Roy Halladay's No-Hitter Puts the Power of Sports on Display
I've had so many people ask me what is was like to be there last night—I can't articulate it.
After the Phillies won the World Series in 2008, it took me until the morning before the parade, the parade I had dreamed of for far too long, to realize that every sports game I'd ever attended, every game I'd ever watched, every dollar I'd ever spent, every hour of sleep I'd ever lost, and every ounce of energy I'd ever exhausted, was all for that day. That morning. That moment.
Do you know how powerful it was to see two million people's dream come to fruition on one perfect Halloween afternoon during one glorious ride down Broad Street? That day, until last night, was the first time I'd ever seen pure, unquestioned jubilation so widespread. So infectious. So overwhelming.
Welcome to the power of sports.
Trust me, sports aren't important. In the grand scheme of things, sports mean nothing. The American economy remains stymied. American troops remained endangered.
But try to wipe the smile off my face today. Try to shake the mood of any of the 46,000 people that were in Citizens Bank Park last night. You can't. It's too much. It's too surreal.
To have the privilege of being there in person is something I'll never forget. That's why we watch sports. For a chance to experience a moment like that—just once.
When all is said and done, last night will likely be a small blip on the radar of my life. Someday I'll be married, have children, and hopefully live the American dream.
But nights like last night, with my best friend (who happens to be my girlfriend) at my side, and my Dad a phone call away, are building blocks to that American dream. Those are the days you'll look back on.
They're reference points. Bookmarks. Jubilant moments you shared together.
That's why last night was so special.
It's impossible to think of where that night belongs in the annals of baseball history when you're there. When you experience it. When you feel it.
But when I woke up this morning and flipped on MLB Network to watch the replay at 4:30 in the morning, I began to realize what I witnessed. It started to sink in.
I sat four rows from the top of the stadium, but you could see the dominance from the parking lot. I could see how off-balance he had the Reds. The fastball was sharp. The change-up was great. The curveball was deadly.
It was art in its purest form.
I'll never forget it. Not a moment of it. For something that should mean so little, it meant so much.
Finally, after decades and decades of torment and despair, I feel honored to call myself a Philadelphia fan.
Finally, I can call my dad 10 years from now and reminisce about all the great Phillies games.
Finally, I have something other than horror stories to tell my kids.
Ten more wins.
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