In “Sailing to Byzantium,” the Irish poet W.B. Yeats wrote “that is no country for old men,” and I’m starting to believe that Yeats may have been referencing the elusive lands traversed by the postseason baseball fan.
Now that I’ve exhausted everyone’s patience with literary allusion, allow me to explain.
The last time the Red Sox went deep into the postseason was in 2008 when they lost to the Rays in the ALCS. At the time, I was in my early-30s, vivacious and sprite. Now, however, as I push the 40 hump, as Bob Dylan wrote, “Things have changed.”
To begin—and I fully acknowledge that I’m sounding like a grumpy old man here—the games are on too damn late, especially as with the championship series, where most games aren’t starting until 8 p.m. Does the MLB not realize that those of us on the East Coast have to work the next morning? By the time the game ends, and after I’ve come down from the adrenalin rush and adequately iced my hand after punching walls, it is pushing 1 a.m.
Take, for example, the clinching Game 4 against Tampa in ALDS. It is downright obscene to suggest that anyone who doesn’t wear a Pink Hat wouldn’t stay up to watch Koji Uehara close the door on the genius Joe Maddon and his litter of leg-humping puppies. And if anyone who went to bed before watching Buchholz douse my girl Jenny Dell in beer missed the highlight of the season so far.
So for Red Sox fans, there really is no choice in the matter. After a postseason game, prepare to be dreaming of a nap at work the next day.
Aside from the general fatigue followed by staying up too late, there is also the matter of what I refer to as “the postseason fin”—or the five pounds I put on drinking beer while watching the games.
Listen, if you’re watching postseason baseball and not drinking beer by the buckets then either your 12-Step program is working or you’re not properly getting behind our bearded boys. If you’ve seen any of the 2013 Red Sox celebrations, it is apparent that these bushy-faced gamers, once off the field, can pound brews with the best of them.
The problem, however, comes with the five pounds of belly flab that my fat ass will have to burn off—most likely—after the New Year. Think about it. It starts with the postseason then the holidays then the terrible moment when someone snaps a picture of me at Christmas, and I realize, “Holy crap, I’m huge.” Similar to the Freshman Ten, the Postseason Fin is the real deal.
Fat and exhausted, I move through another postseason “fastened to a dying animal.” And given the dearth Red Sox championships prior to the 21st Century, I do it with pride and vigor and an acknowledged enervation. In the end, another ring in the City of Champions—in a region that has been “Boston Strong” since the marathon tragedy in April—will indeed be worth it.
Nate Graziano’s new book, Some Sort of Ugly is currently available to Kindle owners for $0.99 at Amazon.com. Print versions and other electronic book formats are forthcoming. You can purchase the book here.