AFTERMATH EUPHORIA: The Healing Power of American Past TImes
George Springer was short, scrawny and soon to be a ten year- old 4th grader just starting to get into little league baseball in New Britain, Connecticut.Meanwhile it was the Spring of 1999 when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold made their way through the hallways of Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado and wrinkled landscapes globally by laying claim to the most deadly school shooting in the history of the human existence after unloading unfathomable impacts of grief and horror on the sacred hearts of humanity that would resonate unrivaled to this moment and more. The trench-coat clad destruction duo would ultimately turn their armory against themselves to put a treacherous punctuation mark to unsuspected tragedy in the form of two rebels without a cause. My Goodness– Thank goodness for those Rebels. The Columbine High Rebels varsity football team donned nearly the exact insignia of the New, New England Patriots, not the old New England Patriots with Drew Bledsoe taking snaps under center- but the New look, New– New England Patriots with this new signal-caller that was starting to emerge as a promising big-league quarterback. The New England front office practically closed their eyes and pulled this fella’ out of a hat on the second day of the NFL Draft in the sixth round. Coming out of an average college career at the University of Michigan only time would tell what this Brady guy would amount to in the NFL. On a side note the new uniforms the Patriots wore with the minuteman’s face emblazoned across their shoulders and helmets looked hip and even cool enough to light a fire under their player’s bottoms.The logo bore a bizarre, nearly identical resemblance to Columbine’s Rebels that would travel eleven minutes Southbound on US Highway 85 to Mile-High Stadium and win their program’s first Class AAAAA State Title, the home turf of John Elway and Denver’s beloved Broncos, who supplemented Columbine’s title with a Super Bowl a month later. The Colorado catalysm– still deep in the grips of misery was no longer a state of calamity, instead pacified through the pastimes of American competition. It was 2001, September 11th, George was a week away from his thirteenth birthday, and still flaunted the full-fledge dreams of making the big leagues as a major league baseball player. Of Puerto Rican and Panamanian descent, one can only imagine what pre-adolescent Jewish foreigners thought of the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave back in 2001` when two suicide mercenaries hijacked and intentionally crashed their planes into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, and causing hysteria itself to render new meaning. This was the touchstone of disaster for any Patriot or bona-fide Bronx Bomber in America except the ones that wore pads and pinstripes. While the three-time defending champion Yankees lost the World Series in seven games-in November- since time stood still in the wreak of havoc for a while there- Arizona took home their first-ever major sports championship and youth in the U.S.A. Sports Nation grinned alongside it’s title team in just their fourth year of competition. Fittingly in the foreground the American symbolism found its glory when the Wild-Card Patriots of New England won the Super Bowl in the Super Dome of all places after a field goal sailed through the uprights as time expired against a highly favored St. Louis Rams team. A young quarterback by the name of Tom Brady led the resilient charge with “not enough time” left and won the game and the MVP award that year. Enter 2005–not far from the title teams’ headquarters: George Springer is now in high school and enthusiastically gearing up to play for Great Britain High’s baseball team despite weighing hardly more than 100 pounds soaking wet and just eclipsing 5 feet in height. He did posses one indomitable quality though: strength and so the beat goes on only to be silenced by the menacing gusts that would devastate the Southern Coastline and remain immortalized as arguably the most ferocious fits thrown by nature in America ever. Hurricane Katrina camped out for nearly a weak and broke down people, town and country in the masses. The Superdome was used as the super shelter and filled up so furiously that even the Fleur-De-Bleus had to find new territory to call its’ own as the home of the New Orleans Saints became the lodging of the despair and sadness-soaked survivors so broken-hearted some suggested that sports didn’t really matter.O’ but they did and the same some that said such –set those sentiments aside to see the Saints make the playoffs that year for the first time in decades with a new quarterback named Drew Brees. Since the Superdome harbored watered-down dreams the Imperials played in San Antonio and at the nearby University Stadium… home of the mighty LSU Tigers who would go on to win their first National Championship in football… on neutral ground, where pirogues and the pinched tails and sucked heads of crawfish were tawdry-sounding words and phrases– but nobody cared about semantics since the sports smiled bright enough around the bayous of Baton Rouge and surrounding cities and towns. The grins in New Orleans despite the lingering heartache of Katrina grew even greater glamour when the Saints marched in and won the 2009 Super Bowl after Brees and Co. stole the show against Peyton Manning’s Colts and took the Mardi Gras parade to an entirely new level. “So how’s your Mama an’ them” now New Orleans? Jump to the Spring of 2011 and the Houston Astros are the laughing stock of Major League Baseball. With the eleventh overall selection in the MLB Draft Houston invests in a first team All-American outfielder from UCONN named George Springer and acclimates him into the great American pastime’s process of making it in professional baseball. Springer would be called up in 2014, a year after the Boston Red Sox broke The Curse Of The Great Bambino and won their first World Series in over a century, bringing immeasurable merriment to the city of Boston on the heels of the marathon bombings. Springer would make his Major League debut for the last place Astros and never fade from the lineup- regardless of how soaking wet he was when the floods came and pummeled the Southeast metropolis that would platform him professionally to this day and this year-where he would carry the city of Houston on his short but strong shoulders and win the 2017 Willie Mays Trophy as the World Series’ most valuable player subsequently to now premier as perhaps the new poster child and vessel of a soothing aftermath euphoria while standing tall on the pinnacle of America’s favorite pastime.