I have witnessed the most hair-raising sporting event of my life. It is American. It is adrenaline.
It is baseball.
Along with mates including Nicolas Batum and the rookie neophyte Dante Cunningham (below), I viewed the Los Angeles Dodgers engage in a playoff matching last week. It is no matter of exaggeration to say that all hell fell loose at Dodger Stadium that day. I could sense the hypnotic power of the event even as we settled into our suite. The mob below, clad in blue, exuded most palpable excitations. And from the opening ball-throwings, a story unfolded before me, a story cloaked as a mere athletic contest. There was a plot, villains, protagonists, climaxes, singalongs... and cotton candy!
The drama of this Dodgers' eventual victory was only slightly tarnished by the fact that their opponent is symbolized by a small, alert-looking red bird.
As the innings and outings progressed, I looked about the suite to gauge the reactions of my mates. To my amazed orbs, Batum was awash in ennui, and— what’s this? Rookie Dante Cunningham SLUMBERING beneath a towel?! This was most outrageous. Just as bullfighting is Spanish, baseball is all-American... and you would never find me asleep as the matador dances!
The Trail Blazers' trainer, Jay Jensen, chose to gently lift the towel and perch a tortilla chip in Cunningham's gaping maw. Other than a snore, no response from the rookie was forthcoming. And so I obtained a jalapeño pepper and, tangoing forward in the stylized manner of the matador, I removed the chip and placed the muy caliente pepper on the rookie’s unsuspecting tongue.
An inferno of Dante’s palate was lit ablaze, the rookie came to with a sputter and a snort, and the honor of the great American pastime was salvaged by a Spaniard armed with a Mexican pepper!