Cleveland Is Going to the World Series and It Is Completely Overwhelming
From the view of section 109, I would sit, waiting for something good to happen for my team and often times, nothing good would happen. But when it did, boy, that was fun. Those moments were few and far between. Lots of looking out to home plate, trying to not fixate on whatever right fielder was out there.
Despite that, at that point in time I was just a kid who enjoyed watching baseball. Sure, the Indians, in the midst of a rebuilding phase, were not very good. But, it was baseball and it was my team. And it was my Dad and I sitting there as we did about a dozen times each year. If it wasn't Alex Escobar, it was somebody else we would be fixated on, the right fielder being the thing we could admire every time we would go to a game because they were so close.
I don't think I could begin to tell you the different names I had to stare at in the early 2000's. They run the gambit of bad to terrible, flash-in-the-pan to young guy who would never make it. You likely remember most of them unless you blacked out that point of time in Indians baseball. Of course, there was also Jody Gerut, the greatest right fielder to ever play for the Cleveland Indians, but besides that, it was a lot of Chris Magruder and Shane Spencer and Karim Garcia and Matt Lawton and I'm just going to stop now.
I thought the highlight of my fandom of the Cleveland Indians was in 2007 when the team made the playoffs and made an enjoyable run through the ALCS. I stood in the concourse chanting Casey Blake's name with 35,000+ others after he came up with a big hit to help beat the Detroit Tigers. The Indians were on their way to winning the division. I sat in the outfield and watched Joba Chamberlain spray himself down with bug spray and Travis Hafner come up with a walk-off hit that helped the Indians trajectory aim towards the ALCS. Then I watched the Indians go up 3-1 on the Boston Red Sox from the way up seats behind home plate. Never had I ever felt energy around me feel so powerful.
My favorite team is going to the World Series...
Until they didn't. And as crushed as I was, it's blurry to me, all that happened. I have those as lasting memories, but they don't really mean a whole lot. I remember a lot about that season but I don't remember how I felt at the end of it all. I was crushed, like you probably were at the time, but now I sit back and try and remember and I can't. I probably put them into words, but those words are long gone. I can't describe the feeling as perfectly as I can some of the moments.
I can remember feeling joy and pride when those young and untested teams of the early 2000's would go out there and fail time and time again, but sometimes come up with a moment of happiness. I remember the feeling, but I don't remember the moments. I remember the moments of 2007, but not the feeling. Of course, electricity and energy and just absolute euphoria for some of those memories, in those moments. And a little bit of disappointment in the moments of heartbreak.
But what does it really feel like? Maybe it is the moment of now that is kind of clouding that and when this ride is all said and done, that will change and I will be able to feel what 2007 was again. Probably not.
That's where I am at now, strangely enough. I can't grasp this idea that the Cleveland Indians are in the World Series. That they are on the brink of potentially winning the whole entire thing and sending my entire body into a complete state of okay what do I do now I don't know cry laugh celebrate jump shrug emoji overload okay overload system shutdown...this must be what happens when my computer overloads and just quits. My brain just over-computed. I can't handle this.
I don't have an idea of what that moment will even feel like or what I'd even do, because I can't even feel this moment. I think the best word is overwhelmed. I now truly can understand and feel and understand what that feeling really is. The anticipation of this moment here and any moment beyond this has been a long time build. I now get it and understand the 2004 Boston Red Sox thing for fans of that team or the feeling many of you probably had earlier this year with the Cleveland Cavaliers. It now all makes sense. The "ohhh I get it now" moment you have when a friend talks about something and your like "sure okay" and then you experience that and...you get it.
Sports is a thing and it's fun and games and you should enjoy it. Of course long periods of unsuccessful outcomes for your favorite teams is kind of brutal, but at the end of the day, it's just something that's there and life will go on as such. But this is a team that I've invested a lot of hours, lots of words, lots of thoughts, lots of pride, and numerous other tangible and intangible things in. And now I get it and I truly am overwhelmed.
I know there's more games to play, but this is now unfamiliar territory. I've wondered for years what a trip to the World Series would feel like and now that it is here, I am overwhelmed. Do I run around the room screaming my head off in excitement? Do I cry? Do I shout at all the people that doubted/downed the regime that put this team together? Do I celebrate with friends and talk about all the good? Do I do all of that? Can I do all of that? Where do I begin? What do I do first? I'm running around in a sea of people. Who do I hug first?
This is being overwhelmed. And this is me getting it and finally understanding it. Sports was a thing for me growing up. Now, priorities are different and I've gone from a time in my life where it was everything and all of them were everything to a point where it's just baseball and there is one team that I put everything into. Perhaps the shedding of that was entering adulthood for me. I don't know the starting lineup of every MLB team like I used to and I don't even know every player in the Indians organization like I used to, but my investment into this team has been the one thing that has never changed, regardless of how much I tried to learn about them and the game. And now, with all that investment and perhaps even more of a perspective of what this is, looking back at the tough years, remembering the faint memories of the last time the Indians were here in the World Series as a youngster, taking in the heartbreak of 2007 as a young adult, and the anticipation of knowing that this team is talented and was absolutely capable of doing something like this...
Completely and utterly overwhelmed.
Next Tuesday seems like it should be tomorrow, but it also seems like it is a year away because it feels like you can't realistically wait for it. But it's only next Tuesday and after a weekend and a day, it will be here. With so many years of anticipation, asking to anticipate for five or so more days isn't a big deal. But, really, we all want it to be here, and be here now, so it is a big deal.
In addition to not knowing what to do, I don't even know what to write. I've written a sentences and deleted them so many times throughout getting to this point. But when I don't know what else to do, the thing I do do is write. About life, about sports, about anything, I write things because that's how I express emotions when I don't know how to express them. That's me. Whether you read it or not, whether I go back and re-read it later, or write it and delete it because I just had to say it.
I don't know how to express these emotions, so I am writing. But again, the ironic part to all of it is, I for the first time in my life, don't know what to write. What do I say? It's that overwhelming feeling from above. It's now coming out in the form that I'm most used to. It's disrupting the one thing that I know works when I don't have any options.
So I guess I'm just going to continue to sit here and not put what this is into words. I don't know how many words or characters this has ended up being or if any of it was meaningful. It is the true and ultimate form of me babbling. It is the steady stream of consciousness that you've likely seen from me in the past if you've ever read something I've written in it's most advanced stage.
It's me standing here at a keyboard as always, but for the first time, completely and utterly overwhelmed to the point where I don't know what I could possible say.
And the Cleveland Indians have done this to me. And that is where my dilemma begins and ends. I have so much to say about them and about this moment that I truly can't figure out how to prioritize it or say it properly, so I'm just not going to. One thought is no more important than the other in my mind about this team that I can't decide what to write about them to do it justice in my mind. And if I wait any longer, if I wait for another round and another possible moment where I could feel this way again, then the overwhelming feeling might completely overtake me.
Well, you know what? If it does, just let it happen. Because I'm ready for it, because as much as the feeling of being overwhelmed has been associated to be negative or nerve-ending, I can honestly say this now that I sit here feeling it at one if it's most heightened states.
It's the best feeling in the world. I'm ready to be overwhelmed.