What culminated Wednesday night is straight up inexplicable.Â So, I won’t even attempt to recap the chain of events.Â If you missed it, that’s too bad.Â It was absolutely one of, if not THE single greatest and most epic nights in MLB history.
Think about it, on the final night of the season, three meaningful games were in progress to determine which teams (Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, and Tampa Rays) would survive to play October baseball.Â Two games went to extra innings and the other game was won in the bottom of the ninth.Â Amazing.
Forget all of those over-hyped new shows, Wednesday’s games were hands down the best must-see TV event of the young Fall season.Â I felt like I didn’t even have enough TVs to follow all of the action.Â Flipping between YES and ESPN and live look-ins weren’t enough.Â The excitement was next level.Â Like, March Madness type of next level.
This moment is definitely among the most memorable sports nights of my lifetime.Â Here are five reasons why, all from the perspective of a NY Yankees fan.
The ability to enjoy an unbelievable night of baseball without stressing over the outcome was great.Â Normally, I’d be pulling my hair out, ignoring phone calls, and breaking out in a sweat.Â But last night, I was able to indulge in a glass of wine, call/text/tweet at will, and truly enjoy being a fan and spectator.Â While I did cheer for the Rays, I wasn’t emotionally vested either way.Â I was completely relaxed in knowing that my Yankees were moving on regardless of what happened and man, that was a cool feeling.
The unpredictable twist of Mother Nature opening the skies while the Red Sox were up 3-2 in the middle of the 7th inning was a major game changer. While I’m sure the Red Sox would’ve preferred a few insurance runs,Â I guarantee they thought they had the win in the bag once they retreated to the clubhouse and saw the Yankees held a 7-0 lead.Â And then the 8th inning arrived.Â The Rays put up six runs and were one run away from tying the game.Â Who in the hell saw that coming?Â Imagining the panic the Red Sox must have felt while watching each Rays player tag home is priceless.
I love that the Red Sox were one strike away from a victory and then Jonathan Papelbon blew it.Â Isn’t it ironic that the Red Sox entire season came to a halt on Papelbum’s watch?Â If the Red Sox had won one more game, perhaps say, oh I don’t know…the one he blew against Baltimore on 9/20, the Red Sox would have been spared the agony.
Once it was official, Red Sox out, Rays in, I began to ponder all of the subplots the media’s going to force upon us.Â For the next few days at least, everyone and their mama will discuss who’s to blame for the Red Sox collapse.Â And since I have the mic, I’m going to go on record and suggest that the ESPN The Mag cover may have had a little something to do with it.Â Since the issue officially dropped on Friday, Beantown hasn’t necessarily had the best sports week ever.Â The New England Patriots blew a 21-0 lead to the Buffalo Bills, Tom Brady threw 4 INTs, and now this.Â It could just be a coincidence, but I prefer to think of it as a curse.Â Good thing they had their 10-year run because it looks like their reign at the top may be over.Â Just sayin’.
And finally, the Red
Sux Sox lose!Â As a Yankees fan, there’s no greater joy than knowing the Yankees played a role in sending the Red Sox back to Boston as losers.Â Even though it looked like the Yankees were seriously competing (which I was against by the way) and legitimately lost a 7 run lead, I don’t care.Â Watching Evan Longoria suck the life out of Red Sox Nation with one swing, just three minutes after the Baltimore Orioles played spoiler was the perfect climax to cap a roller-coaster like night of highs and more highs.
Yes, it’s been said before, but I think it’s worth repeating.Â Sports is absolutely the best unscripted reality show to ever exist in the history of life.
You know Bud Selig was happier than a pig in shit watching the drama unfold.Â Now, that all eyes are on him and his league, let’s hope the upcoming sequels (playoffs and World Series) are just as thrilling as the original production.