In 1994, I was 11-years old. I don't even think I had started to like girls yet, and it was a close competition as to whether or not NHL '93 or Madden '95 was my favorite game for the Sega Genesis.
I walked the halls of my elementary school with my L.A. Lights sneakers and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers lunch box. Saved by the Bell was still making new episodes for Saturday mornings, and Michael Keaton was the best Batman I could ever imagine.
I was still hoping Pat Kelly would turn out to be a decent ballplayer after the strike and that the Giants' quarterback, Dave Brown, could lead the G-Men to the Super Bowl (I was young and stupid).
I watched SportsCenter every morning, with the hideous brown tones and not one LCD screen behind Dan Patrick, Keith Olbermann, or Charlie Steiner.
This was the last time I would go an October without watching Yankee playoff games.
I'm 25 now and looking seriously at the possibility of a Yankee-less October. The Yanks are nine games back of the Rays and five games back of the Red Sox for the wild card.
It's not so much the numbers right now, as there is still a month and a half left in the season, but it's the way the Yankees are playing.
Despair is looking at Yankee fans right in the face.
In order to ease the potential blow, I have come up with 10 activities to keep myself (and other Yankee fans) busy during October. I didn't really even know there were other activities besides baseball...
10) Actually work a 40+ hours a week or go to all your classes.
It doesn't sound appealing, but throwing yourself into your work or studies may be just what you need to forget about the Angels, Rays, and White Sox. Besides, you need to make up for all those hours you got paid for being at a bar, or watching on the Internet, or pretending to work while using an ear bud. It's karma.
9) Watch football.
You and I both know it's not as good as Jeter going to the hole and firing to first, or a five-story homer by Giambi, but it is exciting, and the New York teams do have interesting story lines this year. The only drawback is that it only occupies Saturday and Sunday.
8) Do autumn things.
It turns out that autumn is actually a nice season when you go out of the house and get away from repeat episodes of Baseball Tonight. There's apple picking, hayrides, cider drinking, and pumpkin carving. It also turns out that girls love this sort of thing: Bonus!
7) Reorganize tool shed/house/basement/closets.
Spring cleaning is always missed due to Spring Training, so take this once-every-15-year opportunity and reorganize your dwellings. Hopefully you won't have to again for another 15 years.
6) Catch up on the wife's TO-DO LIST
I don't have a wife yet, but I have enough buddies to know that the wife's TO-DO LIST is important. So go to Home Depot, pick out that paint, buy those extra shelves, and get to work. Just because the Yankees can't move runners into scoring position doesn't mean you can't.
5) Start watching the NBA.
The Knicks...uhh nevermind. Diehards only.
4) Start watching the NHL.
The NHL is undergoing a resurgence, and the way these large men fly around on skates is simply amazing. The Rangers should have a decent year, and you can always root against the Bruins.
3) Pick up a hobby.
Woodworking for instance. I've heard that it's relaxing and makes you feel manly. Try to stay away from creating statues of A-Rod that you can burn in effigy. Remember, the point is to refocus your mind.
2) Root against the Red Sox.
If the Yanks can't win it, then anyone but the Red Sox should. In case they miss the playoffs as well, you can root against the Angels, who suck only slightly less than the Red Sox.
Since you won't be as enthralled, you'll have extra time, watch all of your Yankeeogrophy DVD's for supplemental value.
and the No. 1 activity...
1) Write an email to CC Sabathia everyday.
Sure, it doesn't take away the pain, but it can help for next year. Don't be too blunt in your communications. Start off in a friendly manner, using polite conversation. Don't even mention the Yankees. You're his friend seeing how he is.
Shortly after initial contact, the conversation turns to your families and careers. Suddenly, you're writing back and forth about baseball, and you just happen to mention the pitching situation in New York. Suddenly, you have this idea of CC visiting you and touring Yankee Stadium...subtle.
I figure if 1,000 of us do this, then CC has 1,000 friends telling him to go to New York. He would have to think it destiny, right?
Ahhh, an October well spent...here's hoping this list will become useless...Believe.