Monday, October 20, 2008


The now-famous Jane & Coke everybody (00:11)... Jane and Coke.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Faith Revisited (Part 2)

While I don't claim to be a stats guy or an analysis guy (that stuff is better left to the experts), I'm a Red Sox guy. I'm a feeling guy. Something just doesn't feel right? We're doomed. The candle literally burns out inside the 2003 Rally Pumpkin, the very moment Pedro goes out for the ill-fated 8th? This isn't gonna end well. Something gives you that "wait-a-second...[pause]...[tingle]" moment of realization - i.e. the Kevin Millar walk, preceeding The Steal? When one of those happens, we just might have a shot.

Yesterday, as I stood in my kitchen, I overheard WEEI discussing a Tampa pitching change. Something clicked.

Wait a second. Why? Why the change? Why Kazmir? Why now? We own Kazmir.

I hope.

Or should I say... I Believe.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Faith Revisited (Part 1)

So here we are. For the third time in our three ALCS appearances in the past 5 years, we're down 3 games to 1, with Elimination breathing heavily down our necks. By the 6th inning of last night's laugher, I picked up Bill Simmons' emotional circus, Now I Can Die in Peace - a collection of his daily columns following every insane twist and turn in October of 2004. Back then, we looked to the columns as a way to put to words the emotions we were experiencing, as we were far too delirious to explain them ourselves. Non-Sox friends would as "How you doin?" I'd simply say, "Go read Simmons today." Last night, I needed that emotional charge again.

I flipped to the part of NICDIP written just after 2003's Game 7. Felt like a good place to start. Almost immediately, everything came rushing back. I remember sitting in the back tables at Maloney's in Tempe (a bar rumored to be named after Sam "Mayday" Malone, with a distinct "everybody knows your name" feel to it) half filled with Sox fans, half with Yankees fans. The glorious "WHERE IS RO-GER?" chants still echo in my mind. We had our Rally Pumpkin perched defiantly on the fireplace under the TVs. But then, cruelly, eerily, our only candle burned out, just as Pedro's lead slipped through his fingers. As with almost everything that happened in the minutes, days, months that followed... you can't make this stuff up.

I left the bar in the middle of the 11th, knowing exactly what was about to happen. I was almost to my car when I heard the cheers from the Yankee-filled deck wrapping around the bar. I looked back at the scene, and my eyes moved up to the tiny TV hanging overhead, just in time to see Boone's HR fall into the bleachers.

There are tons of stories from that post season, but that one still haunts me. And as I flipped through the pages, Simmons brought me back. It even got a little dusty in here.

And the best part of going back in time and reading history as it unfolds? You're taken back to those emotions, nearly as pure as when you first felt them. Tingles when we signed Schilling. Swagger after the A-Rod fight. Heck I remember my exact whereabouts when ESPN radio told me Schilling might come back for Game 6 at Yankee Stadium. Screeching to a stop, bounding out of my car and racing - almost skipping- down my walkway to tell my roommate what I'd just heard - that there might still be hope. It all comes back. And as we so wonderfully learned in 2004, our current 2008 situation might not be as hopeless as it seems, as it's always darkest before the dawn. So keep ya head up.

In terms of the book, I'm at the precipice of that Yankees series. And my emotions are so great I had to write something down. So here ya go. After this I'll probably pop Faith Rewarded into the DVD player for another go-around. I watched the 2007 Official World Series DVD immediately following last night's debacle, but all it talked about was how great the Manny/Papi duo is in the post season, how clutch Mike Lowell is in the spotlight, and how Curt Schilling's heroics saved the world again. I don't recommend this video to anyone right now. Don't even bother. If you're looking for inspiration - for hope - you need look no further than Faith Rewarded and Now I Can Die in Peace. Because while most of the faces have changed, the emotions will always be there.

After all, it feels so good [so good] to believe again.
Sidenote: All this memory lane stuff brings me back to a scenario posed to me a few years ago. I had just heard from a friend that my ex girlfriend ran into Derek Jeter and newly-turned-Yankee Johnny Damon at a Scottsdale nightclub. The immediate thought that ran through my head - who of the three would I save if the building caught fire and there was only time for one rescue before the ceiling caved in?

To be perfectly honest with you, at the time the answer was probably Jeter. Now... actually ya know what? Still Jeter.
Irregardless, let's win this thing.

(More tomorrow...)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The lines are in...

From: Ethan Furtek <>
Sent: Tuesday, October 14, 2008 11:56:09 AM
Subject: [blank]

I'm guaranteeing victory tonight. Print it.

From: "Cicchetti, Nicholas J" <>
Sent: Tuesday, October 14, 2008 12:04:27 PM

Noted. I will add to the pot a guaranteed 12:15 EST end time with Wake on the hill.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Ramble-ama ding dong - 7 things I love about you, October

First of all...
New Kids on the Block may well have been the best concert I've ever been to. And I was front row for Metallica at Woodstock.
Official Mathison NKOTB Facebook Photo Essay available here.

Second of all, it's October. And Mathison loooooves October. Listening to the one-game Twins/White Sox playoff through crackled radio last night had me thinking about all the things I love about our tenth month. In order to appease the Playoff Baseball Gods, here are seven.

  1. Few things beat Game 163 (when necessary.) That White Sox clincher last night was a phenomenal game. Play at the plate, solo HR shot to score the game's only run, diving catch on the final out. Now THAT's playoff baseball. Welcome to the show, pale hose.
  2. Sam Adams Oktoberfest. Summer Ale, it's been fun. But we're calling the closer out of the bullpen. Barkeep, sprinkle the infield please.
  3. 3. Halloween. Best holiday ever. It gloriously combines my two favorite things in the world: Drinking, and dressing like an idiot. Word to the wise for you single guys: If you wear an outfit that incorporates fake boobs (usually balloons), girls will spend the entire night grabbing them, and they will in turn allow encourage you to grab their actual boobs without a moment of hesitation. I don't pretend to know why this is the case. I just know that it is true. Eyeshadow helps too. Moving on.
  4. Football is in full swing. Pats are in rougher shape than my back after 4 weeks of sleeping on the parachute full of cotton that Jane and Coke calls a mattress, but the Prep just beat Everett. Cheers to the none of you reading this. That's a fantastic win.
  5. ASU Men's Lacrosse Annual Alumni game. Unfortunately I will be absent from said contest for the second straight year, due to my portfolio taking a huge hit in the recent stock market tumblings.* While my heart aches, my body rejoices. The alumni have lost to the now-national powerhouse Devils every year since its inception, and I still have a mark on my foot from when I was cleated 2 in the '06 game.
  6. Red Sox Baseball. Giddy up. How much do I wanna see another thrilling championship run in this glorious renaissance that is the Boston 00's? About as badly as Fox wants to show a constant barrage of Red Sox/Rays fight montages from the last few years, throughout the ALCS.
  7. Watching Faith Rewarded over and over agian. As anyone who was fortunate enough to read my feature interview on with Mr. Dave D'Onofrio knows, "And there's life for the Red Sox..." remain my favorite most tingle-inducing 7 words of all time. And that includes "Here comes Hulk Hogan!" and "Let's go to Vegas."

Let's Win This Thing.

So please enjoy your apple-picking, -bobbing, and -vodka-ing. October is here.

*Actually I just don't have a job.***

***any money.