October 29, 2011 § 14 Comments
PICTURED: at Game 6:
D wearing white cap, clapping and seated to left of Nor; Nor in pink knit hat looking at game; Snarl in black cap and red vest and leaning next to Nor, listening to her; and HM, seated next to Snarl, in red cap and white moustache and clapping – at Game 6. (haven’t downloaded pics from Game 7 yet!)
1. Being part of a “code”: Cardinals fans know what a “rally squirrel” is, what it means to chant Ya-di, that Berkman has a grand sense of humor and intense game focus, that Pujols should not be walked, that Freese offers great wordplay including “deep freeze,” that LaRussa has an impacable game face…
2. Loving a team. Even more. But you always have. It’s a regional thing. A cultural thing. An osmosis thing. You would defend their individual honor if pressed to do so, whether by the water cooler or in a lineup.
3. Being part of a “grand scheme.” First the games and then the divisional wins. And now the Big Kahuna of championships, and you belong!!!!
4. That moment, that high, albeit ephemeral for a fan, when your team is ahead and throws the last strike against the other team. A moment that transfixes while life rushes ahead and they’re on the field, piling on one another in congratulations and you’re still standing there, feeling that last winning pitch moment, reeling…and then hugging everyone.
5. Understanding perserverance.Someone has to win and this time it’s your team, it’s you. Because they’re good. Not because they’re lucky, not because they’re a shot in the dark, not because they’re a Cinderella team but because they are good – really really good at the game.
6. The rock-concert high that’s being part of a crowd insane with delight – no whoop or holler is too loud, no screams of delight are too odd, no talking to the players, egging them on during the game, is too wrong. (we were NOT into booing or deriding the other team. no, really, we were not.)
7. It’s real. It’s not a screenplay or a book or anything at all that was contrived. This is real life, real sports, unfolding in real time and brilliantly done, beyond ordinary expectation or a scripted perfect ending. It’s all real.
8. The power of communal effort and vibes for the greater good. Cheering contributes to team effort. Or, it really seems so. And that’s good enough. And our team thanked us. Midwest down home stuff? Don’t care – it’s sincere.
9. Believing. It’s not just winning that makes you believe; it’s being there. It’s knowing that deep down you knew something like this huge WIN could actually truly literally happen.
10. Interacting positively with 100s and 1000s of people you’ve never seen before. We talked in line waiting to get into the stadium; we talked to one another in our seats and in line for the loo and at the refreshement stands; we whooped, hollered, hooted, trilled and laughed as we spilled down the stairs and escalators on our way out of the stadium to meet another huge crowd who’d gathered outside the gates to feel the win. Traipsing toward our cars, crossing streets, circling clusters of cops who were smilingly benign, there were high fives and hugs unhesitatingly given and shared – have any of us spent so much time smiling at one time, ever?
Then going home to watch everything again on TV and remembering every moment. And the interviews! and the Cardinal clubhouse celebration! Ah, there are more than 10 things about winning.
The above are written in the glow of the autumn morning afterwards, where indeed all the leaves have not fallen off the trees and the light is golden, like the win last night.
October 17, 2010 § 8 Comments
Not unusual, I am passionate about having the right to vote, as a human and as a woman, although I’d likely never be recognized as a flag waving, opinion-spewing civil politico.
Still, when we all stood for the national anthem at the last Cardinals game two weeks ago and discovered that we, the fans, were singing the national anthem, it was pretty freakin’ moving.
Given the first four notes by the organist (his last game, last day), we sang a cappella from the fifth note, forward.
We stayed together.
We hit the “high” notes.
When we finished, there was this pause, then uninhibited cheering.
Forty-four thousand people singing Keye’s composition.
Surely a defining moment in the life of the word “cool.”