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Play-By-Playmate: The Fat Lady Has Sung
  • October 30, 2011 : 20:10
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The St. Louis Cardinals’ new team motto should be, ‘It Ain’t Over Till the Fat Lady Sings.’

The Cardinals were written off before the season ever started. Their woes started back in spring training, long before they stood 10 ½ games out of first place on Aug. 25, when ace Adam Wainwright got hurt in a bullpen session. Then Albert Pujols went in and out of the lineup with a wrist injury. The odds were stacked against St. Louis, making them an improbable team to win it all.

The Cardinals aside, I felt like this was one of the most exciting postseasons I’ve seen in a while. One reason I’m such a big football fan is that the season is only 16 weeks long and the playoffs are single-elimination games. Baseball is a test of patience. A 162 game season is extremely long. You have to wait so long just to see who’s going to make the playoffs, but this year it was well worth the wait.

For the Cardinals, they had to work harder than any other team and I love how theirs was a Cinderella story. Even though I’m not a Cardinals fan I couldn’t help but feel good for a team like that. They had a never-say-die attitude. They took it to five games against the favored Phillies in the first round. They went six games against the Brewers in the National League Division Series and then, of course, an epic seven games in the World Series. Game 7 is the most exciting thing in sports, even if you’re team isn’t playing in it. Game 6 between the Cardinals and Rangers was ridiculous, but again, nothing trumps the thrill and anticipation of a Game 7.

Now, I don’t have a particular bias toward any baseball team, and never have. The Florida Marlins weren’t around during my early childhood, so I never had a team to call my own. When it was determined the Cardinals and Rangers would play in the World Series, I still didn’t have a rooting interest—that is, until I watched Game 6.

Watching the Cardinals comeback time and again, and have that tenacity, that will-to-win, only to take it to  Game 7—at that point I wanted the Cardinals to win. I felt that at that point they deserved to be world champions. It’s the only time in all of baseball that I had a specific team I wanted to win. It took from spring training all the way to Game 7 for me to feel that way.

It was a joy to see veterans like Lance Berkman and Rafael Furcal win the World Series for the first time. I felt happy for them. Then you had Tony LaRussa announce his retirement after 15 years with the organization, which was like a marriage. He seems like a classy man and a class act. So I felt good for him to leave the game on a high note. Personally, I hung up my pom poms after being voted to the Pro Bowl as an NFL cheerleader; after 33 seasons, it’s good to see Tony go out with a win like that. So congratulations to Tony LaRussa and the rest of the Cardinals organization.

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