of the post-season was Dave Roberts’ steal of second base in Game 4 of the ALCS. You could almost feel the momentum shift as he slid his righteously expeditious ass across home plate.

Ellis Burks is the avatar of cool.

The Red Sox are the ultimate social lubricant, the one subject everyone in this town can discuss ’til the wheels fall off. The one thing that binds us all, no matter where we come from.

Live the joy now, but tuck some away for another day. Like, say, Opening Day 2005, when we’ll raise the World Champions flag at Fenway. And our opponents will be the Yankees. With Nomar at second, Beltran in center and Pedro in the pen.

The Red Sox are second only to Eliza Dushku in ability to make grown men swoon. I’ve watched the clip of that final out one hundred and seventy-eight times. And every time Mientkiewicz raises his hands in jubilation, my heart does the flippy-flop.

Sometimes the good guys really do win. Thanks, dudes.