One of my favorite parts of watching softball, and now baseball, is watching how quickly momentum shifts from team to team, from pitcher to hitter, from runner to fielder. From fan to fan. If you were watching the World Series last night, you know what I mean.
Alex has been a Saint Louis fan for years. My Great Grandma Aggie was one too…I remember her listening to the games on the radio, keeping her box scores. Now I might have to join them, based on their sheer come-back-kidnacity. I’m not giving up on the Giants, mind you, just keeping a second team in my back pocket.
That momentum thing…it’s so fickle and so weird. It is invisible, but everyone can see it. In body language, in facial expression, and the belief that this game belongs to you, at the moment, if you just push a little harder. Last night I gave up on them several times (admit it, you did too…it was the last pitch and the last out…twice). And then they came back, over and over again. They kept grabbing the momentum away from the Rangers (and while we’re talking Texas, why does Nolan Ryan always look like such a grumpy butt?).
I’ve never played sports, so I don’t really know what lifts up a player. I don’t know if the fans make a difference, or preparation, or if it’s just the magic of the moment. I suspect it’s the combination of everything in a spontaneous joyful combustion. And, with all respect to all religions, I don’t think God answers prayers by providing runs. Watching the Cards come back from 10 games behind on August 25 (and Alex updated us daily on this) to today, has been a delightful example of “it’s not over until it’s over.” And if we needed an exclamation point, last night’s late inning comebacks were the perfect punctuation.
The thing is, momentum shifts, all the time. So you have to be ready for it when it’s your turn. That’s all I know, the rest is guessing. If I knew the secret, I could bottle it up and pour it in my morning coffee. Until then, I’m pretty sure the first part of the secret is showing up to work, believing that you can make a difference, somewhere. And since it’s 8:02 am, I guess it’s time I do just that. See you on the flip side.
Photo credit: New York Times