Seven, Eleven

St. Louis loves the Cardinals the way Knoxville loves the Vols. I was similarly wowed by an area’s devotion to a team when I first moved to the Washington suburbs and saw the love for the Redskins.

During my most recent trip to St. Louis, the Cardinals were struggling. They were 10½ games out in the National League Wild Card Race, yet I still saw fans decked in red making their way to the ballpark on a Sunday afternoon. It was great to see them win the World Series last night.

I admit that I didn’t pay much attention to baseball this year. The Mets had another bad season and two of their rivals, the Phillies and the Braves, were doing well. When the regular season ended with the Braves’ collapse and the Cardinals making the playoffs, my interest was piqued. Things got better when the Cardinals eliminated the Phillies.

When my wife and I got home from a movie screening on Thursday night, the Cardinals were on the verge of losing the Series. Friends on Facebook were writing things like “I hear the fat lady warming up.” I turned off the TV and carried my computer upstairs. I would read a few more posts before going to sleep. All of a sudden, the news about the Cardinals tying the game hit Twitter. Since there’s no TV in our bedroom, I turned on my WiFi clock radio, intending to find the ESPN Radio broadcast. To my surprise, KMOX.com was streaming their coverage of the extra innings. Earlier in the evening, I noticed that they were rerunning a talk show on their Internet feed. It’s common for sports broadcasts to be pre-empted online.

The experience of hearing rather than watching the end of Game Six reminded me of 1986. I was working late and listening to the radio when Mookie Wilson propelled Bill Buckner to a life of infamy, as recently parodied on “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” This year’s Game Six will go down in history as one of the greatest games ever. Thanks to the Internet, we can watch the unbelievable finish online.

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