Let’s take a trip back in time. October 16, five years ago.
I was as drunk then as I am now. Okay, I was probably more drunk then. I remember texting a buddy, those five years ago, when we were down 4-0 in the 4th: “For every run we score, I’m going to funnel a beer.” Over an hour later, while I was partaking in other activities, my friend texted me back: “Start funneling.”
For the next year, I thought nothing could top Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS. In fact, to this day I don’t think anything can top it. I was a kid eager to get out of college. I sat in a circle at a frat house, equal numbers Yanks fans, real Yanks fans, and Yanks haters, a/k/a Mets fans. Most of us had 30s of Keystone light in front of us. There was no implicit sharing. You showed up with your own booze, and rooted for your own team.
We bemoaned Clemens. We heralded Mussina. We didn’t know what to think of Aaron Boone. In fact, I had started my ascent to the bathroom when the inning started. Only fate held me back. As I hit the second step, I heard an uproar from the room. I sprinted back, and saw the ball fall in the left field seats. Maybe it was the first live replay. Maybe it was the original shot. I don’t know. All I know is that I didn’t have to pee anymore. Instead, I took my joy to the streets of New Brunswick, New Jersey.
YANKEES WIN!!! I screamed, hopping down the street in the purest joy I’d felt since the Yankees clinched the 2000 World Series over the Mets. YANKEES WIIIIIIIIIINNNN!!!!!!
Tonight’s joy wasn’t quite that. There were no late-inning heroics. There was no rivalry to uphold. Hell, my favorite team sat at home during it, unused to the feeling of being absent from October baseball.
Yet, it felt eerily similar. I still hopped down the street once I saw Jed Lowrie ground out on the first pitch. I still screamed at the top of my lungs, though this time it was “RED SOX LOSE!” rather than “YANKEES WIN!” Still, it has been the most visceral baseball feeling I’ve had in 2008.
I only hope my fellow Yankees fans feel the same way. Tonight was glorious, in a bastardized, absurd way. One thing is for certain, though.
The Boston Red Sox will not be the 2008 World Series Champions.
That is all.