Date: Tuesday, February 5, 2002
Subject: Absolute Joy
Today marked the second morning I have awakened to this unfamiliar feeling. It is peaceful, relaxed, no anxiety about matchups, no knot in my stomach at the prospect of paradise snatched away. It is also rather weird.
One of my longstanding complaints about being a Boston sports fan has been that the joy never seems to measure up to the pain in terms of absolute value. Sure, the Celtics beat the Rockets in '81 and '86, but they were supposed to. And yes, it was incredible when we beat the Lakers in Game 7 in '84, but the game was in the Garden where we never lost, except, of course in '85 and '87 when we bowed to the Lakers (see above: pain). The joy of Hendu and Oil Can and Rocket in Games 5, 6 and 7 of the '86 ALCS was cruelly eradicated by subsequent events, overwhelming in their pain quotient.
But this... this is Bobby Thomson, only better. This is Bobby Thomson chasing home Hartung and Lockman with his game-winning blast in the seventh game of the World Series. Remember, the Giants lost the '51 Series to who else. But Adam Vinatieri's blast won the whole damned thing. The joy is unmuted.
I've never gotten over the '86 Series. So it's only fair that I never get over this either.