Back in the Day Music 1/24/17
I have never been a fan of nervous anticipation. It has always made me sick to my stomach. The weird thing is the timing of when I get that feeling. Before football games is definitely one. As a player, the anticipation was so high for me sometimes that I wished the other team not show up. This didn’t matter if the team was 0-8 or 8-0, the feeling was the same. As a coach for football, it has not changed. I am still nervous until the game has started and then I am fine. That was the same thing as a player. I would go to the bathroom about 900 times out of nervousness but when kickoff came, all of those feelings were gone. I am not Willie Beamen or anything, just a little nervous is all.
Coaching baseball is very similar to football. I have that feeling during big games for sure. Not so much for a game on a Tuesday in April against Romeoville. Perhaps when I have no control over the situation is where I get that nervous feeling from. While playing baseball though, I never felt this way. At no point was I ever nervous about an at bat, a pitch, anything.
I remember coming to the plate in the bottom of the eighth against Oswego my junior year. We were tied and there was a runner on third with two outs. It was getting dark so we knew this would be the final inning. Strolling up to the plate in a tense situation I decided this was the best time to quote Jake Taylor from Major League. Looking at catcher Joe Hernandez I stated, “The game is getting exciting.” Based on the nervousness I saw in his face after my joke, I knew I would get the game winning hit. After fouling a 1-0 pitch straight back, good old TC, Todd Crose, called time and strolled down from third to have a chat with me. Before he could even say a word I told him, “Don’t worry coach, I’m going to get a hit and win the game for you.” He seemed happy enough with that, as he didn’t say anything, just gave me a smile. And if it wasn’t for Jake Kleckner, a guy who couldn’t make a routine play all series, and his diving backhanded play up the middle, I would have had my one and only walk off winner. Instead, I sulked and was pissed like only a Niewinski could.
I hadn’t had that nervous pit in your stomach feeling, outside of coaching, in quite a while. That was until Tuesday night. See, for some reason I get this feeling when I have watched something run its course, usually a TV show. Something about knowing a show and its characters that you have spent so much time with and had been invested with continuing no more seems to be very unsettling to me. I remember this feeling quite well in a few instances.
The first time I noticed it was when Will Smith was walking out of Uncle Phil’s home at the end of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Now, I liked the Fresh Prince, but it was not a necessity to watch each week. However, seeing something come to a close was unsettling.
I felt that same feeling when I heard Sam Malone tell a faceless stranger that Cheers was closed.
Twelve years ago now, as I watched the camera turn to the picture frame that had been placed so appropriately around the peephole in the finale of Friends, that feeling crept back up. Just knowing that there are no new episodes of Joey and Phoebe to make me laugh was off putting. Yes, only Joey and Phoebe for me. Married Chandler sucked and I’d rather have Jack Geller around than his sucky kids.
With the passing of Alan Thicke I decided to listen to the theme song from Growing Pains. While listening, that feeling came back. This time I really wondered why. Now, I liked the 80’s and I liked Growing Pains, but it was no Wonder Years, that’s for sure. But in listening to the lyrics I found a line that states the opposite of what I feel watching the ending to these shows. “Were nowhere near the end, the best is ready to begin,” is the quote. In watching the final scenes to these shows again, it feels like there is some sort of closure that I am not getting. And that should not be any further from the truth. Obviously, it’s a damn show, so get over it Brandon. But being a person who reflects on many parts of their day and gets a lot out of this reflection, listening intently to the lyrics from the Growing Pains theme song, I can think about things in a new light. See what you think.
Craig Sager stated that “Time is something that cannot be bought, it cannot be wagered with God, and it is not in endless supply. Time is simply how you live your life.” Hearing that quote many times on Thursday, one song came to mind. Today’s song takes us back to 1968 as part of soul music coming out of Memphis. It reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The Otis Redding hit was also named 161st best song of all time by Rolling Stone Magazine. Today’s song was the first song ever to reach number one posthumously, as Redding died in a plane crash three weeks before it was released. It was featured in the movies Platoon, Hamburger Hill, and Top Gun.
While Mr. Redding may have had a boring life, as he portrayed it in today’s song, Mr. Sager says that time is how you live your life. If Otis wanted to Sit on the Dock by the Bay, then let him live it up.