"Hell may have no fury like a woman scorned but heaven hath no sweetness like a sports fan vindicated." - Samcat

Monday, July 18, 2005

Weekend Warriors

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(a rough approximation of how I feel this morning)

Okay, look, it’s not like we didn’t all know it was coming down to this. I mean, you can’t honestly tell me you’re surprised. There was a feeling of inevitability. It is now, as it has always been and always shall be, between the Yankees and Red Sox. The Sox, after losing three of four to the Yankees at Fenway, cling on to first place in the AL East by the skin of their teeth. But we knew if was going down like this. It always does and it always will.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that I’m happy with the way things have turned out. I spent Saturday standing on the Monster next to Amy, Annette and Steve and feeling the sun cook my scalp (as I’d left the Tom Brady hat at home, reasoning that it was the source of bad luck), and screeching at the Yankees fans that someone managed to slime their way into the park. The best exchange of the day was either the following between Slimy Yankee Fan and Big, Burly Sox Fan to my right or the one between my brother and I after the Dual Dougie/Sveum Baserunning Blunder.

Yankee fan after Sheffield’s long single off the Wall: Nice park! Any other park and that would have been a home run!

Sox fan: So you want us to apologize because our park doesn’t facilitate Yankee home runs? We’re so sorry!

And then, a batter later after a called strike.

Sox fan: Jesus! That’s crap! Any other park and that’s ball four!

God, I love Red Sox fans.

And my brother and I, continuing the grand tradition of the Red Sox Catcher Blood Feud:

Me, after Dougie gets thrown out: What the shit was that?

Kev: Don’t be calling me to tell me that crap. I’m watching the game. I saw it! That was all Sveum. ALL SVEUM!

Me: Well Dougie’s not exactly fleet of foot.

Kev: I watched the replay four times and he had his head down and was running hard. THAT’S ALL HE DOES! That’s on his business cards: Doug Mirabelli: Head down and running hard!

Me: Whatever helps you sleep at night.

But here’s the thing: when it’s a beautiful day out, you’re standing on top of one of the most storied structures in sports, you’ve got three wonderful people by your side and you’re watching your team of defending world champions take the field, there isn’t much that can get you down. Oh, and it probably makes it a bit more tolerable knowing that the previous evening, the Sox had kicked the crap out of the Yankees to the tune of 17-1 (for the second time this season, no less.) There’s always that to fall back on.

So no, I’m not surprised that we find ourselves with little to no breathing room in the AL East. The Orioles still stubbornly refuse to go away and the Yankees, beginning their knee-jerk panic moves, up and bought Al Leiter on Saturday. True, he pitched like a rejuvenated Robo-Leiter against the Sox last night but the move smacks of desperation. Let’s not forget that the Yankees are missing 3/5 of their starting rotation and, because apparently I’m twelve-years-old, “the Yankees have broken their Wang.” They are the Yankees, after all, you can’t ever expect them to go completely away for good. Every story needs a villain.

Anyway, aside from the games, the highlights of this weekend were the atmosphere and the company I kept. Friday night found many of the Surviving Grady folk at the Sports Depot in Allston, sucking down Sam Adams and screeching our weird little hearts out for any number of things, including but not limited to the following:

  • Trot Nixon’s inside-the-parker.
  • Jerry Remy’s do-rag.
  • Sam’s non-sequetorial outbursts about the Tigers’ game playing on a smaller TV.
  • Tizzle’s grand slam.
  • Bill Mueller’s grimace. (Still recovering, frankly.)
  • Steve Brady’s good sportsmanship when surrounded by the Estrogen Patrol.
  • And Maura picking up the ENTIRE TAB because, wow. Just wow.

In short, there were many things to celebrate and I was in perfect company to do so.

Even Colleen, knowing that she would need to spend the next evening with most of these people as I’d played a get-together at our place, showed incredible intestinal fortitude when she didn’t run screaming out of the Depot and into the nearest police station.

And speaking of the next night? Y’all are insane. As Steve so succinctly put it: “The bold Surviving Grady tradition of total ridiculousness continues apace.” Indeed. Good thing those wineglasses weren’t family heirlooms or anything. Next time we’re going with sippy cups for you lot.

Sam and Beth both have posts up about the weekend that sum it up more eloquently than I ever could but the main point is the same: we’re all in his together. And I, for one, could not think of a better group to go through this with. I like my friends like I like my sports fans: Insane with a dash of crazy and a side of humor. It only makes sense that my friends and fellow sports fans would end up being the same people.