Monday, October 20, 2008

Out of Miracles

Remember the Super Bowl? Remember those last few seconds? The Pats had just fallen behind on a cheapo play, and some inept defense. But, Brady had the ball in his hands, and was about to unleash a heave in the direction of Randy Moss. How often in a football game does a 50-yard pass go for a touchdown? How often does it happen when the defense knows it's coming? But, even with all that I just expected that it would happen. Of course. The Pats fell behind, but of course Brady would throw the bomb. And of course, just like in game 16, it would be a game winning 50 plus-yard TD to Moss. There's no other way it could end. And, when it didn't, I was shocked. What do you mean the impossible didn't happen? Where's the flag that would give the Pats another chance? Really? It's over?

That's exactly what happened to me last night. The Rays clearly had more talent. (Especially healthy talent) Time and time again, the Sox didn't have the weapons they really needed. Their hitters weren't hitting. The pitchers weren't pitching, and the bench never seemed to have the guy they needed when they needed it. But, even down in the series 1-3, I really thought they'd come back. Granted, during game 5 I had serious doubts. But, once the series went back to Tampa, I was back to assuming the impossible. Of course Beckett would be back. He may not have been vintage Beckett, but he was what they needed. Of course Lester would come back. He'd pitch his heart out and reclaim his ace status. Of course, when trailing by only two runs late in the game, the Sox would come back. They did it against the great Rivera. Who did the Rays possibly have that could stop it? It was inevitable. Of course the kid rookie who won the ALDS would come though. Then there was the groundball to second. And he didn't boot it. And he didn't trip on the way to the base. And the game was over. And I thought to myself, really? It's over? What do you mean?

What has happened to me? I'm a long time fan of the team that would only win today to make it more crushing when they lost tomorrow. Here I was expecting the miracle. I've always said that the big difference between the 2004 world championship and the 2007 version is that I could enjoy the 2007 version. In '04 I was in constant fear that that wouldn't really be the year. When the Sox took a 3-0 lead against the Cardinals, I was worried. I knew that the only reason they came back from 0-3 against NY was so they could blow a 3-0 lead in the very next series. That'd be crushing. But, the didn't. They finished it off, and I had the title I always worried wouldn't come. Then, along came 2007. The Sox had the best team. They had the swagger. And, I actually enjoyed the games. I didn't hide my eyes when the Indians were up. I expected the best, and got it. Which is what set me up for this year. The bar had been raised. I'm not sure it can be lowered again for quite some time.

That's just the way I like it.

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