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Thoughts on Game 6

"It's hard to beat somebody when they don't give up."     - Babe Ruth

I'm ashamed to confess that I'm one of the handful of St. Louisans who did not witness the end of Game 6 of the World Series when the Cards beat the Rangers. I turned off the TV somewhere around the 6th inning when we were behind two runs. I had more desire for sleep than hope for victory. Good thing the Cards didn't share my lack of faith.

I rose Friday morning at the usual time. My smartphone showed dozens of emails and text messages from friends and family across the country (and one from Ireland) who kept the vigil throughout the extra innings, including one friend's midnight text that evoked Harry Caray's, "It might be, it could be, it IS!" from glory days gone by.

Back in August when the Cards were 10 games behind Atlanta, most of us gave up on them. We weren't naysayers. We were realists.

Lucky for us, the St. Louis team is comprised of un-realists, buoyed by a wave of optimism, determination and brutally tough work. Some miracles seem to strike overnight. Others creep in, half a game at a time, tenacious and brave, loving the fight, ignoring the odds. Thanks to the Cards for teaching us what a comeback looks like.

The Game 7 victory was sweet.  But it's Game 6 we'll talk about at kitchen tables, classrooms, and board meetings for a generation to come.


The World Series is a Big Deal, Right?

Dontmess

Rain clicked against our fourth-floor windows, reminding everyone inside that summer has long gone. There'll be warm days, sure, but they will begin later and crisper than they used to. Our carefree summer attitudes have been replaced by the concrete grind of full workweeks and fourth-quarter deadlines. This October day, however, is unlike all the others. A city that in any other circumstance would shield itself under a warm blanket is instead parading about the soggy streets. No amount of jaw-chattering chill or haze can keep Cardinals Nation indoors.

"Great, history-making events such as these only strike once in a lifetime," my Grandfather once told me - and for a city that only two months ago believed the World Series was not only a long shot, but a fantastic dream that was fading even for diehards, this is nothing short of a miracle. It seems the entire world walked the St. Louis streets Wednesday evening. From every corner came hoots and hollers of Cardinal pride. "Go Cards!" the city shouted. On every street, red-and-white cotton or polyester shuffled frantically, hurriedly rushing to the hottest ticket of the baseball season. Cardinal pride shone amid grey plumes rising from city drains, the streets electric with anticipation. This is the type of event where CEOs and the homeless clamor together, dressed in their finest regalia, chanting in harmony. Unified by a truly American pastime.

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As my Grandfather says, "It's easy to be a baseball fan on sunny days, but to have faith in your team when a Missouri storm rolls in separates a baseball fan from a Cardinals fan." I never understood my Grandfather's nostalgia for the team until I lived it for myself, and let me be the first to say, standing in a crowd surrounded by a chanting swarm of fans is an overwhelming experience, holding in it the breath of our city. It is unlike any other walk past Busch Stadium. As an onlooker, the series, the players and this game seem to measure the stability of our city, our country. No matter how grey the day, no matter how chilly and God-awful the weather, Cardinals fans stand by their team, much like the people of this nation stand by their country. The series is a nation's rally cry, recharging the American spirit. The Cardinals, much like the city they represent, are preparing to defy the odds and overcome a season of defeats.

Never doubt the tribe. Go Cards.