October 17, 2003

Ain't THAT a Kick in the Head

Show me a man without a dream,
and I'll show you a man that's dead
Real dead ...

Once I had me a dream, but that dream
Got kicked in the head
Dream dead ...

I nearly had me that chauffeur
and that black long limousine
E-O-Eleven ...
E-O-Eleven ...

I nearly had me that penthouse
All them stacks of folding green
Eleven ...
Eleven ...

Some judge is gonna say
I'm putting you away
For four score years and seven --
in the meantime, E-O-leven ...

-- Sammy Davis Jr.

DEAR GOD, IT HURTS. It is the next morning and it still hurts.

Loyal readers know that we here at The Rant are not die-hard baseball fans. In fact, we daresay the past few weeks may have come as somewhat of a surprise, since we are usually only this passionate when it comes to America's greatest game -- professional football.

But over the past few weeks, we found ourselves living in the midst of Red Sox Nation, and we were caught up in the frenzy like everyone else. We gleefully chanted along as the Boston radio stations played the "Yankees Suck!" song (chorus: "Yankees SUCK! Yankees SUCK!") and cheered as Our Boys took on the Evil Empire. We were not expecting to lose last evening. Oh, certainly, we always thought it a possibility -- but after we had built up four runs right off the bat, we hadn't expected it. And we weren't expecting the loss -- in the eleventh inning, for God's sake -- to feel like such a kick in the head.

Yet it did. And while we do not feel that we are experiencing one-hundredth of the pain and agony and disappointment which long-time Red Sox fans, both around New England and the world, must be dealing with -- we can say that on this lonely morning, it feels like we've got cleat marks on our back. It is not a good feeling.

We realize that the gentlemanly thing to do is wish the New York Yankees well on their journey, and hope that they prevail against the Florida Marlins in the World Series. It is ONLY this sense of obligation to a higher moral code that lets us write that. For the Yankees may as well win this next World Series. It would seem wrong to let the fickle fair-weather Floridians take it.

But, quite frankly, we do not care. We are not going to watch the World Series. Nor are we going to write about it. A New York-Florida series holds absolutely no interest for us, and we daresay it will hold no interest for anyone north of Tallahassee or west of the New Jersey-Pennsylvania border. For a New York-Florida series is, at its best, a regional matchup. At worst, it is a series between New York and New Jersey and New York-New Jersey's retirement home. As such, no one outside of those areas will very much care. Why should they?

Nor do we think we will get all that excited about baseball again.

We will say that we gained an appreciation for the strategy and tactics of the game, something that we failed to appreciate before this grim October. We will say that we came to appreciate baseball as an athletic competition. No longer will we look at it, and sneer at its glacially slow pace and its unexplainably-long season and its other oddities. We now realize that it rightfully has a place in the pantheon of American sport.

But Gad! to have to go through last night's experience again and again? We do not know if we could take it. We do not know if we want to resign ourselves to living out years of frustration and disappointment. It may just be too painful a thing to bear.

RELATED: Yankees fans react to their victory in the friendly and sportsmanlike manner to which we've all become accustomed. Meanwhile, Red Sox fans who are emotionally over last night's loss* might want to consider buying one of these.

* Trust us. If you're still aching from last night's game, don't click on the link. Or at least don't blame us for not warning you.

NOTICE: I wanted this entry on top all day, so I screwed around with the timing feature. I actually wrote it about 9 a.m.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at October 17, 2003 11:59 PM | TrackBack

When the Cowboys won their second Superbowl against the Bills, it was almost as much fun to snicker at and gloat over the Bills' fourth Superbowl loss in a row as it was to celebrate another Cowboys win (which probably had something to do with the fact that my best friend since Kindergarten was originally from just outside Buffalo and was a huge fan with Kelly posters and everything).

I'm not a Marlins, Yankees, Sox, or Cubs fan per se, but there's still something satisfying about watching epic failure streaks continue for the Cubs and Sox. I don't know how else to explain it.

I'm still pulling for Pudge Rodriguez, because he deserves it and because his success makes Tom Hicks and John Hart look even dumber.

Posted by: Kevin White at October 17, 2003 11:59 AM

Ben, I'm sad to see that your a BoSox fan, but I'm not sad for you. Go Yanks.

There is something to be said for wanting to see the Curse of the Bambino continue, but I desperately wanted to see the Cubbies make it to the Series, and despite being a lifelong Yankees fan would have almost wanted them to win the series despite being torn. See, the Cubbies have done nothing wrong in 95 years (although I'll admit as an observer of sports a Cubbies/BoSox series would have been historic, moreso than a Cubs/Yanks series) to deserve this drought.

I will say however that this BoSox Yanks series was exciting and quality sports, and the rivalry and controversy made it all the better.

Posted by: Chetly Zarko at October 18, 2003 12:20 AM

In the words of all Red Sox fans "There is always next year" and with the offseason pickups ... it AGAIN looks to be the year.

Posted by: Sean at December 22, 2003 11:24 PM