Sharpening our wits on the grindstone of Life: Game over .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Sharpening our wits on the grindstone of Life

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Game over

I wasn't even going to write about the World Series at all. After all, every publication in the country has journalists covering this event, so what could I add of value? But Wyld Jr. tells me that he and his friends were following my coverage of the playoffs, so I'll do one for the Gipper, as it were (I know, wrong sport, but play along, wouldja?)

Back in July, our own hometown newspaper (the Houston Chronicle) wrote the Astros' season off as over. I believe the headline had R.I.P. in it. Three months later we were in the World Series. That's the kind of wild ride we've been on here in Houston for the past few months.

First there was the amazing wild card race. Then the more amazing playoffs. The 18 inning game (that's two regular games!) to finish off Atlanta. Five exciting games against St. Louis, which could have easily been seven.

And then the World Series. First time ever for Houston, first time in 92 years for the White Sox. The battle of the stepchildren, if you will. And although we didn't win a single game in the series, I'm proud of the Astros. They played like Champions. They never quit, they were gentlemen throughout, and they went down swinging.

I have to admit, I've watched more baseball in the past two months than I have all season. I only went to one game at Minute Maid Park this year. But I have a feeling that'll change next year.

I don't want to get the merchandiser's hopes up. I won't be going out and buying every promotional item available like the average consumer. I still have shirts and hats from the Rockets' championship years. But I'll probably buy a few five dollar hot dogs, so if you own stock in Aramark, hang on to it.

I love baseball. It's the one game that I can still play in my old age without getting seriously damaged. Sure, I can still throw a football, but one good tackle and I'll be watching those Mobility Plus commercials with more interest. Likewise hoops. Anyone who says basketball isn't a contact sport hasn't played in my neighborhood.

Baseball brings out the best and the worst in people. You can tell who a person really is by how he or she plays baseball. Honor, dignity, selfishness, foolish pride - they all come out while you're playing the game.

And the Astros have shown that in the past few months. Honor, dignity, and yes, even foolish pride, but I'm still proud to call them my team.

Roger Clemens, Andy Pettite, Craig Biggio - these guys live in my town. Some of them grew up here. While Houston was showing itself for the world class city that it is in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, these guys were representing us in Major League Baseball. And represent they did. They made it to the World Series, for the first time ever.

So as they go home to their family and friends, I hope they can rest assured that in my eyes and many others', they are champions in the truest definition of the word. They played with honor and dignity through the good times and the bad.

After all the excitement, the heartaches, the extra innings and the extra snackage, I have to say that I had fun. And that's what the game is all about.


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