Scoring with the Red Sox
Just short of two weeks ago, as I watched from my living room/closet, relief pitcher Adam Wainwright struck out Brandon Inge and made the St. Louis Cardinals World Champions.
Before the eye-rolling and the comments about “Oh great, another guy with a happy stick for sports” begin, please give me a chance. I sat through “The Vagina Monologues” after being lied to about the plot, I deserve at least a chance.
As I sat there in my living room/closet/guest bedroom, I was reminded of 2004 when my Red Sox broke the curse and won their own title. Before the flood of e-mails, yes they are MY Red Sox. I bought them. My name is Theo Epstein, and I’m rich and hot. I don’t want to hear it, they are mine.
I will always remember that World Series, not only because of the outcome but also because of the circumstances.
It was shortly before the series that I met a girl. A smart and funny and sexy girl. She was a Cardinals fan, and her television didn’t get the games. (It’s Nebraska, just be impressed we had them there talkin’ picture boxes.)
Watching the games with her allowed me the opportunity to begin what would be a wonderful relationship. While most of the credit goes to me, I still give the assist to baseball and to MY Red Sox.
I relate this story as an example of the true power of sports and the reason they transcend mere competition. The major events in sports, whether you are a fan or not, can serve as markers. Most days, I check to make sure I remembered to put on pants, but I can tell you where I was when the Avalanche hoisted the Stanley Cup.
I can tell you how I felt when Nebraska beat Oklahoma and when they lost in the National Title Game. I remember where I was when the Broncos beat the Packers and I can tell you what clothes I was (or was not) wearing.
And I will never forget the circumstances of MY Red Sox breaking the curse, and because of sports, no matter what, I will never forget my Cardinal fan.
So as I sat there watching the celebration ensue from my living room/closet/guest bedroom/yoga studio, I couldn’t help but be happy that my Cardinals Fan’s team finally got her title. After all, she had been so gracious when MY Red Sox won it ” and that wasn’t easy because I was an ass, with the pointing and the laughing and the horrible, horrible dancing.
I know some of you are shaking your head and thinking I’m an immature jock, obsessed with sports. I’m not denying you’re right, but don’t mistake fanaticism with respect.
Sports isn’t my life, it simply enhances it.
Without sports, life is the coffee without the cream. The sundae without the cherry.
Even if none of my teams are playing, I understand the power of the playoffs in any sport, because it may be changing the life of someone, somewhere.
Don’t believe it? Look at me. The World Series got me my Cardinals Fan and MY Red Sox the title.
Sometimes it’s just a game. Sometimes it’s more.
Perhaps most importantly though, sometimes it’s just a good excuse for those pictures on the Internet.