I was on my way out the door twice. No less than two times I stubbed out my cigar, drained my last swallow of Octoberfest, and headed for the door. With two strikes and two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, I waived to John (a foolishly optimistic Rangers fan) and watched from just under the exit sign for the final nail in the October near Halloween coffin. Twice – TWICE mind you. This wasn’t the D-backs coming back in 2001 against Mariano just once, and from only one run down. This was twice from two runs down. Twice I headed back to the almost empty cigar bar to take my seat again to watch the inevitable end to the fall classic, and twice I yelled out “Wow” while the Cardinals clawed their way back in, almost as unexpectedly as they had clawed their way into the playoffs to begin with.
I haven’t had to re-claim my seat twice at a bar since last time 24-year-old Jolene Moffit cancelled on me twice in the same night (yeah – two entirely different excuses) when I was headed over to try out some new strip poker math on her unsuspecting drunkenness. I haven’t been part of a two-time comeback like that since my parole officer twice rescinded my re-incarceration order in the same week after I proved it wasn’t me sneaking contraband Dan Patrick “occupy gameday” signs into a junior high school football contest (okay, I didn’t quite realize the occupy ESPN gameday revolution actually required me to be at College Gameday itself – go figure). (Note: for those of you missing out on the Occupy Gameday movement – you MUST check it out at DP — I’m addicted – but probably because I wasn’t allowed work release during my college years to actually attend then).
This Card’s game six miracle wasn’t the typical sports miracle. No – Kurt Gibson only hit one home run for baseball immortality. Franco Harris only caught one rebound pass for the miracle to be called “immaculate.” The boys of 1980’s Olympic “Miracle on Ice” only came back once against the damn nuclear-wielding Ruskies. No, the Cards came back twice, from two down, in the final inning of the final baseball game of 2011.
It seems to run in spans of 10 years. In 1991 you had the Kirby Puckett boys of Milwaulkee coming back against the unstoppable pitching of the Atlanta Braves. Ten years later the D-backs came back from the humiliation of two consecutive blown saves by Korean BK Kim, only to come back in the seventh game against the greatest Yankee pitcher of our generation. Then ten years later, last week, the Cardinals decided once wasn’t enough to cement their immortality. So they did it twice. It was like they were taunting us. They come back in the ninth inning with a two-out two-strike triple, to tie the game, and then decided to give the Rangers another two-run lead in the top of the tenth – as if they just wanted to show us they could do it again just as easily as the first time.
It was like watching Elizabeth Taylor marrying the same guy twice just so she could break his heart all over again – just because she could. I am seriously at a loss to find other comparisons to this. I mean, even Jesus didn’t raise Lazarus from the dead, kill him off, and do it again. Wow. To quote my favorite Chorus Line lyric: “And then we did it agaaaaaaaaaaaain …. [insert extremely high gut-busting nard-squealing note here]” No I don’t watch Chorus Line – I just heard about it once from my gay buddy Cliff. I’m just passing it along.
Whew. I’m exhausted. I didn’t get up a third time. I mean even after the Cards hit a walk-off homer in the bottom of the 11th inning, I sat there for a few minutes just to make sure they didn’t resume the game and spot the Texas boys another two runs anyway just to show there was a third miracle in their Midwestern back pocket. I’m not sure the Rangers could have won even if they were spotted two runs just to make it even. I guess in this year where the Braves and the Red Sox blew historic late season leads, it was only poetic for the Rangers to blow late-inning leads back to back.
So now baseball is over. We have football, for now, and no basketball in sight. I’m at a loss to know what to do between Sundays for my sports fix. I’ve resorted to watching E-News channel documentaries about Kate and Pippa growing up. Even the Ladies Football League is showing up on my screen from time to time – even if I’m only hoping for a Superbowl-esque costume “malfunction.” Yeah – “malfunction” – that’s how it is. Think that would happen twice? Where’s Janet Jackson when you need a live replay?
So anyway, as we head into football-only sports weeknight darkness, and relive game six in our miracle-soaked brains, I was going to offer a few suggestions on how to get through the next few months of our sports equivalent of weekly man-ball contest bulimia. What can we do on those non-sports nights now that the baseball players have all gone to golf courses and fly-fishing weekends in Argentina. Here are a few ideas with how you might spend your time:
1. Stalk famous people on facebook. I’ve personally taken it upon myself to be-friend Hugh Laurie and give him acting and voice diction advice. So far, not much response. Maybe I should call myself Bibi Jones and stalk Rob Gronkowskie instead.
2. Start a pyramid scheme. Offer rich old people a can’t lose investment and then take their money and head to Aruba. Or Monaco. I mean, as long as you’re gambling their money and drinking shaken-not-stirred martinis, the chances of paying it back with interest HAS to be better than buying Wall Street stocks.
3. Buy season tickets to a European basketball team. After all, Kobe is in negotiations to play right? Yeah right.
4. Clean out your fridge. Get gloves, a gas mask, and try to get to the bottom of that black shit in the crisper. Sulphuric acid seems to work for me. Just make sure there is a rubber mat to protect your kitchen floor.
5. Write a book. I’m sure the readers of America would love a full-blown “how to” book on beating the casino at slot machine games. Be sure and do lots of research first.
6. Take up drinking. I mean, the “most interesting man in the world” got his start drinking watered down Mexican beer. I’m pretty sure the beer gut was photo-shopped.
7. Research and summarize the various political platforms of wanna-be presidential candidates. Don’t worry, the NBA will be into it’s next strike when you finish.
8. Write a broadway musical. Yes, Cliff, this one is just for you.
9. Watch all 2100 Hong-Kong marshal arts movies. In Chinese. Or just pull your fingernails off with a tuning fork. FUN!
10. Read my blogs. Yes, there’s a reason I put this tenth on the list. It getting two more readers would be a bigger miracle than the Card’s ninth and tenth inning comeback. But hey, they pay me by the number of words read here, and I need to buy another Wolfman. Think of it as charity.
That’s all for now cigar babies. Enjoy your time off from sports. More next time.