Sunday, October 29, 2006

Speechless and Sleepless

I want to be in bed, under the sheets on a cool and brisk New England Autumn night. I want to rest my head on the fluffy pillows that reside at the top of my bed. My eyes dry and voice raspy, I just want to sleep.

But I can't.

The old expression of "tired but wired" certainly applies to this Revs fan right about now. After coming home less than two hours ago from the greatest sporting event I have ever attended...did you get that...EVER ATTENDED...I was among the thousands of hearty and excited fans present at Gillette Stadium who weathered the rain, wind and cold for the Revs stunning come-from-behind win Saturday night over the hated Fire. Yes, HATED Fire. As in "burn in hell" Fire. (Kinda has a ring to it, no?)

What started out as more of the same from the impeccable judgement of MLS officiating, whereby numerous Fire fouls went unseen, while Revs fouls were seemingly caught from every possible angle of Gillette Stadium (methinks MLS aka "Big Brother", if you will, had a hand in this), the Revs gave way to an early Fire goal. However, this would be the last regular-time goal the Fire would score in '06, because the Revs would never look back after then. Taylor Twellman would score in the 41st minute, then freshly-repaired Pat Noonan scored the tying aggregate goal sum, 2-2, during the 58th minute.

After the remainder of the match and accompanying twin 15-minute overtime periods went scoreless, the match came down to the crowd-pleaser: the shootout.

Matt Reis set the tone by stopping Thiago's first shot, then would later score mano-a-mano against his counterpart Matt Pickens on the Revs second shot. Another stop, this one on the testosterone-challenged Ivan Guerrero would give way to Taylor Twellman's match-clinching goal to send the Revs to the Eastern Conference Final, opponent and venue TBD. And with U2's "Elevation" beating on my ear drums, the most exciting sporting event ever attended by yours truly came to an adrenaline-filled conclusion, as the Revs - MY REVS - came out the victors on this late-October evening.

Voice hoarse, legs sore from jumping up and down, and shoulder muscles pulled from pumping my fist, and I return here, to my personal computer, still catching my breath from all that took place mere hours ago. The exhiliration, joy, tension, optimism, madness, anger (stemming from the finest officiating job I've ever witnessed) and ultimately, sheer ecstacy is still running through my veins as I type this well past the witching hour. If I could have stayed and camped out in section 102 just to soak up the match even more, I would have have called my dad to bring my comfy pants and pillow.

I've never been a part of such an event. Ever. In my twenty-five years on this planet, the only other moment that comes close was when I witnessed my Red Sox first World Series win in 86 years on live TV with ten of my closest friends. But in terms of live events, this match - this soccer game, this sport I repudiated at this time last year - has caught hold of me like an unfortunate field mouse in the clenches of a vulture. So thrilling an event that I am somewhat concerned I may replay this entire match in my slumber tonight, with an occasional shout of "NO!!!" (officiating), "YES!!!" (Revs goals), "C'MON MATTY REIS!!!" (Shoot-out) eminating from the corner of my room. I'm wondering whether some crude soundproofing of my room may be in order.

In closing, I finish this entry to you my dear readers, by stating that, after enduring the most emotion-filled 120 minutes of sport (and then some, including stoppage time and the shoot-out) of my life, I cannot get enough of this. I speak to you, a member of the recently converted, that I LOVE THIS GAME.



I want to sleep.

I can't.

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