My only solace in the aftermath of being so, so wrong in my playoff predictions so far is that finally, dear readers, we have a World Series matchup — which doesn’t include the Yankees nor the New Yankees (aka Boston Red Sox) — that may actually drum up viewership across this great US America of ours (and perhaps even a handful in Canada).
Whilst the 2006 World Series will always stand out as one of the greatest moments of my lifetime to date, I am completely aware that I was one of very few people who actually gave a damn, considering both the Cardinals and the Tigers weren’t big market teams from either coast. The 2005 edition featuring the White Sox and Astros wasn’t much better in terms of mass viewership nationwide, though it was probably one of the most entertaining and heart-thumping series I’ve ever seen.
Such drama is lost on a nation that worships thwarting monopolizing bullies, NASCAR and blockbuster comedic films starring Ben Stiller as the same haphazard goofball character he plays in every Ben Stiller movie.
But folks, this could be the year for a new found enthusiasm for the greatest game on earth. I believe. For two underdogs with two very unique stories will face each other in the grand finale and though I have been searching my brain for the last 18 hours or so to find the one I want to see win the most, I truly cannot.
The Rays will have the ultimate story going in (working title: From Worst to First After Dropping the “Devil” from Our Name) and I’m positive that an entire band of bandwagoneers will join the drama just to say they were part of it; and in the end, why not? How can you not like this team? They’re young. They’re enthusiastic. They play with heart and passion and speed and pride. And their manager is probably the coolest looking dude in town with those gaudy personality glasses and his “9 = 8” psychomath sensibility.
Meanwhile, the Phillies — whom my colleague Mr. Krause picked to win it all — come in to the World Series playing superb baseball with their starting pitching and clutch hitting leading the Philadelphia way: hard-nosed, hard-pressed and hard-up for a title. Never mind their raucous, undeserved phreakazoid phans. The City of Brotherly Love is as thirsty for a sports championship as the Democrats are for winning an election. And this could be the year.
But if I have to come out and say it, I say this is the year of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Indeed, the Cinderella story will come to its ultimately heartwarming conclusion. And if that pisses you off, Phillies fans, don’t get too riled up; my prediction accuracy is about as on point as Rush Limbaugh is sane: not very.
And for those of you right-wing gun-totin’ liberal-hatin’ conservatives whom I have just offended by saying that, I think there’s at least one thing that we can agree on — no, two things:
1) This World Series is gonna be good.
2) This clip might very well be the best political spoof the planet has ever seen:
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.