Thursday, 3 November 2016

The Best Distraction...Possibly EVER.

Last evening I retired to my couch, no snacks in hand due to the unfortunate timing of a medically induced fast, in order to watch Game Seven of the World Series. I did this primarily because I am a baseball fan. The Blue Jays are my lifelong love, but I am first and foremost a baseball fan. There are beauty and poetry on that field. Every pitch of every game is a separate contest within the main. It is the only team sport where the individual battles, those of pitcher versus hitter, have the potential of changing outcomes. It is a thinking person's game. The cerebral player can succeed right alongside the physically gifted. Head, heart, and muscle all combine in one perfect incarnation, the baseball player.

So, settling in to watch the seventh game of the World Series, even though my beloved Blue Birds had been eliminated by one of the final two, was a foregone conclusion. I expected to be swept up in excitement. I expected to be entertained. I expected to hear from friends from both Cleveland and Chicago during the game as to the range of emotions they were feeling. I fully expected a collective experience.

I didn't expect it to be a sui generis moment.

It was rare. A once in a lifetime viewing experience, made even more unique with the involvement of social media. For a split second, it felt as though most of North America was engaged in exactly the same thing at exactly the same time. The Husband was texting me what he was going through from a bar in D.C, as he viewed with election-weary Beltway denizens desperate for a distraction. My Facebook feed was clogged with friends from both sides of the diamond. My Twitter feed, which has been filled with ugliness, misogyny, antisemitism, and hate for weeks, suddenly became all about the beauty of baseball. Casual observers were suddenly transfixed. Rabid fans were hyperventilating. Both teams were equal in their excellence. There was a moment during the unbelievably and most certainly divinely inspired rain delay when I mused honestly about not wanting the game to end, even though it was way past my bedtime. I found myself kibbitzing online with friends, as we all recognized the communal joy. It was singular and beautiful and it can't ever possibly be repeated.

I am not a Cubs fan, but I felt their unmitigated joy. I am not a Cleveland fan, but I was absolutely crestfallen for them. For one night in November, baseball was pure again. The outside shit ceased to exist for just a nanosecond, as we all reveled in beauty together.

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