Winning feels like pots and pans banged together in the cold autumn night.
Winning feels like a thousand whistles going off all at once.
Winning feels like the helicopter rides your dad would give you before you got too big.
Winning feels like that photo on the right looks like.
Winning feels like — finally — not losing.
As a fourth-grader in 1980, I lay on my living room floor wearing my yellow footie pajamas and clapping my feet together over my head in joy as Tug McGraw struck out Willie Wilson to win the World Series for Philadelphia.
Twenty-eight years later, I’m sitting alone in my attic in Rochester: not ideal viewing conditions, I grant you. I am not in Philadelphia. I am not sitting in a suburban sports bar surrounded by rabid fans, jumping up and down, screaming, cheering. I actually gave up my tickets for a Henry Rollins concert tonight so that I could be here, watching on TV from 350 miles away.
I worried that if we actually did win tonight, it would somehow feel anti-climactic. But with one out and one on in the top of the ninth, I started feeling that feeling. That feeling that feels like winning. My stomach wouldn’t stay in its designated spot, and instead started jumping up and down inside my rib cage. My legs and feet were tingling, like they wanted to go somewhere. And when Brad Lidge struck out Erik Hinske, falling to his knees where McGraw had leaped in the air, it was deja vu all over again.
Tonight I am 36 and, sadly, do not own a pair of footie pajamas. But I’m so happy, the only thing I can think to do is clap my feet together over my head.