When the World Series comes to town, what's a non-sports fan to do?
That's because, as the entire Tampa Bay area loses its marbles over the championship baseball game, I feel like the sole person who isn't all that interested.
Even now, I am no sports fan.
Don't know how it happened or why. But my decided lack of sports DNA makes times like these awkward and difficult. I am in awe of Howard Troxler's heartfelt words about his personal connection to baseball, even as I snicker at some local TV reporters' clumsy boosterism (despite the clunky fan interviews, Channel 10 was smart to nix the CBS morning show today for Rays coverage; who needs Harry Smith when you can toss more insults at the Phillies?)
Listening to Frank Deford spin one of his endless NPR commentaries about how the Phillies tend to win in tough economic times this morning was enough to spur a little anger; how does a sports expert pass up the chance to comment on one of the sweetest baseball comebacks ever in Tampa Bay? See, I'm not totally sports ignorant.
But I am clueless enough to wonder whether I agree with the New York Times' assertion that this World Series shot came about because fans could bring peanut butter sandwiches into Tropicana Field. (those of us listening to friends grouse about scoring a ticket to tonight's game can only wonder about the writer's questioning whether the Rays can still sell tickets.)
Still, the breathless enthusiasm and pulse-racing anticipation that so many have for this moment escapes me. I know it's not a popular sentiment to express right now -- so many in local media are riding the wave of well-earned admiration for a team which has achieved what seemed impossible not long ago.
I'm hoping that, as I watch tonight's game, I'll spend less time trying to pick our the stars from Fox's new shows -- though I can't deny hoping Terminator star Lena Headey makes the trip east -- and more time picking up the baseball fever that has gripped Tampa Bay with an iron fist.
After all, when a once-in-a-lifetime shot like comes along, you should at least try to enjoy it a bit, right?