Monday, September 22, 2008

Sports Sunday - Final Game at Yankee Stadium

I spent yesterday nursing my sore muscles after three flag football games this past weekend. The timing worked out well because there were plenty of sports I cared about on TV, and I didn't have plans otherwise.

After about an hour at the dog park, Rosie and I came home and watched the NFL pregame and a Pats game where the defense must have been stuck in traffic on 95 South.

Bummer that the Giants game was not on TV in Boston, but after the Patriots blowout, CBS switched over to the end of the Giants-Bengals game - just in time to see the Giants score the go-ahead touchdown, the Bengals tie (and almost win) the game (which they might have done with far better clock management), and then the Giants win it in overtime. Excellent.

Sports are just about the only thing I watch live on TV these days. Almost everything else, I DVR and skip the commercials.

While NFL week 3 continued, another once-in-a-lifetime event was broadcast on ESPN - the final game at Yankee Stadium. I have to say that their interviews of past Yankees players and managers, decades of highlights, and general revelry were tasteful and emotional.

I strongly identify with the Yankees teams from the 1996-2000 era, which feels like just yesterday. Tino Martinez, Paul O'Neill, Scott Brosius, David Wells, Wade Boggs, Bernie Williams, and David Cone all made it back for final trots onto the field, all to rousing ovations from the fans. I could not determine if O'Neill's or Bernie's was louder, but both were amazingly emotional. Of course a few players from that era - Rivera, Jeter, Pettitte, and Posada - are still playing. What a crew.

To Boston fans - give or take a few players, think current Sox incarnation if they win two more World Series this and next season. 4 titles in 5 years isn't easy to accomplish. Sox fans' mindsets right now are likely where mine were in '98 after winning for the second time - on the verge of feeling destined to win. For me, it happened twice more in two seasons....and then never again (yet). I don't think I accepted that the golden years were over until about '04. In '01, after an emotional series after 9/11, I still can't believe we didn't win it. '02 was an early first round exit, and '03 was the Aaron Boone incident (after which the Yanks forgot to show up for the World Series).

Losing to the Sox after being up 3 games to 0 was the exact moment that the baton was passed to Boston.

So, it was nice to see a proper sendoff for Yankee Stadium to add to the memories of my final trip there.

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