I know that travelling is supposed to be about escaping life's normal routines and all, but I'll admit it...I've sorta (ok, completely) put my trip on hold for the last couple of days so I could follow the Red Sox/Yankees series.
I arrived in Chiang Mai a couple of days ago and I had a nice plan all laid out about what to do/where to go...but then the Sox won game 4...so I had to see what happened in game 5...which led directly to me waking up a couple of hours earlier today to get some play by play for game 6 (thanks justin). And well, pretty much my only goal for today is to find a sports bar that's gonna play tomorrow's game live (at 7am). If this were an English Premire League game (that's soccer, by the way) it wouldn't be a problem...but baseball's another story...That's cool. I'm fully prepared to sit in an empty sports bar and drink alone.
I know Red Sox nation (of which I think most Cubs fans are honorary members) will be cheering with me.
Sorry to totally change the direction of this blog for a post (or two) but man, this is so much more than just a playoff series...I will now proceed to heavily quote Bill Simmons:
I don't know how he did it. There was nothing different about his situation from Game 1, other than the O.J. sock, the sutures and the hands of God (his words, not mine). The Red Sox made a big deal about this "emergency boot" from Reebok, a device that would stabilize Schilling's damaged ankle tendon, but I'm starting to wonder if they bought that device on eBay from Sidd Finch and the Easter Bunny. Schilling didn't even wear it. This was about heart. This was about coming through when it mattered most. This was about choosing to pitch for a tortured franchise, promising that things would be different, and then perservering only because you gave your word.
Schilling is bordering on becoming a diety if they can win this thing...Can't say enough good things about him, so I won't try.
In my three decades of following Boston sports, my favorite underrated performance belongs to Kevin McHale, who limped around on a broken foot for two straight months in the 1987 playoffs. The doctors explained the risks to him: If he kept playing, there was a chance his foot would never be the same. He would never get the same lift again. That's what they told him. He didn't care. They were the defending champs. They needed him. So he played.
Sometimes you pass a point where history becomes a factor -- like with the Patriots three years ago, when the diehards kept waiting for the Other Shoe to drop, and we were waiting and waiting, and suddenly Vinatieri's final kick split the uprights, the most liberating feeling you can imagine. That's the thing about baggage as a sports fan -- you can shed this stuff. You just need a few breaks.
Exactly...whether they win or not...they're not the Red Sox of old. If they were, they would have lost Game 4 or 5. It's that simple.
These weren't just baseball games. They were life experiences. They broke you down in sections. They made you question God, the meaning of life, whether sports should possibly mean this much. On Sunday night, I stewed in my seat vowing never to raise my kids as Sox fans. On Monday night, I skipped out of Fenway wondering if any other team could possibly mean this much to a group of people.
The Buckner-Armbrister flashback play in Game 6 clearly exposed A-Rod as a liar and cheater of the highest order -- the kind who would turn over an "R" in Scrabble and pretend it's a blank letter.
It's an interesting thing about A-rod...all the talent in the world, all the money in the world, wife, kids, etc...and yet, during game 6 it all became so clear. He is a cheater of the highest order. Tragic.