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Progress and A Grand Slam

.: I returned home from dim sum today, determined to make some progress on house renos. I washed the downstairs bathroom door and door frame with T.S.P., a heavy duty cleaner, and then covered both with white primer. Following that, I installed a new face plate for my cable connection, and replaced the plugs and cover in the downstairs bathroom. Since April, when the work began, the main floor of my home has been littered with paint cans, brushes, rollers, pans, tools, wood, latex tiles, curtains, and more, and I am growing weary of looking at all of it on a daily basis. The next job is to paint the door and frame a semi-gloss white, and reinstall the door afterwards. Once done, I will call upon the help of friends to install the baseboards in the washroom, and the mouldings around the door frame.

.: I am at home on Sunday night, with the World Series on the tube. As a kid, I was an avid hockey and baseball fan, and my love of these sports continued into adulthood. I’ve also enjoyed NFL football over the decades. Growing up in Winnipeg, it seemed natural to cheer for the Minnesota teams, the Twins and the Vikings. As well, we had relatives living there since the 1950s, and we visited them often. My father was a Montreal Canadiens fan, so we followed suit as kids growing up in his house; despite having lived in Edmonton since 1978, I still cheer for the Habs.

Since the mid-80s, I’ve had few friends who share my interest in sports, so there are few people with whom I can discuss the latest developments. That said, I’m not sure it’s such a big deal anymore. (Aside: White Sox just hit a grand slam, with two out!) My interest in hockey began to wane as the game deteriorated in the 1980s – the NHL expanded to 30 teams and watered down the product, players showed no respect for each other, offense diminished as the emphasis switched to defensive style, and the game itself slowed down as players resorted to clutch-and-grab tactics. The recent lockout, which resulted in a cancelled season, may reinvigorate the game, but this is conditional on a number of issues, not the least of which is whether the referees will enforce the new rules, designed to allow for a more fluid, faster game. Regardless, while I will be a Habs fan for life, I am no longer interested in spending three hours in front of the tube to watch a hockey game. Baseball, however, continues to fascinate and intrigue me, and I will continue to follow it closely for years to come.

The 2005 WS features a team that has never won, the Astros, and a team that has not won since 1917, the White Sox. I’m rooting for the White Sox. Last year, the Red Sox won the WS for the first time since 1918; if the White Sox win this year for the first time since 1917, the two Sox championships would feel like bookends, and the White Sox would end a drought of similar proportions and agony shared by the 2004 Red Sox. Then in 2006, the pressure would be squarely on the Chicago Cubs, a team that hasn’t won the WS since 1908. If the White Sox win this week, and the Cubs perform a miracle in 2006, the three teams with the longest stretch between WS victories will have each one again, in three consecutive years. Lyrical, magical, mathematical. Now I hope I haven’t jinxed the White Sox.

2 Responses to “Progress and A Grand Slam”

  1. Mike N. Says:

    Randy. We’ve discussed sports over the years so I won’t rehash it too much. I agree with you on most of your points about hockey. I too lost interest in the game for the same reasons at about the same time. And now I’ve missed so many seasons I don’t recognize any of the players on any of the teams any longer. My continuity with the game has been broken, I fear, permanently. I can’t forsee an occasion where I’d watch an entire hockey game on TV.

    Baseball is a similar story. I do turn it on in the summer and watch a few innings from time to time. Baseball does a much better job informing us about the history of the game and the players. So I can pick up the playoffs and World Series and get right into it. (The game you’re talking about in your post ended in a walk-off home run…only the 14th ever in the World Series. Now that’s exciting!) I can see taking up baseball fandom again in years to come.

  2. darcy Says:

    People here can’t say “Canadiens” properly. I try to teach them, but they just can’t get that “ien” sound. So sad 🙁

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