I’ve said it and written it a thousand times, and I still believe it: The best, purest moments in all of sports are those directly after a major championship is won.
That’s when for a few sweet seconds everything else melts away: individual statistics, agents, endorsement deals, fame, pressure, the amount of money guys make, all selfish concerns.
Suddenly, players and coaches, young and old, turn into kids again.
That’s what we all saw last night as the Giants mobbed one another on the field after Sergio Romo struck out Miguel Cabrera, and San Francisco beat the Tigers to win the World Series.
Serious professional athletes who play a child’s game acted like children again. They threw gloves in the air. They looked amazed and kind of bewildered up into the dark Detroit sky, full of wonder, as though they had tasted Oreo ice cream for the first time. They ran around, smiling at and laughing with and hugging each other, talking about teamwork and believing in one another, the same way the 10-year-old kids down at the Fairfax Little League did when they won their division title.
The only difference being that the big boys eventually drenched each other in celebration with a little stronger drink.
But those glorious moments are the reason most of us got hooked, one way or the other, on sports in the first place. The competition begets the chase and the chase begets the goal and the goal begets the work and the work begets the ultimate winning moments.
What makes them so good, we all learn, even if it’s vicariously, is everything that went into gaining them.
The Giants’ run was wonderful and ridiculous. They could have and should have lost a hundred different times, a hundred different ways, coming back as they did from tough series and situations throughout the postseason. Who would have guessed, after trailing the Cardinals for the pennant, 3-1, they would knock down seven straight victories to take their title and earn their right to stream out of the dugout, to run in from the outfield and the infield to doggy-pile around the mound last night just like the 12-and-under Northridge Slime did when they won the Valley League championship?
It was a beautiful thing.
The best thing in sports.
GORDON MONSON hosts “The Big Show” weekdays from 3-7 p.m. on 1280 and 960 AM and 97.5 FM The Zone. Twitter: @GordonMonson.