The first weekend in April – or occasionally the last weekend in March – is the best weekend of the entire year. In most places, winter is finally over. Spring is finally established with its new growth and new life. But all of those weather-related items could apply to many weeks and weekends as Winter ends and Spring begins. This particular weekend is different. It is SPECIAL.
The San Francisco Giants won the World Series with a 3-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals in game seven. The winning pitcher was unbelievably Madison Bumgarner, who had started and won both game one and game five. In game seven, Bumgarner entered the game as a reliever in the fifth inning and held the Royals scoreless for five innings. Such a performance by a pitcher is unlikely to ever happen again.
Welcome to a wonderful week: World Series Week. During this week, my world typically narrows to following the two teams that have survived to the final games and a general celebration of baseball. Even after living on the west coast since 1986, I still have trouble with these games starting at 5:00 in the afternoon, so they are neither afternoon games nor night games. They are simply TV games, showing how our culture has bent to the pressure of advertising.
My wife and I went to a party tonight – celebrating the wedding of some friends. The newly married groom said something that struck home for me: that this year has been a year of second chances for him. Not only does he have a new wife, a new love in his life, he also went through cancer treatments at Stanford during the same time that I was going through them. As we were saying good night, I mentioned to him that he said it just right – having cancer and then becoming healthy again really is a second chance at life.
My oldest daughter started college a little less than a month ago, and seems to be settling into her new life very well. Like any new freshman, she is facing a whole new world in academics, in personal freedoms, in living situation, etc. And something new for my daughter – joining the marching band at her University as a drummer. This really is a personal challenge for her because she has never played the drums before this year; she has many years of musical instruction and performance (all on piano), but no drumming.
I have loved college football since 1963, when I was in the second grade. My family had just moved from Madison, Wisconsin to Birmingham, Alabama. On the first day of school, on the playground, I was meeting the kids who would be my classmates. As they told me their names, several of them asked “Alabama or Auburn?” I had no idea what they meant. They said “Are you an Alabama fan or Auburn fan?” I hadn’t given it much thought, but having lived in Wisconsin I knew that Bart Starr (the quarterback of the Green Bay Packers) had gone to Alabama so I said I was an Alabama fan. I picked well.