Any U.S. white kid who went through puberty during the 1980s and is not familiar with the work of the recently deceased film director John Hughes is either Amish, has a brain more than a tad addled by booze and/or drugs, or is currently in a coma.
"Yeah, but the thing is, I'm kinda like the leader. Kinda like the king of the dipsh*ts."
That quote from Anthony Michael Hall's character in Hughes' cinematic masterpiece, Sixteen Candles, is relevant to the race for the cellar of the NL Central.
With Monday's doubleheader sweep, the Reds took a 4.5 game lead over the Bucs in the divisional battle for "the king of the dipsh*ts."
Ever have one of those articles where every word flows as easily as nails on a chalk board? This is one of those pieces.
Why is that?
Answer: The first of September.
Autumn is in the air. This, like every other Reds recent September, means one more battle for futility. Sure, we can look forward to the call-ups.
Other than that most are looking forward to the first kickoff—whether one's poison is the Buckeyes, Mountaineers, Hoosiers, Panthers, Thundering Herd, Skins, Steelers, Bengals, or Browns.
Football is a swell pacifier for the end of the baseball season.
Some of the big city boys and girls will have until the middle of November to root for their respective baseball teams. Not us.
For the next seven months Reds' country is stuck in a state of big league purgatory.
Now, please don't be mistaken, there are plenty of things to do during the offseason. Mainly apologizing to friends and family for your extended absence.
For the diehards, video games exist.
For the die hard (and much cooler) old souls of baseball, brushing the dust off the old Strat-O-Matic or Statis Pro board games will ease the pain. They take much longer than a video game and are more cerebral—just like the real thing...well, almost.
Playing the 1976 season over again is a lovely way to make it through those cold winter months.
Catching up on movies and music can also cure the baseball blues.
What am I going to do?
I'll watch some of the Reds versus Bucs games. Mainly to get a peek at the kids lucky enough to get a September call-up. I'll hit Joan C. Edwards Stadium for some Marshall football.
I've already started listening to the Roses, Sloan, Mats, Mondays, and Big Star again.
Before I clean off my coffee table and set up my Statis Pro Baseball game, I am off to rent The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, and Sixteen Candles.
September, or offseason for the Reds, is here.
And you know what? Life is good, and we'll all be fine.