Sports column: A foot in the mouth

By Jeff Feyerer

What does it take to shove my size 14 foot in my mouth?

If you answered four consecutive wins by the Boston Red Sox to win the American League Championship and a dazzling final three games in the NLCS, you would be correct.

The Red Sox completed one of the most historic achievements in sports history last Wednesday, defeating the New York Yankees – their hated rivals – and becoming the first team in baseball history to win a seven-game series after being down 3-0.

The NLCS provided competition in the most dramatic series category. Jeff Kent and Jim Edmonds closed Games 5 and 6 with walk-off home runs for their respective teams, catapulting the clubs into a final grudge match that saw the Red Birds come out on top.

Just like that, I was proved wrong and an instant messenger away message declaring the 2004 playoffs as a total and inevitable dud became irrelevant. As did my slight credibility of someone possessing an astute knowledge of sports.

I came out and said the Red Sox were dead in the water. I said the NLCS was boring me.

I was wearing blinders.

You think I would have learned from all of the buzzer-beaters, Hail Mary passes and game-winning hits that sporting events are not foregone conclusions.

It’s not over until the fat lady sings. Unless you’re Roseanne, who was done when she grabbed her crotch.

No one could have orchestrated a more perfect scenario, including myself, an eternal optimist when it comes to sports. I’m the one who thinks the Bulls can make the playoffs this year.

It was almost as if David Ortiz and Kent were logged onto their computers, took a look at what I wrote and decided they would both hit game-winning home runs on Monday so they could prove the idiot college student wrong.

A job well done, gentlemen.

I spent the Sunday and Monday before Game 4 of the ALCS ragging on all the Yankees fans telling them they would lose the series even though they were up 3-0.

But deep down, I didn’t believe it.

Despite the close scores in the first four games of the NLCS, I remained unimpressed.

My roommate and I attempted to salvage the last shred of interest we held in the playoffs by rationalizing the situation.

We figured the only way the Red Sox could beat the Yankees would be to do so in the hardest way possible. The only time for a ghost to escape is when everyone has their backs turned and the only group that believes is the team itself.

Down 3-0 was the perfect situation for this.

We thought the NLCS could still be interesting. The two hottest teams in the league. A possible match-up of Clemens versus one of his former teams. A distinct possibility for seven games.

There was still hope yet for the 2004 postseason.

But no matter what crazy outcomes we concocted, I felt this year was going to be the hangover from 2003. Fox and Major League Baseball were supplying viewers with the bed-ridden, Jimmy John’s-craving, Advil-swallowing 21-year old after a night out on the town.

My opinion was way off.

What they did give us was another great chapter of in the history of postseason baseball and a glimpse into the unpredictability and suspense that make sports special.

The Cardinals and Astros gave us one of the most closely contested National League Series of all-time, while the Red Sox and Yankees reversed the roles for which they were originally cast.

The proverbial underdogs escaped the dark shadow of the Evil Empire. They vaulted themselves next to the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team for the most miraculous victory ever and for one night showed that anything was possible.

Even a transformation from dull postseason to greatest four-day stretch of baseball ever seen.

A bit of advice for everyone.

Save away messages for daily agendas, shout-outs to friends or even whimsical statements about the wonder that is college life.

Forget bold statements or predictions that could come back to haunt you.

The Bambino spooked the Red Sox for 87 years.

My statement may haunt me for that long.

Or at least until I can cough back up my Adidas.

Jeff Feyerer is a senior in ALS. He can be reached at [email protected]