Thursday, October 28, 2004

It's Over

This happens. This is something that happens.
-Stanley Spector, "Magnolia"

Hard to believe, isn't it? There are teams that have been doing this all along. Going about their lives, building solid clubs, and every once in a while pulling out the Series. And it's no big deal. It happens every year in fact, sometimes even in Florida. And people don't remember. It's won and lost and two weeks later people forget, like it's a dentist appointment. But it never happened to us. We never got our chance, and after a while, we started to notice. There must have been some guy in the 1940's who said "Hey chaps," (that's how they talked) "the Bostons haven't won in 22 years!" , and nobody really cared. But after 10 or 20 more years, that became a force. A powerful being with its own momentum. And it started to weigh on the players, force management's hand, and ruin fans' lives. But it was bound to end. It had to. By shear random chance, sooner or later it would be Boston's turn. And last night, finally, after 86 years, it was.

But it's strange. When we envisioned it, I'm not sure we ever actually expected it to happen. We talked about the relief we'd feel and the final, resounding satisfaction, but I don't think we ever really thought the day would come. Hey, you wait 90 years once, what's another 90? Then, as it got really close, the utter nearness of it was startling. How could this be? And there were other questions. Sure, the initial rush of victory would be fantastic, but what about the moment to moment? How would it feel? Would beer taste colder? Would smiles seem brighter? Could Terry Bradshaw be more annoying? And it turned out, when it finally did happen, it was just like a lot of things. Fun, exciting, and not quite as good as you expected. Strange. Hey, don't get me wrong, I'm as happy as the next clam, but I can't escape the overwhelming feeling that today is a lot like yesterday. And tomorrow probably will be too. Didn't see that coming. But it's ok, because while they were winning, people's dreams were coming true. The players, the fans, and the owners. And that's a lot to say about a silly baseball team.

It's funny when things happen that you've waited your whole life for, and you realize that the waiting for them is what it was really all about. The thing itself is just a thing that happens.