Here's a different look for Game 7 of the ALCS

Baseball

October 21, 2004|By PETER SCHMUCK

DAWN BROKE cool and partly cloudy in Boston yesterday, as if it were just like any other brisk autumn morning in New England.

It wasn't, of course. The Boston Red Sox, once left for dead like the last Ben Affleck/J-Lo romantic comedy, were still shockingly alive - the only team in the history of baseball to force a Game 7 after falling behind by three in a best-of-seven playoff series.

Can't imagine how it must feel to be a long-suffering Sox fan on the threshold of history, but here's a slightly twisted, chronological look at the hours leading up to last night's cataclysmic American League championship showdown at Yankee Stadium:

6:45 a.m.: Author and Red Sox fan Stephen King wakes up. Walls are bleeding again. Happens every October. Can't find his hat.

6:40 a.m.: First Boston radio talk show caller wonders whether "Curse of the Bambino" has finally been lifted. Host hangs up on him.

8:50 a.m.: John Kerry already on the campaign trail in Waterloo, Iowa. Tells crowd he's rooting for Cardinals.

9:30 a.m.: President Bush wakes up. Asks aide how Rangers are doing in ALCS.

10:15 a.m.: First Boston Herald special playoff edition hits street. Headline: We Still Stink!

10:27 a.m.: MIT prank rankles Fenway Park officials. Students sneak into stadium and install electronic scoreboard.

10:43 a.m.: Pedro Martinez wakes up from awful nightmare in which DNA test proves Don Zimmer is his daddy.

10:48 a.m.: Manny Ramirez wakes up from awful nightmare in which he has the ugliest hairdo in professional sports. Never mind. It wasn't a dream.

11:30 a.m.: Fans hold seance to summon spirit of Ted Williams. Get cold shoulder.

Noon: Legal Seafood announces shrimp special: Matt Damon eats free.

1:10 p.m.: Stephen King shows up at Borders to sign copies of his new sports/horror novel about the 1986 World Series, entitled Met Sematary.

3:34 p.m.: Johnny Damon watches Prince Valiant to psyche up for game. Schedules pedicure.

4:12 p.m.: Sports bars around Fenway begin to fill up. Boring guy in suit tries to pick up Radcliffe girl by telling her she looks like Janeane Garofalo. Gets lecture on the environment.

4:19: Game 6 of National League Championship Series begins. "Rawja" not pitching for Astros. Meaningless game.

4:30 p.m.: Red Sox announce World Series ticket refund policy.

5:20 p.m.: Massive traffic jam snarls Hub. Some drivers grudgingly tune into NLCS, concede that Beltran guy will look pretty good in Yankees lineup next year.

5:32 p.m.: Local television stations saturate airwaves with public service announcements encouraging Bostonians to bone up on Heimlich Maneuver.

6 p.m.: Red Sox announce Bill Belichick has agreed to serve as bench coach for remainder of postseason.

7:40 p.m.: Drunk Sox fan wanders into right-field bleachers at Yankee Stadium and yells "Cowboy Up!" Finds out what it feels like to be trampled by a horse.

8 p.m.: Bull and Finch Pub (Cheers) announces Happy Hour will be extended until Derek Jeter comes up in the ninth inning.

Contact Peter Schmuck at peter.schmuck@baltsun.com

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