Monday, October 06, 2008

Guy Heaven

Just when you think you might get to bed at a reasonable hour on a school night, the Red Sox and Angels go ahead and spoil that pipe dream. The Sox ended up losing in 12 innings last night, 5-4, giving the Angels life in a game that went on and on, eventually ending just before 1 a.m.

Let me set the scene for you from yesterday. I had four buddies over the house, all geared up to watch the Pats-49ers at 4, and then the Sox-Angels for the nightcap. My pal Bopper was so fired up for the games that he actually brought his own drinking glass with his Bud Light suitcase. Just like the guy who brings his own pool stick to the bar. "We have glasses, you know," I assured him. "Yeah, but this is a special glass Kampy. I just like it - it's hard to explain. The beer goes down better." And that's the way the afternoon started.

It was ultimate guys' nirvana. The wife and kids were off visiting friends all afternoon, the beer was cold, the pizza, cheese steaks, chicken wings, and nachos were all waiting to be consumed, and the good-natured barbs were already flying. The Niners scored first, but then we got a sight for sore eyes at about the 7:30 mark of the first quarter when Randy Moss hauled in a long Matt Cassel pass for a 66-yard TD. If you didn't know better, you would have sworn the tight spiral that nestled in Moss' hands in stride was thrown by No. 12. At this point, five grown men were on their feet fist-pumping and hollering. Bopper celebrated by pouring another beer into his precious glass. By halftime of the Pats game, my kitchen started to resemble the inside of a trash can, Bobby was checking on the status of his many wagers, and guys were flipping to the White Sox-Rays game to see who was winning that one.

The Patriots came out in the second half and asserted themselves, with the running game - particularly Kevin Faulk - taking over, and kicker Stephen Gostkowski (FG's of 40 and 49 yards in the 4th quarter) making sure the Patriots weren't going to lose two in a row. Final score: Pats 30, 49ers 21, and thoughts immediately turned to the Sox-Angels game.

Meanwhile, the Rays and White Sox were still playing, and we wondered if the Red Sox game would be delayed until this one was over, or if TBS would switch the feed. Of course, when you have a media empire like Ted Turner has, all you have to do is put the game on your sister station (TNT) and let people know about it. See, this is good work by TBS - they know half of America is sitting in their living rooms surrounded by empty beer bottles. In a situation that demanded clarity and action, in that order, they came through in a big way and no doubt avoided many smashed TV screens throughout New England.

Lloydy and Toddo - two guys who rarely get out anymore - left after the Pats game so it was now just myself, Bobby and Bopper. Oh, and Bopper's glass, which by now was given its own seat to the left of the TV screen. "I think I'm on my 15th beer," Bopper said proudly, albeit slurredly (is that a word? It is now.) "Fifteen??", we all asked. "Yeah - I brought over 18 beers and there are three left, unless anyone else grabbed one." "I did have one," I said truthfully. "Okay," said Bop, "fourteen. Still pretty damn good. And I feel like I can easily operate heavy machinery right now."

The Angels get off to a quick start with a run, but then the unthinkable happens. Sox have the bases loaded with 2 outs, and Jacoby Ellsbury lifts an easy pop-up to short-center, just behind the second base bag. Torii Hunter is rushing in, and Howie Kendrick is back-pedaling, and lo and friggin' behold, the ball drops in the middle of them and all three runners score. Just like that, it's 3-1 Sox, and Mike Scioscia looks like he's just eaten some bad seafood. One of the lamest three-run singles you'll ever see.

Unfortunately, it then became the Mike Napoli show as the burly Angels catcher hit a two-run homer in the third to tie the game, and then hit another solo shot in the fifth to give the Angels a 4-3 lead. The Sox tied it in the bottom of the fifth thanks to the man I believe should be AL MVP (Kevin Youkilis), and that's the way it stood for the next, oh, seven innings.

We went to the 7th inning, then the 8th, 9th, and 10th. My kitchen counter looked like downtown Baghdad after an air raid, and Bobby and Bopper would get up intermittently and pace, then head over to the counter to see if any scraps were lying around. Bobby finally gave up on the game - no doubt depressed that Jacksonville lost to Pittsburgh, depriving him of a nice day - and left for home around the 9th or 10th inning. Me and Bopper kept our eyes open until the bitter end - me finishing my sixth or seventh cocktail and him wiping out his "17-pack." After the 11th inning, Bopper decided to head for home - operating heavy machinery flawlessy, just like he said he could - and it was just me. And of course, you know what happened in the 12th...

Because we screwed with the karma, the Angels push across the fifth run and then closed the door on the Sox.

I went to bed depressed, partly because of the loss and partly because of the cleaning up job I had ahead of me in the morning. As I shuffled off to the sack, I looked out of the corner of my eye and saw that Bopper had forgotten to bring home his glass. After happily filling up it's owner's stomach with 17 fresh beers, this was the treatment it got? Just abandoned like yesterday's newspaper? And then it hit me. The glass was angry, and Bopper was driving home, blissfully unaware, no doubt banging his fists on the steering wheel when Joe Castiglione told him the Sox had lost. This, people, is messing wtih karma. And this is why the Red Sox lost. That glass deserved better.

billy joe bopper 17 pack
billy joe bopper 17 pack
I thought about the karma thang too. i was fighting the urge to go with a j&b on the rocks nightcap at 12:30 when i got home. the sox loss, the sleep deprivation, and the jacksonville lost wager made for a very long night. So are you hosting tonight???? We need to bring the karma back. -SkippyJam
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