Thursday, October 7, 2010

Four Days in October

I will not use ESPN movies to come up with ideas for my blog
I will not use ESPN movies to come up with ideas for my blog
I will not use ESPN movies to come up with ideas for my blog

…starting next week

There are many reasons not to write about this past week’s ESPN movie “Four Days in October”. I call this blog “Running Thoughts”, the movie was a baseball movie. It is a stretch to write about a movie that I watched while running on a treadmill. Even more problematic, I already did this last week. Then at least, it was a running movie. Still, I can’t resist.

First of all, it’s October. As a red-blooded American, my mind is on baseball. Of course, my beloved Red Sox, whose miraculous come back victory was the theme of “Four Days”, are home for the playoffs. Even worse, the hated Yankees are still alive. Second, how often do I laugh, cheer and call out to the screen while running on the treadmill? As I watched the Red Sox comeback from down three games to none, down to their final three outs, scenes I have seen many times since their victory in 2004, I found myself doing all those things. Anything that makes me happy while running on the treadmill is connected to running. If I could have a pickup truck with a screen drive in front of me with this movie playing, I am convinced I could run a sub 3 hour marathon. It is that good. Third, there is pathos in watching the movie. Even though I know how the story ends, I found myself getting tense with every Yankees hit and every Red Sox out. Even more so, every Sox fan they interviewed had the same experience I had when I listened to the game as it happened live six years ago, a sense of certain doom. 86 years of futility can do that to a person, a city and even a region. Even if you are not a baseball fan, watching millions of us suffering fools finally taste victory has got to be pretty powerful.

After the Sox won the series, my wife told me about a short story she once read about a community that spent years futilely hunting a bear. After years, someone finally killed the bear. What should have been cause for celebration, led to depression. They came to realize that the failed hunt had brought them together. I fear it has become that way for the Sox. Real fans bemoan the fact that Fenway Park has become a place to be seen, rather than a place for real fans to watch a game, a place where people come to sing “Sweet Caroline”, rather than watch the Sox. It is hard for me to imagine that my youngest son, the only one who is a Sox fan (the others are Yankee fans, how is that for pathos?) will turn five tomorrow in a world where the Red Sox have won more World Series in the last ten years than the Yankees (note to G-d, please, pretty please keep it that way. I’ll be a better person, I’ll help orphans. PLEASE). The 28 years of suffering I went through before the Sox finally won, were worth it for moments of joy like I experienced while reliving “Four Days in October”.

PLEASE donate in my mom’s memory to help children with cancer:

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