The only way I could possibly describe last night in one word would be "surreal."
Hours have passed and it still feels like a dream. I am still lifelessly staring at my television, wondering if I am in a mystical world or if last night was indeed a part of my reality. As fans of sports, we invest hours upon hours into teams, players and the league in an effort to gain something in return.
We got our return last night.
There were tears, there were screams of joy, there were meltdowns of monumental proportions and anxiety was at an all time high. In the end, when it was all said and done, we were gifted with one of the single greatest nights in the history of the sport. Last night will never be imitated. The Braves blew it, the Red Sox blew it and the Rays pulled off the unthinkable, but it is so much deeper than I could ever put into words.
Last night was a victory for baseball.
In the 21st century, where everything is based on efficiency, profits and time, baseball has had its fair share of critics. If you are a baseball fan like I am, then I'm sure you've had friends, family and colleagues tell you at some point in your life that it was "boring," "dull" or "ancient."
For the better half of two decades, baseball has undergone a transformation. As fans we endured the dreadful "steroid era." In this era, we came to the realization that records, such as Barry Bonds' home run record, are nothing more than a fabrication. As fans we have had to accept the fact that our favorite players may have had a little help from a syringe when they were belting out home runs and winning World Series titles.
The steroid era was detrimental for the sport and forced dark clouds that never seemed to go away.
Yet, last night, it all disappeared.
The Mitchell Report and the financial mess that restricts teams like the New York Mets and the Los Angeles Dodgers all vanished. Those who have berated baseball fans for following a "boring" sport were stunned and in a state of complete silence.
With the swing of Dan Johnson's bat or the catch that Carl Crawford wish he made, everything changed.
As baseball fans, last night we all shared a victory that will remain in our hearts forever: our sport shined.