My mother recently asked me why it takes so much for my brothers and I to get excited about something. I paused to ponder the question and realized that men in their 20s and early 30s rarely appear particularly jovial. Immediately I thought of Bart and Lisa's response to a similar question: "We're the MTV generation, we feel neither highs nor lows". When I thought about it further, I managed to localize this reaction (or lack thereof) and came up with another theory.
Just to clarify, we do get excited about things and feel positively about certain events and occurences, it's just that to an observer, we appear to shrug everything off as pure happenstance. Why are we so jaded? Blame Joe Carter.
Ten years ago Thursday, Joe Carter came to the plate in the ninth inning of game six of the World Series. My Toronto Blue Jays led the series 3 games to 2, but trailed in the game 6-5. With Mitch Williams on the mound for the Philadelphia Phillies and Ricky Henderson and Paul Molitor on base, Joe hit a 2-2 pitch over the left field wall at SkyDome to give the Blue Jays their second World Series in a row. Earlier this month, I posted Tom Cheek's call of this moment as my quote of the week.
I can't accurately describe how my brothers and I reacted to this moment. When that ball cleared the fence, the feeling was ecstatic. The joy was overwhelming and we all shed tears. Heck, just thinking about that moment is causing my eyes to swell.
Joe Carter's World Series ending home run for the team I had worshipped since the summer of '83 is the reason it takes so much to get a rise out my brothers and I. The bar was raised to such an extreme height, that feeling may never be felt again. Many of you reading this are probably thinking I should have had a similar reaction watching my wife give birth to my son. I was extremely happy when I first met James, but it's different. Although we had hoped and prayed Carter would pull through, he could have struck out on that pitch and we could have lost the series in seven. Instead, he created a moment in time of unmatchable intoxication. When my son was born, I saw it coming. There was joy and relief, but not a split second of "Yah!!!". My brothers visited James at the hospital that night, but there was no pile-on as there was that night of October 23rd, 1993 when Joe "touched them all".
Thanks Joe for providing an entire city with a moment of collective elation. Until the Leafs win a Stanley Cup with an overtime goal, I fear it may never happen again.