Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Greatest Game Ever

Remember when M. Night Shayamalan was making movies where you couldn't guess the ending. Films that made you hit rewind and do the "ahh" thing and shake your head. That was what it was like to watch tonight Game Five between the Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays.

The Net is littered with reports on what happened, so surely you know by now. You know about the crazy Russell Martin throwing error that led to a Texas 3-2 lead in the top of the 7th. You know about the three consecutive errors in the bottom of the inning by a Texas team that had masked its defensive deficiencies for the past four games. And you certainly know about one of the biggest home runs in Blue Jays history, the mammoth three run shot by Bautista that brought the stadium to a living roar, so loud it seemed about to come alive.

As a fan, it's one of the best moments of my life. Yes, I remember Carter's home run in the World Series in '93, but the Blue Jays had been great for a long time, and they'd won the previous year. It was awesome, but it was expected.

This? This was not. This was Bruce Willis playing a ghost in Sixth Sense.

It was startling. Unexpected. And gut wrenching in emotion.

Nothing, as a Toronto sports fan, after so many years of mediocrity, could prepare you for such a moment.

I had tears in my eyes for the last two innings. And I doubt that I'm the only one.

Sports is a form of theatre, though it is often masked in macho idiocy and overstated cliches. And when you're a fan, you put up with the nonsense, the same stilted dialogue, always hoping for that one moment that changes everything. That moment that lifts you out of your seat. That moment that causes your stomach to wrench with joy and look for the nearest person to high-five. (Or that moment that gives you $100M to play with for three more movies until they realize you don't have it anymore)

Not only did Bautista hit the home run heard around Canada, we then watched the youngest player in baseball strike out four of the last five Rangers, including a swinging strike on the last pitch of the game, to complete it.

It was more than a game. It was a story told for the ages and one that will be replayed as much for generations to come. No, it wasn't the World Series. But in a city starved for winners, where films ended by the likable protagonist usually ending with a knife in their throat, this Blue Jays victory will go down in history as one of the best games this city has ever seen.

Not even Shayalaman could have written this piece.

No. It was much better than that.