So the Detroit Tigers have played 10 post season games last year and two so far this year and miraculously I have managed to watch a grand total of none of them live. I have a reasonable excuse for last year in that I was in Paris and London during the first two rounds of the playoffs. This year somehow I managed to have a housewarming party and an appointment with my accountant during the first two games of the series versus Oakland but that did not prevent me from recording the games and watching them later the same day with no idea of the result (a special skill of mine). My how the DVR has changed following your favorite teams.
Last year during the ALDS I distinctly remember lying in bed in my Paris apartment with my phone next to me waiting for ESPN text updates during a deciding game 5 against the Yankees. With the time differential I’m guessing it was probably about 4 a.m in Paris but it was exciting! In many ways I felt like the same 8 year old boy that I was in 1972 while I tried to be quiet in bed in Farmington Hills, Michigan late at on a hot summer night listening to Tigers road games while they were on the West coast playing the Oakland A’s or the then California Angels. Forget about the fact that nowadays the medium is Iphones and text messages where back then it was battery operated transistor radios there was still a smell of familiarity about the whole situation.
The other day I opened up my email to find a photo from my Mom. It simply said “You have been cheering for the Tigers for a long time” with this picture attached:
It’s a bit hard to make out but as best as I can tell it has the word Tigers written backwards (possibly due to a mirror being involved) and some stick figures cheering them on. If I had to guess I bet I might have even drawn this in 1972 during the ALCS vs. the A’s when I was 8 years old. I remember our teachers getting special permission to wheel black and white TV’s into our class rooms so we could watch the day games at Middlebelt Elementary. So tomorrow night I’ll hopefully watch my beloved Tigers wrap up a first round sweep. I’ll probably have to watch it on delay on my DVR after I finish work. I’ll be grateful for the advances in technology that make every game accessible at any point you desire but in another way I’ll long for the days of stick figures and radio broadcasts. In the distance I can almost faintly hear Ernie Harwell calling a Stormin’ Norman Cash homerun using his famous “Long Gone” phrase. I’d guess you’d have to be a Detroiter to understand that, but trust me the imagery is as nearly as priceless as a 40 year old drawing that some awesome Mom had the foresight to keep and knew the exact perfect time to pull it back out.