Thursday, October 28, 2004

We're Gonna Need a New Title for This Blog - I'm Thinking 'Ecstacy Loves Everyone'

(9:30 am, 10/28/2004)

I'm gonna do this stream of consciousness-style, and it'll take a few days.

Somewhere, Charlie Brown is smoking a cigarette, the Little Red-Haired Girl's head nestled against his shoulder as they lay in the afterglow of beautiful cartoon lovemaking. Lucy's sitting outside wondering how the hell he kicked that ball so far.

All the stuff that came before - Buckner, Bucky, Boone, Enos Slaughter, and Thurman Munson, and Ed Armbrister - all of it now has a purpose, a cosmic fit. It all happened to make this possible, to make this win feel so damn fulfilling. It all makes sense now.

I remember coming into my office the morning after my first daughter was born - I had to duck in at 8:30 for a meeting with an important new customer. I was exhausted, and giddy, and disheveled - my eyes actually hurt from being so tired and drained, but my heart was near to exploding with happiness. It occurs to me as I sit here this morning that I feel exactly the same way.

There's a scene near the end of the movie, 'PCU', where a character stands up from his catatonic movie-watching state and says, "That's it. That's my thesis. Caine and Hackman in a movie together. I can stop watching TV." I feel like that about sports right now. That's it. I can stop watching sports. I'm never going to have this feeling again. But it's such a great feeling that it'll sustain me for the rest of my life. And if you think I'm exaggerating, come spend a few minutes inside my skin. Aside from the fact that it probably wouldn't fit you if you were a normal-sized human, it's a pretty good place to be right now.

The fact that the Sox won the World Series is stunning, but the way they did it is even more remarkable, if that's possible. They won 8 games in a row against the 2 best teams in the majors (well, the 2nd and 3rd best teams in the majors). 8 games. Against the Yankees and Cardinals. In the postseason. And none of those wins were flukes - the Sox earned every single one of those wins by outpitching, outhitting, outrunning, and outmanaging (God bless you, Terry Francona) 2 very, very good teams. Tim Kurkjian of ESPN called this the greatest story in the history of baseball. I'll go one better. This is the greatest story in the history of sports.

(2:22 pm, 10/28/04)

The realizations are starting to come in waves. I was mostly happy for myself at first, then, I called my dad (and woke him up at midnight - he'd gone to bed after the Sox had failed to score with the bases loaded in the 8th, afraid to watch any more). This morning, I thought about my grandparents, all born in 1919 or 1920, and I called them to bask in the happiness. I'm very lucky that they're all still alive, and I'm happy beyond words that they got to witness this. My mom's parents couldn't stand watching, so they went to bed after the 6th inning. My dad's parents were heartier souls than their son, staying up to the glorious end.

Now, though, I'm thinking about Tim Wakefield. Of all the Sox on this team, all the magnificent idiots who will go down as legends, Tim Wakefield is the one for whom I'm happiest. His grief after last year's ALCS loss, after he stood on his head for 2 games before finally failing against Aaron Boone, was the single worst part of that series. That this guy who has been so unselfishly team-oriented for so long had to spend the last year agonizing over 1 pitch is cosmically unfair. That he now has a World Series ring is spectacular payback.


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