Thursday, October 30, 2008

the last game..

So there we were. Over at Barnaby's. Friends gathering around the tv closest to them. A sea of red and white and Philadelphia love. A love that goes so deep for sports, family, and friends that you would have to be here to experience it. So it comes down to "Lights Out" Lidge. Three outs and the rest of your life. Three outs to forgetting about Joe Carter, the Toronto Blue Jays, the Patriots, the Edmonton Oilers, and every other stinkin team we lost to in the Championship game. This is for all those days I watched games down the shore with my Mom-Mom and the picture of me on the picnic table with my Phillies batting helmet. Sans clothes. For Harry and Whitey. For Schmitty and for the Flyin Hawaiin. For Cole, Ryan, Geoff, Eric, So, Ruiz, Chris Coste who waited so long for this moment. For J-Roll who is so passionate that he's honest. For Brett, Durbs, Blanty, and Mad Dog Madsen.....For Pat the Bat & Werth. For that 93 team of misfits that I lived and died with as they lost to the Blue Jays......And Charlie, thank you...

So there we all were. Drinks clenched, mouths watering, emotions seeping through our pores, and tears being held back by grown men who live and die with Philly. I was in a group of about 10 of my friends and about 100 in the bar. Closes to the tv near the window. And that final pitch....that final out. It stands in time forever. So crisp. So unbelievable. Amazing....I can't hear. Lidge drops to his knees as Ruiz comes out and the entire team jumps in a pit of celebration..The entire bar is at the highest decible. I'm hugging my friends. Yelling to my cousin. Jumping up and down until I can barely stand. I almost feel like I'm floating....

Timmy makes the call..."We're going down to Broad & Pattison...." And not even a second thought and we barrell in the car and head down 95. Past everything. Past the lights of the night. Past the Navy Yard and down to Broad Street....A sea of red going absolutely crazy. People slapping hands, loving this win, loving their city, loving life. Guys, girls, sisters, brothers, cousins, uncles...all Philly. I spent most of the time just taking it all in. People all over the monuments. Taking pictures. Hugging, kissing, slapping, waving, cheering.....I ran through a sea of cars slapping hands. I didn't know what to do, but I wanted to get people involved. That's me. And this was a great night for a city to fall in love with their hometown heroes.

I've been waiting 28 years for this day. And it was worth every day of it.

Go Phils.


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