Thursday, November 3, 2016

Finality


My college is a very artsy, quiet little place in New York. Whenever I see updated sports paraphernalia, I do a double take. There are, however, people on my campus who care about sports, one way or another.

Last night, at 8 PM, when the World Series began, I wasn't watching. To be honest, I was watching Survivor.

Once that ended, however...no, I still wasn't watching. I had to run over to the other side of campus and lead a meeting of the improv club on campus, which I was somehow the co-president of. As I was there, I'd periodically check my phone. My friend Derek, who sort of knew sports but was rooting for Bill Murray, would be right there with me. Especially as the huge Cubs lead happened, fueled by David Ross, Dexter Fowler and Willson Contreras. Derek was keeping my updated, even as the improv meeting went on.

By 11:30 I was absolutely exhausted, on account of my very long day, and the fact that the room we were doing improv in had no AC. As I was standing in what ended up being my last scene of the day, Derek came behind me and whispered something truly horrifying in my ear.

"Tied at 6. Bottom of the eighth."

No matter how much I adored the Indians, no matter how neutral I wanted to be, this needed to be the Cubs' year. There wasn't going to be a last second 'ha-ha' moment that kept the curse going. Not tonight.

Right then, I got a text from my dad: "Are You Watching This????"

No...but I had to be.

I told my co-president that I was fried, grabbed my jacket and left to a sea of 'awwww'. I then raced all the way across campus to my dorm, turned on the TV, and laid back. My roommate was out of town, so I could just enjoy the game.

It was the top of the ninth. The tension was killer.

Throughout the entire ninth inning, I was waiting for something to happen, something either good or bad, and nothing really did. Aroldis Chapman managed to get himself out of a scrape or two. Nobody got any runs or anything.

And as the tenth is about to start, I feared the curse was beginning to rear its ugly head again as the tarps went out, and I had to listen to Joe Buck's grating-ass voice for 15 minutes. This was enough to test my patience. To test my loyalty. Was I a true fan of baseball? True enough that I'd listen to a sportscaster drone on about rain patterns for way too long just for the promise of a killer ending? You bet I was. My dad, on the other hand, went to bed.

Eventually they rolled back the tarp, brought the game back on, and Kyle Schwarber got up against Trevor Bauer. And then...the fun really began. Schwarber, Rizzo, even Miguel Montero all banded together and smacked the crap out of Trevor Bauer, resulting in an 8-6 lead, and making me extraordinarily happy.

As for those three excruciating outs that ended the game...they were killer. And with Rajai Davis, it looked bleak. But Michael Martinez, of all people, hit one right to Kris Bryant, who proceeded to fire the Curse of the Billy Goat into oblivion, just with a simple throw to Anthony Rizzo.

And with that...the Chicago Cubs won the World Series. I cannot believe that I typed those words, and I was 100% behind them when they did. This was a moment that was as electric on the field as it was in my dorm room in Purchase, New York.

That may have been the most satisfying World Series...actually no- top to bottom it was an amazing series, with some great moments and heroes from both sides. I don't think there's been a series this...evenly matched since the 2001 one. I'm just very grateful that I got to watch at least some of it.

So, with that, the 2016 baseball season's over. And until February, I have to cope with the fact that there's no baseball. Hopefully the blog won't show this. I imagine I'll have enough planned to keep the blog from going dark for too long, but, like usual, I won't make any promises.

Hell of a way to end it, Cubs. I'm very proud of you all.

1 comment:

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