So, this week the New Orleans Saints go into St. Louis to play the “Rams.” Ha…sorry, still can’t get over the whole St. Louis Cardinals football team winding up in Arizona, and Los Angeles Rams winding up in St. Louis thing…it would seem to me, why not just have Arizona become the Rams and the Rams become the Cardinals so balance can again be restored to this horrible, wonderful world…
Okay, but that’s not really my point, so, sorry.
Oh, and the point is also not to tear down the Cardinals winning the World Series.
I don’t really care who wins the World Series anymore…and the reason why, okay, that is a larger part of the overall point…
You see, back when I was a wee lad, my family and I used to go on vacation every summer. Everyone loads into the fire engine red Chevy Vega and off we go, hitting the interstate to whatever relative we were going to spend a week with this year…we hit Tampa, we hit Hershey, Kansas City and oh yeah, we hit St. Louis. Went to Six Flags, went to the Arch, saw the Mississippi River and yes, we went to a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game at Busch Stadium, and it wasn’t just any game. This was late summer in August of 1977. Back then, I was a huge baseball fan, played in Little League, collected baseball cards and paid attention to all the milestones so I was well aware that Lou Brock of the St. Louis Cardinals was closing in on Ty Cobb’s once considered untouchable career stolen bases record. As we got closer to the game I knew we’d be attending, I began paying attention to how many stolen bases Brock still needed, how many left he still had to go. I wondered, would we be at the game when he did it? Could the stars possibly line up in this way?
He broke the record the night after my family was at the game.
You know, but I got over it. No worries…it took some time, but I moved on and right about the time I’d moved past all that, five years later, that same goddamned Cardinals team beat my hometown baseball team in the 1982 World Series.
But, okay…okay, I got over that too…the Cardinals, I stopped hoping for plane crashes, I stopped wishing death upon the entire team…no worries, moving on…and then let’s flash forward 15 years. This would be the year of the whole Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire home run chase. I was excited and interested. Even though I was no longer the biggest baseball fan (NHL…Hockey baby! Violence! Speed! Precsision! Blood! In love!) but I paid attention to the narratives and I was enjoying the competition. For my birthday that year, my parents asked me what I would like to do and I said, in lieu of any sort of gifts, let’s go see the Cardinals play, see if McGwire hits a home run. So we go to a game and every time he comes up to bat, the flash bulbs would start popping, everywhere across the sold out stadium. It was fascinating, thrilling and in McGwire’s 3rd at bat, he did it.
I got to see Mark McGwire hit a home run the season he hit 70 and first broke Roger Maris’s record.
Yep, sure did.
What do you mean, steroids?
Curse you Cardinals!!!!!!!
And that brings us to this weeks Saints game. I know the Saints are playing the “Rams,” but as I mentioned before, they are still the damned Cardinals to me and though it may be a different sport, it’s the same name and the same town and the Saints need to win for the city of New Orleans and just as important to me, they need to win to avenge my disappointment, my disillusionment and the tarnishing of various family memories that damned city is responsible for ruining.
Enjoy the game and have a nice day…