Monday, May 5, 2014

Sunday Starter: Hostile and cool environment

Cinco de Mayo! Time for a taco or five....just sayin' when they are made correctly with the Mexican flair and not out of the box like the Ortega flair....

Sooooo......First, may I say that I am tired? No? Fine!

Here we go....on Saturday morning after the usual Friday night post game phone call, we made the executive decision to take the corporate jet to Nebraska to watch the kid's start against a powerhouse. Yes. the company jet...we all have one, right? My company's name is, everything was contingent upon finding good airfare and flight times that were conducive to getting us to Nebraska by 11 am Sunday morning.....

And so, with great diligence, dad found a nice price for the tickets to Kansas City, a Hampton Inn located in St. Joseph's, MO, a rental car, and the map to Nebraska.

In less than 24 hours, we left the house, traveled through 5 states, made the game, left after the fourth inning (more about that later), drove back to Kansas City

....ran to catch a flight that brought us to Detroit then home. In the planning, if one thing went wrong, we would either miss the plane and connections or the game. Fingers, toes and eyes were crossed as we boarded plane number one.....

As fate would have it, we made it to the windy, cold stadium as they sang the National Anthem. Whew!

What I could not believe was that my sense of temperature was way off and the light sweat shirt that I wore was not enough to watch this game. In fact, it was frigid as the wind blew across the plains....oh man, it was cold...the wind was not to be believed. I was looking to buy a blanket, but there were none for sale. I could have picked up a team sweatshirt, but I am a homer and cannot wear the opposing team's colors.

The wind whipped...the stadium was packed! I could not get a seat so I had to stand. Mind you, this is a college baseball game, but in Nebraska where football is king, obviously college baseball is the queen, because the 5000 seat arena was sold out. So, I stood in a corner...shivering....waiting...then he appeared. Oh my is a Sunday! He did it. He fought...battled....prayed...hoped and it was finally here. And we were there to witness it. Or were we?

When I looked for dad, he was no where near me? Uh, didn't we just drive three hours, had two connecting flights, and ran to make it to this start. Where was he?

I'll tell ya....he was pacing on the concrete and not really able to watch it. Huh? Salty and often aggressive dad who runs his own company, tells people to 'get over it' and works 24/7 could not stand still to watch his boy pitch in his first Sunday start? What the heck?

Now I really know....this guy is a softie. He gives off the old "I don't give a hoot about anything" but if you psychologically create a profile on him, he is a teddy bear on the inside as he could feel the tension and only wanted to see his son succeed and be happy.

Don't I want these things? Yea, of course, but somehow, he is unable to watch and keep his emotions in check, so he paced and only looked at the scoreboard. Am I in another time zone? Is this the outer limits? End of time? When I asked if he wanted to eat something since we did not have time for breakfast, the response was 'no'. Giving up food? Too nervous to eat? I am not sure that he is the road warrior that I need to join me on these adventures. No dogs....granola bars....bottled water....nothing....just pace and freeze....

With that said....the kid took the mound. I could not have been more happy for him. In fact, I stood in a corner with my camera and rosary and watched everything from the breathing to the stretching to each and every strike and ball pitched. I lived and died with my son as he pitched in front of 5000 people wearing red, screaming, applauding, shouting, cussing, and so on. The stadium was electric. This is what he has been waiting for all his life....and yet...his performance fell a bit short of his expectations....

Got to run to the Y...I will finish this post when I return.

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