More than just a game

My beloved Atlanta Braves lost today, prematurely bounced out of the playoffs for yet another year. Despite winning their Baseball division every year since 1991, the Braves are seldom able to advance beyond the first round of the playoffs.

Today's loss in Houston, however, was at least an historic one; the 18-inning battle with the Houston Astros was the longest playoff game ever played. I remember being glued to the TV watching the previous longest post-season game ever; the Astros-Mets 16-inning duel in 1986.

This time, however, the Astros came out on top. Jayson Stark, of ESPN.com, captured Houston's post-game euphoria brilliantly:

Astros players couldn't stop hugging. Fans who had sat in their seats for six hours had no interest in leaving, even after this game was over. Families posed for photos of themselves amidst the bedlam. It was a scene that summed up exactly why sports hold the place they do in our world. Clearly, this wasn't merely a game these folks had just experienced. It was a special day in their lives.

Indeed. Despite the outragous salaries that professional athletes are now making, like many fans, I still love the game and follow baseball religiously. Sports still casts a magical spell upon us and remains a special part of our lives.

The Braves may have lost again - done in this time by a weak bullpen - but there is always the hope of next season. In the meantime, all I can say is: Go Astros!


1 comment:

John in Atlanta said...

I watched the entire game. What a roller coaster ride it was. That 18th inning HR by Chris Burke broke my heart. Both teams played exceptionally well and the fact that they went 18 innings (two games by my reasoning) meant that they were evenly matched. It was a stalemate until Burke's homer.