I can't say that I'm a Memphis Redbirds fan. I mean, if you forced me to root for a minor league team, I'd pick the Redbirds, but without looking up their record this year, I couldn't tell you if they were good, bad or other.
So maybe it's a bit hypocritical of me to be in Memphis Friday night and expect the city to be buzzing with Cardinals Game 5 anticipation.
But I fully expected Twitter to not only come through with some hot spots to watch the game, but actually lead to another amazing night like the one we had in 2011 for the NLDS Game 5. (LINK HERE)
Tweeted out a call for THE places to be.
Didn't get a single response.
Tweeted it out again. Got 1 response. To go to the bar we were already at that had 1 other Cardinal fan and 80's hits for audio, instead of the game feed. A few people did mention that it was 'Midnight Madness' for the Memphis Tigers basketball team… but still, 1 cards fan in all of Memphis excited about an elimination game?
It wasn't as prescient an issue after about :45 minutes of Adam Wainwright pitching. The Cardinals were in a 6-0 hole and I didn't want to hear Dick Stockton give the National fans verbal head anyway.
It was off to Beale Street to meet up with the wedding party.
A funny thing happened on a the way to resignation of our fate, though. The Cardinals kept chipping away at the Nationals lead.
I'll spare you the play-by-play – by now you've already got many of the sequences memorized. But I will share with you an antidote that pretty much summarizes the Cardinals season.
In the Top of the 9th, the Cardinals were down to their last strike… twice. The second time, my friend Pat walked away. I thought he was just nervous and moved to another part of the bar. Turns out, he literally thought the game was over. He went back to the non-baseball fans in the group and told them the Cardinals season was over.
It was a good run.
After the Descalso single, he sees the now 15 or so Cardinal fans going nuts and walks back over.
Me: "DUDDDDDEEEE…. HOLY FUCKING SHIT!!!"
Him: "What? What are you doing?"
Me: "WE TIED IT. UNREAL!"
Him: "No, dude, the game is over."
Him: (Looking up at the TV) "HOLY FUCKING SHIT!"
He literally thought the game and the season were over. Not in a walking away in disgust, and giving up way. But in the way where he thought the Cardinals were literally done. He had told people this in a very matter of fact way minutes ago across the bar. Now he's back next to me for Kozma's game winning hit and telling me this must be what coming back from the dead feels like.
You probably had to be there to see just how amazed he was. Hell, he was probably more stunned than anyone.
It's a symbol of the 2012 season, though. Even when we're 101% SURE that that Cardinals are dead, they're not. Somehow they keep coming back from the brink.
I'd have to believe that if Jack Buck were still alive he'd REALLY not have believed what he saw that night.
I'm not sure I do.
Oh, and in case you're wondering, at least the band had the sense to play someting timely. (LINK HERE) Can't commment on if they knew what they were doing, but it was serendipitous nonetheless.