Saturday, September 24, 2011

Clinching is a hell of a lot better than clenching

The Brewers clinched the NL Central division title last night. Whooooooooo!!! Let me say that again. The Brewers are the 2011 NL Central Division Champs.

I've been struggling all day to put my thoughts and feelings into words. Obviously, I'm happy and excited. One of the reasons that I am just now getting to writing this all down (3 pm on Saturday) is that I've spent hours reading the accounts of last night's game--watching video of the game, looking at photos, reading other's posts about the game. It's awesome. Every last word, photo and video that I've watched has been beyond wonderful. I think I've watched Ryan Braun's home run about 25 times today. I cannot put into words what this season has meant to me. So flipping awesome!!

But there's a part of me that just feels relieved. Exhausted and relieved. I have lived and breathed Brewers baseball for 157 games. Heck, I even went to spring training. It's a long season and I've watched nearly every game in its entirety. (Thank you, Tivo.) The ones that I haven't watched, I've listened to on the radio or followed on Gameday. I expected the Brewers to be good from the minute that they traded for Zack Greinke. I expected them to win the division. And, as you all know, there's a different feeling that comes from rooting for an underdog vs. rooting for a team that is expected to win. So, today feels good. Like I can finally exhale. Like I can finally put that Brewers decal on my car window without jinxing the team. Like I can stop worrying that comparing the Pittsburgh Pirates to a giant cream puff (as I did in a previous blog post) would somehow lead to the Pirates knocking the Brewers out of the playoffs in the last three games of the season.

Mixed in with my happiness and relief are feelings of nostalgia. All those clips of Paul Molitor, Robin Yount, Cecil Cooper, Gorman Thomas and Rollie Fingers really get to me. I was nine years old in 1982 and my earliest baseball memories are of the Brewers in that post-season. I remember watching the World Series with my Mom. When the Brewers won the Wild Card in 2008 on the last day of the season, I was watching the deciding game with my Mom. I was home for my Grandmother's birthday party. My Grandmother would pass away not so long after this but I will always remember celebrating my Grandmother and celebrating Ryan Braun's home run on that day.

Last night, as I was watching the game with Seth, my brother, Nick, and his wife, Karen, we spent a great deal of time laughing about the confusion between clenching and clinching. So Karen shared a story with us. Karen was speaking to her mother, while her mother was driving. At one point, her mom got upset with another driver. "Someone just swerved in front of me," she told Karen. "I just hate it when people drive erotically around me."

You might say that I'm all over the place with my feelings about the Brewers. You might even say that my feelings are eroitc. At least I know the difference between clinching and clenching. Clinching is what the Brewers did last night. Whoooo!

Brewers 4, Marlins 1
Game played 9-23-11

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