I won’t bore you with too many details, but suffice to say: there has been a perfect storm of sleeplessness.
We have been re-structuring Wilde’s, getting back to our roots as a wine bar and bistro, re-introducing old favourites to the menu and re-structuring the wine list to provide more choice and (even) better value.
At the same time, I’ve been involved in an intensive series of brainstorming exercises in town in an attempt to re-brand a major British blue-chip company. Oh, and then write the proposal – say, about 50,000 words?
And of course, these two episodes have coincided with the consummation devoutly to be wished after 162 games: the Sox in the post-season.
You will all know what happened: the news even made the Today programme on Radio 4. And a couple of hours ago, I added the front page of the Boston Globe from 31.10.2013 (or 10.31.2013 if you’re American) to the gallery of World Series front pages which adorn the walls of Wilde’s. I confess, I was slightly disappointed with the sub at the Globe. After ‘Yes!!!!’ and ‘So good! So good’’, I expected something smarter than “Tested and Triumphant’. But what the hell! It’s true and it’s accurate, and both are rare in the press these days.
So you will have guessed by now that my subject is not sleeplessness or insomnia; nor is it re-branding wine bars or major British blue-chip companies. It is my favourite subject – the Sox.
If ever there was a team which deserved to win the Series, this is it. Don’t get me wrong – nothing, nothing, will ever compare to 2004. But this is something else. This is a transformation from worst to first. This is a bunch of guys whom no-one gave much of a chance (oh alright, apart from me!) grafting and gritting their teeth, and grinding out wins with huge grins and even huger amounts of facial hair.
If they had not achieved this marvellous, miraculous, mythical victory, we would all remember this team as we – even people like me who weren’t there – remember the Impossible Dream boys of ’67. A team that made you proud to be a fan. That kept you up night after night. That made you smile, and laugh, and celebrate.
The class of 2013 is such a team and I love each and every one of them. What a ride they gave us. All the way. They lose the first game in Detroit. They are five runs down in the next. They win.
I hope I will in years to come remember all of it. But if I can only retain one memory from 2013, it won’t be the final out from Koji at 3am on the 31st , or any particular single play. It will be that moment at Detroit when the cameras cut to Big Papi in the middle of the seventh, remonstrating with the team in the dugout, telling them – so I have read – that if they wanted a ring, they should follow him – he had two!
They did. And now he’s got three. And so have I. Thanks guys. I don't know how different the 2014 Sox will be - I would certainly re-sign all the free agents, including Drew - but we'll worry about that next April.
And so to bed.
Today from the everysmith vault: a fair bit of the Velvet Underground (not Lou's solo stuff), but also The Notorious Byrd Brothers. The latter repays close listening.
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