[Business Day One] A Series of Moments
Thursday, October 25th / Weymouth, MA / 10:30 p.m.
The driving rain and swarming defense prevented Matt Ryan from taking to the air. Bud Foster gameplanned it perfectly. The Virginia Tech defensive ends and linebackers speed-rushed the offensive line for the first 55 minutes, preventing Ryan from planting his feet and throwing. He was hurled to the soggy carpet over and over again as one of the best defenses in college football consistently beat the Boston College blockers. On offense, the Hokies were doing enough to win. Sean Glennon moved the ball just enough to get 10 points on the board against the Eagles. It was agony to watch.
With five minutes left, I said goodbye to the two friends I was watching the game with and walked across the condo complex to my car. I was silent and so was the black night around me. I sat in cold sadness for a moment before putting the key in the ignition. I wanted to savor the last few seconds of pulling for a Top Two team. I flipped the radio on and started listening to the Sox game for a little while. They were in the World Series, after all. Might as well see at least one local team do well.
After a few minutes, I figured the BC game was over and my “dying slowly” pain would be replaced by “now I’m dead” lethargy. But when I turned the radio on, Boston College was lining up for an onsides kick. Apparently, they had just scored a touchdown and were only down 10-7. I didn’t smile, though. I didn’t want to even change my facial expression as I drove alone up I-93. I just wanted to sit, wrapped in my sadness like it was a damp sheet, and wait for it to be over. But then we recovered the ball and had it with two minutes left. Still nothing. At this point, it was superstition. I couldn’t get my hopes up or they’d be dashed. I couldn’t think of 8-0 or we wouldn’t win another game. I just sat in silence as Matt Ryan led his team down the field.
The first touchdown pass was called back for holding. The second touchdown pass wasn’t. “Touchdown, Boston College! No flags!”screamed. Boston College 14 and Virginia Tech 10…
Now that was when I started screaming and crying.
Sunday, October 28th / Allston, MA / 6:30 p.m.
By this point, the Patriots were up 38-0. I was sitting at a table at the Sports Depot with half a dozen folks watching the most dominant football team I have ever seen dismantle a fairly good 4-2 Redskins team. The Pats would’ve ended up tripling the point spread (geez…) if not for a garbage time touchdown against the New England third stringers. My roommate Tom and I spent the last quarter trying to figure out what Belichick would even yell at them about after the game. We settled, after much deliberation, on the specials teams for a kickoff that went out of bounds sometime in the second half.
This isn’t fair. And, darn it, I love watching it.
Monday, October 29th / Allston, MA / 12:30 a.m.
We all left the Sports Depot after taking pictures of the celebration. Three camera crews had made their way through the place to document the fourth and final game of the Red Sox sweep. When we hit the air outside, we could hear the telltale sounds of Boston celebration everywhere – the dull rumble of cheering through apartment walls, interrupted by the staccato of car horns. I was stuffed from the seven and a half hours of nonstop eating I embarked upon over the course of the day, but felt light. Must’ve been the hot fudge sundae… or that I make my home in the greatest sports city in the country.
“Is Kenmore Square on fire?” Dave asked from the back seat. Probably not, I thought. After all, Boston was here only three years before.
Monday, October 29th / Newton, MA / 2:00 p.m.
Girardi was offered the Yankees managerial spot, and it looks like he’ll take it. It soothed some of the rage I felt this morning after digesting the whole Boras-announcing-the-A-Rod-opt-out stunt during the eight inning of Game Four. I found myself uttering the dreaded “Thank God He’s Gone” about a 150-RBI slugger that was far and away the best player in baseball this year. Fans are fickle and they root for laundry. A-Rod’s pinstripes were armor that stopped me from hating him. Now that they’re off, I find myself wishing he and his agent get stampeded by elk. Still, Girardi knows New York, the media and how to manage. Posada will come back, as will Rivera. And we’ve got young pitching. The Yankees will be fine. The youth movement will buoy us up next year.
Monday, October 29th / Newton, MA / 4:40 p.m.
I wrote: “Posada will come back, as will Rivera. And we’ve got young pitching. The Yankees will be fine. The youth movement will buoy us up next year.”
And then I got sad.
Good thing I’m surrounded by winning sports franchises.