October 13th, 2013: The Day I Peaked
I remember waking up on that Sunday morning not angry but disappointed. The night before, Anibal Sanchez pitched 6 shut out innings against the Red Sox in game 1 of the ALCS. That line would be good enough for the win after Jhonny Peralta's RBI single in the 6th off of John Lester. As Tim McCarver explained the Red Sox couldn't board that flight to Detroit being down 0-2 and have to face Verlander in game 3.
That same day, the Patriots were to play the Fightin' Sean Paytons and the New Orleans Saints. Coming into the game, the Saints were 5-0. After the Patriots terrible, horrible, no good, very bad game the week before in Cinncinatti, like the Red Sox needed a win.
With a big day in sports ahead of me I was excited but I also had tickets to the Lee Brice concert. I watched the first half of the Patriots game at home, and left for the concert at half time. We got to the concert right as the fourth quarter started and to our luck they had a TV with the game on. The fourth quarter scoring started with a 23 yard Stephen Gostkowski field goal to put the Pats up 6. But just over five minutes later, Kenny Stills hauls in a 34 yard pass from Drew Brees for a touchdown which tied the game at 23 and the extra point put the Saints ahead by one. Now with the Pats down but with the ball its time to drive and score. But just how Josh McDaniels drew it up, the O turned it over on downs after running four plays gaining only four yards. I mean a wise man once said "if you only average one yard per down in a series it wont be good enough for a first down." The Pats D holds the Saints to a field goal and now forces the Pats to score a touchdown in order to get the win. But what does Tom Brady do? Throws a pick. One play. One pass. Unbelievable. But now the defense steps up again hold Drew Brees to a three and out. Now the magic happens.
I have never doubted Tom Brady with the ball in his hands in the two minute drill. With just over a minute to go the Pats got the ball at their own 30. After driving the field to the Saints 17, which included a fourth down conversion where old friend Austin Collie had a nine yard catch and run. After stopping the clock on first down, the Thomas Edward Patrick Brady faced a 2nd and 10 with only 10 seconds to play. Enough for two shots in the end zone. The GOAT only need one. He threw a beautiful fade to Kenbrell Thompkins in the back corner of the end zone. The place went nuts. I went nuts. Ball game. But it wasn't until 20 minutes later when my life would be changed forever.
Scott Zolak's call on the Sports Hub in my opinion is one of the greatest calls I have ever heard. "UNICORNS, SHOW PONIES, WHERE'S THE BEEF?!" is without a doubt the most random but yet most compelling phrase that I have ever been blessed with. To this day five years later I will re-watch that video. It gives me chills every time and also gets me pumped up. But little did I know that an even better play call would be waiting for me later that night.
"DAVID ORTIZ DAVID ORTIZ DAVID ORTIZ" may be the greatest six words I have ever heard in my life. It set up Salty's walk off single to send the Red Sox back to Detroit even in the series. Between the bullpen cop, Tori Hunter, and all 37,000 Red Sox fans in the stands all raising their limbs at once is a moment I will never forget. From that call on the Red Sox would go 7-3 the rest of the 2013 playoffs. In those next few weeks more memorable moments would happen like Shane Victorino's grand slam in game six of the ALCS and also his bases clearing double in Game 6 of the World Series. If I am being honest the Red Sox should've swept the Cardinals in the World Series again but they decided to start Will Middlebrooks at third base for the games they lost but that is neither here nor there.
Looking back at this day five years later it is hard to say anything will bring me more joy than this. Maybe marriage, maybe the birth of a child, I have no idea. But all I do know is that Tom Brady, David Ortiz, Scott Zolak, and Dave O'Brien definitely made that fall day in 2013 a day to remember. But now as I look to the Red Sox facing the Astros in the 2018 ALCS, staring the likes of Justin Verlander in the face once again, and Tom Brady going head to head against what some are calling the best quarterback the Kansas City Chiefs have seen since Joe Montana this week. Its time for New England to stand up once again, to call for the unicorns and show ponies, and hopefully find out where the beef is. Lets go Sox. Lets go Pats. As John Farrell once said, "Lets f***ing have it!" Cheers to the day I reached the summit of life, cheers to it all being downhill from there. Five years went by in a flash. Hopefully five years from now Ill be looking back on a couple more Super Bowls and hopefully at least a few more World Series. Lets Go!