Baseball Magazine

It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst…

By Tfabp
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”
- The opening paragraph of A Tale of Two Cities or MY thoughts after watching the first two games of the 2011 NY Yankee Playoffs with friends.
October has always been my favorite time of the year. The leaves changing colors, the warm apple cider, the first blaze in the woodstove, maybe cooking up a nice pork loin or pot roast in the oven, playoff baseball and the beginning of football season. But all those “best of times” come with a dark side, a slice of some despair with a topping of melancholy. Colorful leaves means falling leaves and raking, the warmed cider and oven roasted goodness means extra dish scrubbing and cleaning, the woodstove means ashes and soot, the beginning of football season can see ones team buried and out of it in the first three weeks. For me, the baseball playoffs with the NY Yankees also means lots of hand wringing, worries, nerves and feelings of insecurity.
I get nervous watching “my” teams play. I hate when they lose, sure, but I also hate it when they don’t play well and yet continue to watch because of the fear that changing my routines will somehow cause them to play worse, lose a game or the most deadly of all, be out of the playoffs. During the Giant’s Super Bowl run and victory against the over confident New England Patriots, it meant nachos every game and when we missed one, the Giant’s lost. This is how I get to spend a good part of the fall, with the Yankees and Giants (NFL) and this is how I spent this past weekend, the first weekend in October with them and some good friends.
It was the best of times, it was the worst…
Over the years I really enjoyed sharing the baseball playoffs and football season with my son, and up until he went away to college, it was a usual evening and weekend bonding experience. We were there together through the last Yankee Championship, the Giants Super Bowl run and lots of other similar activities. The intensity was infectious as we eventually lured my daughter and wife into this sports bacchanal. Unfortunately this changed as both my son and daughter headed off to college and I missed it a great deal. A couple of years ago however, we discovered an alternative – LIVE TWEETING or LVE CHATTING each of the games. This is a blog about baseball, not technology but let’s just set the meaning of this as - we communicated with each other during the games over the internet, which enhanced the enjoyment. It made the nervousness a little more palatable, sharing it, and so going into this year’s baseball playoffs, we decided to invite some friends to join the CHAT with us. So beginning on Friday night, into the rain suspended abyss, through the Saturday baseball game and Sunday baseball and football contests we were “LIVE CHATTING THE GAMES”.
It was the best of times, it was the worst…
Did it help? Absolutely not. I continued to be nervous and crazed at times, peering through my fingers at the screen when tensions ran high. I found out that my friends were as nervous and crazed as I was and instead of getting comfort in that, I simply allowed it to ratchet up my own insecurities. Conversational flow tended to mitigate the nerves but the collective angst was palpable throughout the entire sports watching weekend.
Did I learn anything? Absolutely yes! I learned several new and creative ways to curse and swear on the internet, and enjoyed each and every one of them. I learned that others too suffer this affliction with me and sharing it helps makes for even more creative cursing. But most importantly, I learned I have some great friends who enjoy taking a bit of time out of their busy schedules to indulge in this mindless, unproductive but totally rewarding slice of life, whether around the corner or a thousand miles away. Yes, I learned that this could be the worst of times, but also that it was the best of times too.
It was the best of times, it was the worst…
(Special thanks for all the fun this weekend to JHop, Shane, CollegeBoy, Maqz, and even Carrie who was there for all of 8 seconds but provided a spark we all enjoyed. Manhattan Man, don't worry, we'll figure this thing out for you and get a chance to read your pearls of wisdom too. Looking forward to doing it again, like tonight…)

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