The sun has turned the DC area into a desert. Trees are dropping leaves without changing colors. The soil in my yard is rock hard. The crabgrass in my lawn was over a foot tall, the rest of the yard was dust. Mowing the lawn stirred up big clouds of the stuff. During my ride today, there was so much dust in the air that it didn’t smell like the same place. I rode through Nevada in late June and it wasn’t as dry as this. It was 97 degrees today. In October. Dang.
Yesterday, I spent five or six hours outside doing physical stuff, including digging a trench for a downspout extension, mowing the lawn, and riding 25 miles on Big Nellie.
I was tired and hot so I knew I was going to crash early last night but the Nationals were playing a do-or-die playoff game against the Brewers. I did my best to watch the game on TV. To be honest, it was boring. Sometime around the sixth inning, the sun won and I fell asleep.
I was awakened from my slumber by insane cheering on the TV. The Nationals had pulled out an amazing, improbable, lucky comeback in the eighth inning. I watched the last half inning in a semi-coherent state. They won.
For those of you who know what an avid baseball fan I am, you’re probably thinking, “You idiot! How could you of all people miss the greatest comeback ever!!”
Get a grip, children. Pull up a chair.
I did miss the comeback but, except for the do-or-die aspect, this wasn’t even the biggest comeback of this year. The Nationals scored seven runs in the bottom of the ninth to walk off the Mets a month ago.
As sweet as that was, it didn’t come close to the biggest comeback of my lifetime.
In 1967, as the Red Sox contended for the American League pennant, Tony Conigliaro was beaned. On my birthday. Hello, karma.
I went to college in Boston in the 1970s and, for a semester, lived a five-minute walk from the Green Monster of Fenway Park. Of course, the Sox lost in the World Series to the Reds, but surely they’d win it next year.
Twenty eight years later, I watched from my home in DC as the Sox were walked off by Aaron Boone and the Yankees in the eleventh inning of the seventh game of the American League playoffs in 2003. The next year, the Yankees annihilated the Sox for three games in the playoffs. I was fed up.
Then, the Sox came back. For four nights I sat on my sofa and went totally sportsball insane. The Red Sox eliminated the Yankees in Yankee Stadium and went on, in beautifully anticlimactic fashion, to win the World Series and reverse the curse of the Bambino.
Last night’s game was pretty great but, for me, nothing will top those four games in 2004. In fact, I even stopped watching baseball for a few years because I’d been to the mountain top.
All that said, I have only two words, inspired by the basketball fans of Boston, left to say.