Monday, October 11, 2004


It was Saturday afternoon, and I'd already watched more sports than I normally do on a Saturday.  The Texas-OU game, the USC-Cal game, parts of Tennessee-Georgia (did I say Florida-Georgia in my last entry?  Never mind me, I'm an idiot).  And the Twins-Yankees.  So when Ruben Sierra launched a homerun into the baggie in right-center field to tie the game up at 5-5 in the 8th inning, you know what I did?

I went to church.

Now, this is not my normal response to a tense sporting event.  I don't think I've ever prayed to a higher being for a desired outcome in a sporting event.  (No, not even in BOB in the bottom of the 9th in Game 7, 2001; not even from my living room while watching the 1993 NCAA men's basketball championship.)

No, we'd decided earlier in the day to try out the Saturday evening service at our church.  And seeing as the game didn't involve the Diamondbacks, it would've been hard to argue that I needed to stick around here.  So Sierra hit the homerun, I hit the off-button on the TV, and then...

Back about 5 years ago, John Sayles made a movie called Limbo.  It's set in Alaska, and the final act of the movie focuses on 3 characters facing a difficult challenge and an uncertain future.  The last scene is very ambiguous, so much so that many audiences hated it.  Audibly.  In the commentary track on the DVD, Sayles doesn't talk much about the conclusion, but does say that he didn't think the ending was that important since he'd (hopefully) established what he wanted to say about the characters.  The plot mechanics at that point were beside the point.

So it was the movie in mind that I consciously chose to not listen to the radio on the way to or from church, and, coming home after dinner, that I chose not to watch Game 3 of the Dodgers-Cardinals series.  I would choose to believe that I was happy that the Twins had done well again this year and that Santana had pitched well enough in his two games that people nationally would understand why he'll get the Cy Young Award.

Of course, that didn't stop me from letting out an audible sigh when I picked up the paper Sunday morning and saw that the Yankees ended up winning the game in the 11th inning, a win that was part-and-parcel of a weekend full of sucker punches of games -- Michigan coming from behind again to win the Little Brown Jug from the Golden Gophers; Texas not getting anything going against OU; the Cardinals collapsing against the 49ers.  Faced with a string of losses like that, you're forced to either believe that the universe is evil, or that there are other positive things to take out of the sports world than just the final score.  I'll choose the latter, but it's testing my faith.

Sorry if I've sort of ignored the Cardinals-Dodgers series and completely ignored the Astros-Braves series.  At least the Astros and Braves will finally play a game in prime time tonight, Game 5.  I've seen nothing, however, that leads me to believe that the winner won't be lucky to push the Cardinals to six games.  They could get lucky, of course, but it won't matter, because nobody will be paying attention to that series anyway.

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