It’s often said that reality makes the greatest theater. Nothing is more dramatic, intense, or captivating than a Hollywood script being played out in real life. The general feeling that what we’re watching is so real makes it surreal, and the story behind the bizarre and often times comical makes things that much better to watch on television.
It’s why so-called, “reality television” is so popular. We don’t want cartoonish or cleverly designed characters; we want the real thing. We want real heroes and villains. We want to watch real firefighters running into burning buildings, real blue-collar truckers driving on roads made of frozen lakes and streams, real relationships either flourishing or crashing and burning. We want to see what happens to a mother on trial for murder, a football star arrested for breaking federal laws regarding dog fighting or guns, or a storied program breaking rules.
In the true spirit of the comedy and tragedy faces of theater, we also love a good laugh. We love hearing about a baseball legend’s bowel movements (YouTube… “George Brett’s Spring Training story if you’re up for a crude laugh”), a basketball player changing his name to something absurd, (thank you Ron Artest) and a coach’s foot fetish video (a.k.a Rex Ryan).
We eat all of that up because the laughter of reality makes us all watch it a little bit longer, and it makes us all want to watch it for a little bit more.
It was August 31, 2003. The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees were in the rubber game of a three-game series towards the end of the season. The Sox were mathematically still in contention for the AL East crown, but the Yankees were starting to put a little bit of distance between the two squads. However, the teams split two marathon games to open up the season, and the difference in divisional momentum came down to two old workhorses going head-to-head for one last go time on Fenway’s grass.
In the hours leading up to the game, it began dawning on many that this particular game superseded the heated rivalry. Due to the rotation, Roger Clemens would take the hill at Fenway Park for New York, and, with the schedule ahead, it became more and more apparent that this was Clemens’ final start in the stadium he made himself famous.
With one out in the sixth, Clemens walked nemesis Trot Nixon before Dave McCarty lined a single to center. With runners at the corners and the Yankees up six, Clemens struck out Doug Mirabelli, who needed to catch since the Sox were throwing Tim Wakefield that day. But Clemens couldn’t get out of the inning, walking next batter Gabe Kapler before being pulled for Antonio Osuna.
Clemens strode off the mound, and, echoing his famous performance in 1997, as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays, received a standing ovation. The “Fenway Faithful,” sensing the moment, honored the man who made history at the park. He wasn’t always the most likeable guy, but the fans took to his attitude and always respected him. The Rocket created more history in Boston during the ‘80s and ‘90s then they could fully fathom. He was a surefire Hall of Famer, one of the game’s greatest pitchers, and maybe, just maybe, the thawing between Clemens and the Red Sox would come to fruition if he wears a red “B” on his cap in Cooperstown, (Hall of Fame).
Welcome to Friday everyone, the weekend is here! Despite all the cold weather, snow and rain, Noontime Sports is here to deliver our Daily Noontime for February 4, 2011, so without further ado, have an awesome day and great weekend!