The Day The Yankees Won

November 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog

I watched the last half inning of the sixth game of the 2009 World Series, baseball’s

championship. The final moment, when the final ball was caught by the first baseman and the final out was recorded, the New York Yankees became “World Champions”. I watched grown men, professionals who are paid millions of dollars to participate in this sport, jumping up and down in joy as if they were children. I watched as they hugged each other in groups and individually. I watched the men in suits and ties, the owners of the team, as they hugged each other enjoying the moment. I watched tens of thousands of spectators, fans who embraced their friends and wives and perhaps some strangers, that happened to be nearby, and I saw many tears of joy streaming down many cheeks.

I also watched the members of the losing team. I saw their faces, stunned by the reality of their loss. They didn’t touch each other. There was too much shared sadness for them to console each other.

We discuss love and loss here. There are many kinds of love and many kinds of loss. Some may seem trivial and unimportant while others more deep and affecting. What makes the kind of team love and team loss seem trivial, is not the depth of the feeling. It is that the love and the loss are impermanent. The feelings seem to peak and dissipate in a short time and what is left is the memory of the feeling, not the feeling itself. They will do it all over again next season.

Does that make the feelings trivial? Is the rush of love from a victory or the sadness from a loss something we should dismiss because it seems impermanent? Is it in fact as impermanent as we assume it is? Have you met a high school hero who re-lives the improbable touchdown catch he made thirty years before? I have. Have you met a man who has lost his business and destroyed the hopes of his family? I have.

Is there a lesson I have learned from watching the day the Yankees won? No, not one I hadn’t known before. But it is good to have the lesson reinforced. It is for me that with luck I will have moments of great joy and feelings of great love and if I do, I will undoubtedly have feelings of sadness and loss. That has been the nature of my life. Either way, it will start all over again next season for as long as I can wake up in the morning and see the sun.