As many of you know, this was my first season following the Brewers closely. Now that the season is at an end, sadly earlier than I had hoped, I had some thoughts about what this season was like for me as a fan.

There’s nothing like a great roller coaster ride. Slow but steady climbing up, followed by a thrilling ride that takes your stomach away like you are a kid again. That’s definitely what the Brewers’ season was like for me.

They were a thrill to follow, whether it was seeing them in person as I was lucky enough to do three times, watching them on my TV or laptop or even listening to the uniquely funny Bob Uecker on my smart phone.

I learned so much. I learned about patience and perseverance. I learned that even when people say horrible things about you, you just keep plugging along, like Ryan Braun or Rickie Weeks. I learned that Miller Park is a magical place where both amazing things one never thought possible happen as well as a place where lessons are learned about harsh realities. I learned about Stadium Sauce and Sausage Races and Nori Aoki. I learned that Cardinals Eat Babies.

And after learning all that… just when you think there is no hope, that all is over, hope reappears and a run for all that is possible happens. And what a run it is.

Sadly, the run is ended prematurely and hope is again dashed. I can’t help but think of all that might have been if only that run had been a little more successful. And I am sad.

Then I remember. There’s always next season for the Brewers. For them, there’s always another chance.

I think Bart Giamatti summed up how I feel really well:

“That is why it breaks my heart, that game–not because in New York they could win because Boston lost; in that, there is a rough justice, and a reminder to the Yankees of how slight and fragile are the circumstances that exalt one group of human beings over another. It breaks my heart because it was meant to, because it was meant to foster in me again the illusion that there was something abiding, some pattern and some impulse that could come together to make a reality that would resist the corrosion; and because, after it had fostered again that most hungered-for illusion, the game was meant to stop, and betray precisely what it promised.

Of course, there are those who learn after the first few times. They grow out of sports. And there are others who were born with the wisdom to know that nothing lasts. These are the truly tough among us, the ones who can live without illusion, or without even the hope of illusion. I am not that grown-up or up-to-date. I am a simpler creature, tied to more primitive patterns and cycles. I need to think something lasts forever, and it might as well be that state of being that is a game; it might as well be that, in a green field, in the sun.”

I have never been accused of learning anything after the first few times. Or of accepting that nothing lasts. I’m kind of proud of that, to be honest. There have to be some of us like that out there or there wouldn’t be baseball fans, would there?

Thanks for a summer to remember, Brew Crew. See you next spring. I will miss you. But I will be back.

 

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