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Today is the best day of the year. You could combine the fireworks of the Fourth of July, every other major holiday, and your birthday into one day, and not even come close to replicating the beauty of this day. No April fooling, today, ladies and gentleman, is Opening Day.
The fresh cut, heavenly smelling green grass is a reminder that today is the beginning of a new year. Today is a new beginning, full of promise that my teams might actually be good this year. Even when they inevitably disappointment me, at least today I can forget about how much money I lost making brackets last month.
This is grown folks’ senior-ditch day, in a land of eternal sunshine where beer is in a constant flow. This is the year that the Chicago Cubs will forget of their history and win the pennant. On this day, the Pittsburgh Pirates can enjoy one of the few times they won’t be any games below five hundred. Even for just a day the “Evil Empire,” regardless of their absurd payroll, is on an equal playing level.
Forget “Twas the night before Christmas.” This is the night before baseball. The children are still nestled in their beds, but there are no visions of sugarplums and fairies dancing in their heads. Rather, images of their baseball heroes and large purple dinosaurs dancing. These children can easily be substituted for adults. The game is for all ages. Everyone is welcome.
The traditional four seasons are meaningless in the world of baseball. In this sport there are three seasons that describe each time of the year. The regular-season starts with a day where it is okay for grown men to squeal in excitement, like a four-year-old girl waiting in anticipation for her new Barbie doll.
It is a time where it is socially acceptable to eat Godforsaken foods layered in endless amounts of artificial cheese. Today it is still possible to win every one of the games. And who cares if your team doesn’t win the first one? That’s the beauty of the regular season. Any post-season hopes aren’t dashed if you lose one game. It’s a game to relax, enjoy outings with friends and soak up the atmosphere of the baseball cathedrals.
The post-season is a time of intense anticipation and incredible nerve damage is likely to occur. If you have the privilege of rooting for a team that is in the playoffs and have the ability not to wet yourself when they are losing, consider yourself incredibly blessed.
My blessing came when I saw the Colorado Rockies earn a spot in the playoffs against the San Diego Padres in 2007. At the end of the night, after the Rockies had defied the laws of nature and won, I had lost my voice and was exhausted with ecstasy. I hugged a man (a complete stranger mind you) who was weeping in my arms after the game. We were both little boys again and finally got the chance to elate in the joy that Opening Day promises. The city of Denver came together with the roaring sounds of “Rocktober!” bellowing through the streets. The ability baseball has to continually bring people together is why I think it is one of our country’s greatest traditions and pastimes.
Then there is the time between November 1st and March 1st that I like to avoid thinking about like vegetarians and hot dog eating contests. This dreadful period is the major league baseball off-season. This is a time where the sun doesn’t even bother to shine. It’s a time when we have a bunch of holidays to distract from the pain of no lazy summer months. For four months I feel like a kid who just dropped his snow cone on the ground.
Granted, I may be a bit obsessed with this game. It’s not perfect. It can take forever sometimes and I know everyone does not share my affinity for baseball. Don’t worry though; I do not think these people are ‘un-American’ who loathe happiness. But let Opening day be a reminder that the glorious days of summer are almost here.
Today is when the sentiments of ‘maybe next year’ are gone. Welcome back baseball.
Contact CU Independent Copy Editor Ben Macaluso at Ben.email@example.com.