Sunday, April 02, 2006
So I woke up this morning out of a drop dead sleep at 6 AM, which most days would be 6 AM, except today it's really 5 AM. What makes it even more incredible is that I went to bed at like midnight....which was....1 AM? You know, when you need an advanced math degree in order to figure out what time it is, well, it must be early in the morning. (shave and a haircut, 2 bits) I know it seemed like a good idea at the time Ben Franklin, but it's your fault I'm confused right now.
Anyway, I have a confession to make. Part of the reason, actually probably the biggest reason that I don't give up cable television is because I like to sleep with the television on. The other part is that I think I might go crazy if I couldn't watch the Red Sox. Not crazy "I-can't-find-my-car-keys" crazy either, but crazy "I-broke-into-the-library-and colorcoded-all-the-books-on-the-shelves" crazy. I LOOOOOOOOOOVVVVVVVVVEEEEEEEEEEE the Red Sox. I feel like I should be at a 12 step program right now.
"Hi, my name is Randy and I'm a recovering Red Sox fan. I haven't watched a game in over 2 weeks."
(That could never really happen. See the part about color coding books for more information why.)
So anyway, I was sleeping with the television on for the millionth night in a row, when out of my drop dead sleep I wake up promptly at 6 AM. Okay, probably not. I don't know what time is was but it was about 20 after 6 when I sat down to write this. I realized when I woke up that Fever Pitch was on, and not only that, but that the movie was about 80% over. Being the Red Sox fanatic (fan isn't a good enough word) I am, I immediately thought to myself "If I stay awake for another 10 minutes I'll get to see the part where they show all those wonderful highlights from the 2004 playoffs."
So I'm laying there and becoming more and more conscious as Jimmy Fallon finds out the Red Sox came back in the bottom of the 9th and beat the Yankees at the first game he ever missed in 23 years because he was spending a wonderful evening with Drew Barrymore. He is of course, very stressed about that event, and Drew Barrymore, being a woman, takes offense to that because she believes that he's saying that he would have traded in the evening with her to be at that game.....well.....okay, I don't have the time right now to sit here and think about what I would have done. (I mean, he had two tickets, it's not like he wouldn't have taken her to the game with him)
Okay, just for the record, any future love interests, you need to read my blog, because I'm putting it in writing right now, you date me, you better get used to the potential for life coming to an end as you know it for 2 weeks every October. That's just the way it is.
So I'm laying there, half awake and watching with one eye open as Drew takes offense and breaks poor Jimmy's heart. After a little bit I've got both eyes open as the movie moves into the part where the Sox (pronounced Sawks) go down 3-0 to the Yankees in the ALCS. If you are not a Red Sox fan you have no idea what this part of the movie is like for us. If you're a married man, it's like remembering the moments just before you asked your wife to marry you. I'm serious, it's that sweet. My eyes almost roll back into my head and my whole body tingles just thinking about it.
So as the story goes along I'm lying there squinting at the TV, still planning on falling back asleep as soon as I get to see Drew grab Johnny Damon's butt, Ortiz get the hits and Foulke toss Alphabet the ball, when a funny thing happened. (what, you're surprised? It's a romantic comedy after all...) I started getting interested in the story all over again. It's really a well done movie. I originally saw it with some friends here in Ohio, and they liked it and had no affinity whatsoever for the Sawks. (Noooomaaaaaahhhhh. Sorry, couldn't help myself)
By the time Drew made her way to the center field bleachers, I actually had my glasses on. Even though I knew all that was going to come (before the nirvana inducing baseball highlights at the end) the story had captured me again. Okay, I'm going to admit it, when Drew jumped off the wall onto the field and then rushed the field trying to stop Jimmy before he could sell his seats I started to get a little emotional. When she ran all the way across the field and told him that if he loved her enough to give up his tickets, then she loved him enough not to let him I thought to myself that that was the most beautiful thing I ever heard. I just got another chill thinking about it. But when she looked him in the eye and told him she was getting arrested, well, a single tear rolled down my cheek.
Maybe it was because I was already confused about what time it was. Perhaps it's because I was just so relieved that he didn't give up the tickets. It could be those things, but it's not. I got emotional like that, I was stirred up because I wish I could find someone that loved me like that, EXACTLY like that. Sometimes I just wish I could take part of a movie and make it my life, and if I could, I would take that part of that movie and make it the way I met the love of my life.
Okay, I probably also get emotional because in 2004 not only did the Sawks finally win it all, but I also got divorced. Talk about your highs and lows...
I remember even feeling a little empty the night they finally put it away. Honestly, that whole year was like walking through a desert, but for a little while in October/November that year, I did at least feel something for a little while. I drove all the way from Ohio to Massachusetts that week to see the victory parade in Boston. I didn't go though, I spent the time with my friends and watched it on television instead. (Best parade I ever missed. I love you guys)
Anyway, I didn't want to bring the tone of this whole thing down by mentioning the divorce, but I had to. This morning I realized that because of all that I was going through back then, I still hadn't fully "accepted" 2004. A part of me has still been, I don't know, sad I guess. I guess as high as that was, I didn't get to experience all of it's wonderfullness because of what I was going through personally at that point in my life.
Well, on June 21st, I'm excorcising those demons. You see, I've got front row Monster seats that night, so if you happen to catch the game that night and they flash to the guy up on the Monster that's dancing like a maniac while "Tessie" plays, know that it's not because he drank too much beer.
Know that that guy is going to be up there celebrating the fact that after all those years, after watching Rice break his hand, and Dent hit the homer, after watching Yaz pop up and Esasaky go down, after having to say goodbye to Freddy Lynn and Carlton Fisk (not to mention the Rooster), after having to see Buckner miss the ball, and Buckner miss the ball, and Buckner miss the ball, and Buckner miss the ball, and Buckner miss the ball.....after watching Rogah get booted in the first inning, and after watching Mo choke, after watching the Yankees win it all 4 times and just when they had us down 3-0 and things looked as bleak as they ever did.....after having my heart broke again and again and again....well, just know that because the stone got rolled away and David Ortiz stepped out of that crypt and said "Not so fast" to the Yankees that year, because of all of that, I'll be dancing like a maniac that whole game. For me, I'll finally be letting go of that last little part of my heart that was still broken and I'll be free at last to celebrate that wonderful team.
Oh, and just for the record, I'm sick of being polite about this, THERE ARE NO FANS LIKE RED SOX FANS. I haven't been to every park to see every team, but I do have a larger sample size than most people to go by because of all of the different cities I've lived in, and I'm telling you that there are no fans that love their team the way that Red Sox fans love theirs. Over the last few years I've had to put up with people trying to degrade me and the rest of Red Sox nation because they think we think we're special and that there is no difference between their story and ours. I don't think we're special, but we are definitely unique.
I'll tell you what, when they make a romantic comedy about your team, when your park becomes an icon all of it's own and they have tours that draw more people than White House tours, awwwww forget it, Red Sox fans are unique in all of sports. I'm a Steelers fan, I chose my college based on two criteria. First, it was a Christian college. Second, it was 45 minutes north of Pittsburgh and I knew that for four years I would be able to watch every game. So in my book of priorities back then, the Steelers came right after God. Well, comparing my love for the Steelers to my love for the Red Sox is like comparing the way you feel about breakfast to how you feel about your wife. (yes, I know sometimes she makes you really mad, that's part of the analogy...)
And just so you know, it took me over an hour to write this, and the whole time I've had Tessie blasting full volume through my headphones. I'm still sitting here typing along to the beat and every now and then I still have to stop and dance in my chair a little bit.
Maybe I am crazy....