Sunday, October 02, 2005
Well, I feel OK.
I'm not entirely sure what this is. Is it the long-touted Red Sox Fan Mellowing, retroactive to the end of the 2004 season? Now, when it matters most, we let the Yankees take the division on our field, let them pop the champagne in our clubhouse (and we'll probably have to disinfect that room for WEEKS now before it's habitable again; the sheer levels of Yankeeness in there are horrific to contemplate. I envision some sort of terrible caked-up pinstriped goo on all the walls and little NY-patterened spots of mold lurking in the corners). And I shrug, snort a little at Joe Torre tearing up and sniffelling through his massive gourd of a proboscis, and change the channel.
No big deal. We'll just have to win tomorrow, is all.
Shouldn't I be flipping out? Shouldn't I be horrified, not that Wake's knuckler wasn't working (something that you just have to accept when you have a knuckleballing pitcher), but that he or Mirabelli thought it was a good idea to float a fastball in to Gary Sheffield? Shouldn't I be concerned about Billy striking out too much, and Edgar not hitting at all, and the umps making very dubious calls (c'mon, Matsui was dancing in the dandelions there). Shouldn't I be quailing in sheer horror at the thought of Mr. The Mind is Willing but the Body May Not Be Schilling tomorrow? Shouldn't I be absolutely incensed that we let the Yankees clinch the division after being down by a billion games earlier in the year, with HGHiambi and the parade of rookie/castoff pitchers at the helm?
Yeah, probably. So why am I so bloody calm? Is this really that final manifestation of the World Series Calm that we were supposed to all get? Am I really, finally, after a whole season of ripping my hair out over Edgar clonking himself on the head with a bat and the bullpen slowly imploding into a small ball of ineptitude, accepting the fact that possibly falling short this year is OK because we won it all last year?
Yeah, right. I mean, you people know me, I'm insane and bitter over everything. Things aren't gonna change now right at the end.
The reason everything seems OK right now?
This is why.
Also this, this, and this.
Cause I'm sorry kids but that's two years in a row now that we've taken MSU to overtime and that's two years in a row that we've won it... not just won it, but won it in such a fashion that their spirits are totally broken. That's two years in a row where no one thought we could win (last year because we were down by 17 with scant few minutes left in the 4th quarter, this year because we were coming in unranked and on the heels of a bad loss and our defense wouldn't be able to handle Drew Stanton) and we went right ahead and won anyhow and no one in Wolverine Country has any stomach lining left at all after the stress of this game, but it was worth it.
It was ever so very worth it.
Michigan/Michigan State is one of the greatest rivalries in sports. I'm actually very lucky, to have vested interests in so many of the greatest rivalries... Michigan/MSU, Michigan/Ohio State, Red Sox/Yankees, Tigers/bases on balls, Tom Brady/Peyton Manning, Lions/their own burning desire to screw up simple simple plays, Dolphins/Ricky Williams, Kyle Farnsworth/pitchers on the other team who piss him off.
There are certain things that make a rivalry great, things that Michigan/MSU so clearly highlights... There Is No Such Thing As a Lead. Not ever, not even when you think you've got an insurmountable number of points. Ratings and rankings don't matter when the game starts. Big guys will step up even bigger (hi Mike Hart, you saved me from a life of woe). Dramatic wins and catastrophic losses become the norm.
It applies to Michigan, it applies to the Red Sox.
So I'm happy because Michigan beat the hated Spartans, the drooling poltroons bearing the green and white standard, and we did it in their house, and we did it when all the pundits thought we hadn't got a chance. There's nothing better than beating your big rival, nothing at all.
And I'm not too upset about the Sox because we can still take the Wild Card, and postseason is postseason so long as you get there. And there's no such thing as a safe lead. Not ever. Not for anyone. Not in a big rivalry like this.
That said, we need to win tomorrow, or I'm stabbing an exacto knife through my eye.