Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t cry easily. It takes a sizable boot to the jubees or discovering my TiVo accidentally erased a season’s worth of Method & Red to get the waterworks flowing.
But yesterday, watching NESN’s spectacular 2004 season overview, Faith Rewarded, the tears were falling.
Manly tears. And it felt good.
This is my hooch. My oxycontin. My eightball. The little helper that will get me through the rest of the winter, and I will watch it until the image of Dave Roberts holding the World Series statue aloft is burned onto my TV screen. Until my wife actually believes there’s a “Guys Kissing Johnny Pesky” channel because it’s all I ever seem to be watching. Until the DVD player gets up, says “f–k this,” and heads out back for a cigarette.
This is dangerously good stuff, so superior to the MLB World Series disc for many reasons. First, for most of the ALCS footage, they surgically extracted Timmy McCarver and Li’l Buck and inserted Castiglione & Trup. Which means you can listen to the calls without wanting to set fire to your TV set. Also, these guys know their audience. We are Sox fans and we enjoy every nuance, every sidelong glance the players cast each other’s way, and every angle of that moment when Minty had ball in glove and raised his hands and suddenly nothing in our world made sense. Best of all, it’s presented in widescreen, muthaf–ker. Because this is an epic with heroes and villains and warriors and spaceships and gunfights and bloody socks and loud crunching guitars and epics need those black bars at the top & bottom of the screen. So deal.
It’s a life-changing event in one, convenient, shiny disc. It is your wedding, your kid’s first steps, your high school graduation, and the first time you saw the ocean. It is a reminder that we witnessed history.
There’s so much brilliant stuff here, but a few moments really gave me the vapors. Like the point in the film where Bellhorn smacks his World Series Game One homer off Pesky’s Pole. As he rounds first base, he points into the dugout. Not a Manny-style convulsion, just a quick flick of the index finger. And as you watch it again and again, it’s almost like code. Like he knew. Like they all knew. Like we all knew. This was gonna happen.
The rolling rally scene is another joyous bit, shown almost entirely from the POV of the players as they look out into the crashing waves of fans. And in the middle of it all is Orlando Cabrera, who little more than 13 weeks earlier was playing in Olympic Stadium, touted in the Expos’ own media guidebook as “a great place to take a nap.” Suddenly, he’s being cheered by 3.5 million people and watching nutty Irish kids from Southie dive into the Charles to get a closer look at him and his teammates.
Dude, put down The Terminal. And the Spider-Man 2.
Pick. up. this. disc.