When the Phillies’ season ended last year, it threw me into such a negative head space that I stopped watching baseball until Spring Training. I was miserable. I can still remember turning off the TV as soon as Howard grounded out and throwing my remote on the floor in anger. In fact, I was so quick to turn off the TV that I didn’t actually see Howard fall on the ground; it wasn’t until the next day that I found out about his Achilles injury.
When the Phillies’ season ended this year, I wasn’t angry. Nor was I ready to stop watching baseball. In fact, I threw myself into the postseason; I’ve watched more baseball this month than I did during any other month (watching the better part of four games a day will do that).
In a lot of ways, though, I think it’s not so much about my head space with respect to the Phillies as it is about my head space with respect to baseball. I think baseball is officially my favorite sport now. Days without baseball are rough (and the offseason is fast approaching, boo). It’s weird that baseball is my favorite sport since I’ve been either anti or ambivalent for most of my life. I was ambivalent as recently as 2008. (Not to completely out myself as a bandwagon or fair-weather fan. Mainly since I don’t think those labels apply to me.)
In 2008 I had the Preston & Steve podcast to keep me updated on the Phils whether I wanted it or not. And it was hard not to get some postseason excitement from the P&S crew. But I didn’t watch much in the way of game action. I remember following the box scores on ESPN.com and the ESPN ScoreCenter app during the NLDS. (In my memory all of the NLDS games were played while I was at work or driving home from work. That’s probably not correct, though.) I remember putting Game 4 on my TV at a time that I assumed would be close to the end of the game. I only remember watching the bottom of the ninth, so I seem to have guessed well. I remember paying almost no attention to the NLCS. Again, though, I turned my TV to baseball during Game 5 at a time that I assumed was near the end. And, again, I only remember watching the bottom of the ninth. My modus operandi during the World Series was the same as that during the NLCS. Although at that point it was partly driven by superstition. The difference, of course, was that when I turned on Game 5 it was only the sixth inning and the game was about to be suspended. I actually watched all of Game 5B (as it’s often called). The suspended game was so wacky that I allowed myself to believe that the Phillies actually had a chance of winning the World Series. And I didn’t want to miss out on that experience. Which was amazing, I must say.
I remember sitting on my couch, watching all of the postgame awards and whatnot, and thinking “so this is what this feels like.” (Remember that the city of Philadelphia hadn’t won a championship in the four major sports since I was almost 3 years old; I was gonna celebrate any team that brought a trophy to the City of Brotherly Love.) Once FOX’s postgame stuff was over I decided to check the Philly TV stations’ Websites to see if they were streaming any live coverage online. Luckily, the first station I checked (6ABC) was 🙂 I’m pretty sure I stayed up past midnight reveling in 6ABC’s online coverage. Then I set an alarm to get up at 5 AM (an hour earlier than usual), so that I could listen to Preston & Steve online from 6-7. For the first time since I’d started podcasting, I wasn’t willing to wait and listen to it the next day. I was still in such a good mood the next morning that I flew out of bed at 5 and at 6 I was ready to listen to P&S until I had to leave for work. They basically gave the whole show over to celebratory phone calls from listeners, too, so it was pretty much the perfect thing to listen to that day. (Or any day, really. I still have that podcast saved in my iTunes.)
Wow, this wasn’t actually supposed to be “Kristin remembers the 2008 postseason,” but this was a fun trip down memory lane for me. The point is that I’ve enjoyed watching baseball this postseason even if pretty much every series ended with the team I was rooting against advancing. And you can bet I’ll be watching Game 4 of the World Series tomorrow night. But I might watch Once Upon a Time during the 8 o’clock hour, though. It’ll fortify me to watch the Hunter Pence-led (barf) Giants win the damn World Series. (This is what I mean when I talk about every series ending in disaster. Although I don’t think I’d be so angry about the Giants winning it all if MLB hadn’t started pushing that damn Pence narrative in the NLDS. That narrative is the reason I hate Hunter Pence now. Well, that and his creepy-ass beard.)