Hope, Right

By the end of the 7th inning, it was clear to everyone that Gavin Floyd was pitching a no-hitter. A no-hitter with a run, no less.

Sox v Twins, May 6th, 2008

At the top of the ninth, he took the mound to a standing ovation. And stood there, alone, throwing pitches.

Sox v Twins, May 6th, 2008

See, earlier that day, I had wanted to go to my first ball game of this season. So, I emailed the usual suspects and lo and behold raver comes up with these awesome free tickets. Providence, you know. It was utterly beautiful at the park. The sky cleared up – the breeze – the game. After months in the darkness of Chicago’s coldest winter, I felt as if I had lungs to breathe.

And suddenly this good, nay pretty great night, was about to enter legendary status. I could witness a no-hitter.

The human mind is a funny thing. Well, mine is. I stood there, clapping and hollering, and wishing, wishing more than anything I have wished for, that Gavin would get this no-hitter. I wanted it for him. I wanted it because if it happened, it would be a sign. A clear indication that the impossibilities amassed on my shoulders could dissipate. Hope, right.

That moment, at the top of the ninth, with one out – that was a great moment. That’s what sports can do for you – give you air for your lungs.

Burdens of History

2002081800400101.gif“Athleticism has never been associated with Indian cricket, nor with Indians in general, and that has been a chip on the shoulder of Indian manhood.” Somini Sengupta, If It’s Hip, Fast and Furious, Is It Cricket?, 2007

“Through the same passes from time immemorial warlike races had swept down on the sun-steeped plains of the Five Rivers
and rich alluvial tracts of the Ganges and Jumna to conquer the effete dwellers therein and subdue them to their will. In India history repeats itself with monotonous sameness. In its enervating plains, far removed from the invigorating sea-breeze and the bracing cold of the mountain ranges, the keen eye, undaunted heart, and relentless arm of the successive hardy northern immigrants slowly but surely tend to change to the placid look, folded hands and brooding mind of the Eastern Sage, who, content to dream his dream of life, wearily turns from the conflict and dire struggle for existence, time after time introduced by the more warlike northern conquerors ever coming and going like the monsoon storms.” W. D. Frazer, British India, 1896.