Can you feel it building? The realization that what this Reds team is doing right now is a historic run that has *rarely* been seen by previous generations. This team has almost passed the legendary team of the 70’s. This drives me as a fan, this motivates me as a member of Red Nation. So as to prepare myself and others for this weekend. I am meticulously putting my travel bag together, note sarcasm, and I can’t help but feel like this weekend is about more than baseball. Though it most certainly will be the most prevailing theme throughout, there is something different in the air and the energy it will illicit from anyone who dares look beyond the tree line.
There’s something grand about baseball, that people who do not follow the sport will never, ever understand until they have immersed themselves into a fan base. Laughed, cried, cheered, and jeered. Been to the pinnacle, and suffered in the shadows. The legends that built our franchise, that were once figures we held up next to the masked men in the Marvel or DC universe, they were our heroes. The guys who would save the day with a catch, a hit, or a pitch. There’s something next level about the mystique of the game we all love. The kids of the spring, boys of summer, and men of the fall…classic.
It’s Pete Rose and Carlton Fisk crushing anybody that stood in their way, Johnny Bench and Frank Thomas carving a legacy that likely will never be replicated. The Go Go White Sox, and the Big Red Machine. Good guys wearing black, and the hunt for a Red October. If you cannot experience the chill running down the sides of your neck, spreading across your back and raising every hair on your arm…you need to re-acquaint yourself with the icons that gave us the moments we re-enacted on the dirt of our neighbourhood diamond. Those guys gave us an identity as fans. A reason to smile and cry as a fan.
To my original point. I am sitting here, listening to the start of Hells Bells. One cannot help but feel it’s pertinent to this weekends series against the Bucs. The Reds have the hole dug, shovel in hand and leering over a team that is on the cusp of potentially replacing them as Central leaders. But Pirates fans, listen closely. Can you hear it? The soft *thump*…*thump*…*thump* your pulse is slowing down. The chill of defeat is beginning to make it’s way up your spine…the song lyrics ring hauntingly close to reality on the eve of this series…
I’m a rolling thunder, a pouring rain
I’m coming on like a hurricane
My lightning’s flashing across the sky
You’re only young but you’re gonna die.
Listen carefully Pirates, you can hear the pulse of your season…the dull thump of of your heart rate as it slows…that chill…listen carefully…stare into the grave. Houston lies there beside Chicago and you can see the Cardinals clawing at the side in vain to get themselves out before it’s too late…Cincinnati is the reaper, and he’s ringing the bell for you.
Reds fans. I don’t want you sitting down as the boys take the field the next three days. Get up, get obnoxiously loud. We want those people sitting around at Newport suddenly stopping in their tracks wondering where the thunderous noise is coming from. We are not the Big Red Machine, no…this team is something more…a different animal all together that has momentum and a hunger for the one thing the fans in Missouri constantly hang over our heads. They’ve won. A lot. But while they clutch to pictures and memories, this team has something much more tangible. This team has first place, and an opportunity to drive the nails a little further into the coffin reserved for the 2012 Pittsburgh Pirates.
Can you feel that electricity? Your heart rate picks up… I humbly request that whatever differences we have as fans of this team, are set aside for three days. For three days, we nod in silent agreement that any previous transgressions are being put on the back burner until after this series. I don’t care if you’re team A or team B. We need to be one team right now, without division amongst the ranks. This team needs the fan support, the players know what having their backs represents. Get on board with Ludvig Von Swattenheim, steady yourselves and deafen the city as they Release The Chapman. If you’re sitting at home, get off your couch and cheer for every play, because from the banks of the Ohio River…even now…they can hear us in October…Johnny…Pete…The Nasssssty Boys…
A new chapter of the fall classic screams to be written, Reds fans…they can feel it…destiny awaits this team…a legacy waits to be left…new legends born…there’s a new generation of kids waiting to fall in love with this team and remember what happened in 2012.