Today began like any other Sunday. I woke up before my wife, drank copious amounts of coffee, watched a few episodes of Brockmire, did some yard work, and Zoomed with my family. It wasn’t until later, after having a beer and picking up Jesse Dougherty’s ‘Buzzsaw’, that the nostalgia kicked in.
It is Easter Sunday and there are no sports. We are all stuck at home twiddling our thumbs and completing puzzle after puzzle. Everything is still and restless.
So, maybe it was the thought of seeing the Nationals play the Mariners with my Mom and Dad here in Seattle tomorrow. Or, maybe it was re-living the Nationals World Series run in ‘Buzzsaw’. No, perhaps it was the beer…it was definitely the beer…that made me feel deeply nostalgic. Whatever it was… it led me to write again and for that I am grateful.
If you know me then none of this is a surprise. I care deeply about sports. In fact, I would put my obsessive sports personality against anyone else’s. The kind of sports freak that looks at every box score, watches random NHL highlights, or breaks down every Dwayne Haskins throw at Ohio State. The kind of sports nut that explains how Tony Gwynn never struck out in 100+ at bats against Greg Maddux, only to realize that no one either seems to care or does not know who Tony Gwynn is…
The other trait that I wear on my sleeve is nostalgia. Constantly, thoughts of my family, friends, and previous experiences shape the conversations I have and the stories I tell. It is not something that I hide, and it shapes how I view the world.
Nostalgia is a main reason I love baseball…it is a game built on traditions and stories that my family passed on to me. My Grandfather, Great Uncle, Dad, Brother, Sister, and Mom all helped me understand that “the only church that truly feeds the soul, day in and day out, is the church of baseball.” Understand now?
Perhaps that is why, today, for the first time since I moved to Seattle, I felt deeply homesick. See, my parents were supposed to be visiting for the first time since my wife and I moved here. A trip we planned around the Nationals being in Seattle for the first time since 2014. It was almost too good to be true.
Well, it was in fact…too good to be true.
Look, if you have made it this far, I don’t mean to sound like a pity party. This is a blog about DC sports after all and not an outlet for a ‘woe is me’ post.
But damn, does this quarantine have all of us out of whack or what?
Everywhere I turn people are bemoaning the lack of sports or genuinely just going stir crazy. And with good reason. Hell, I have been carrying a baseball around everywhere I go (all 6 rooms). The baseball was given to me by NBC Sports anchor Ahmed Fareed and somehow connects me to Norfolk, baseball, and more simple times. My wife thinks it is weird and honestly…yeah, it is really fucking weird.
No sports sucks. This quarantine really sucks. But if there was ever a time to connect with our past and hold our relationships on a higher pedestal it is now. Call your family, crack jokes with your friends, or re-watch game 6 of the 2019 World Series. I promise you’ll feel a wave of nostalgia and that is ok. It will make you smile and realize that there are better times ahead for sports, for yourself, and everyone around you.
Between moving, work, and life, I have only written one post in the last year. It is hard to find the time, but writing is a great way to connect and something I love to do. Therefore, my goal is to write more about sports even if there are none to write about. Maybe I’ll write about how Tony Gwynn only struck out 30+ times 5x in 20 seasons.
It sucks I won’t get to cheer on Ryan Zimmerman tomorrow with my parents. Zim, after all, is from my hometown (757 baby!). But someday, and soon, things will return to normal and at 4pm PST I will settle into an evening with Dave Jageler and Charlie Slowes. It may be the year 2021 at that point, but it will happen. And until then, excuse me for being nostalgic. It is just who I am.
There are more stories to tell and memories to make. Normalcy and baseball will return. After all, baseball “has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again… this game — it’s a part of our past… It reminds us of all that once was good, and it could be again”.