As a Yankee fan, it’s hard to forget the pain of the 2004 American League Championship Series. In the best-of-seven series, the Yankees beat the Red Sox in each of the first three games. Which in the years before THE Curse of the Bambino was broken, was to be expected.
No team in any sport, who lost the first three games of a best-of-seven series, had ever come back to win.
With a one-run lead in the eight inning of game four, the Yankees were packing their bags for a trip to the World Series. Six-outs away. Though it had only been four years since the Yankees beat the Mets in the 2000 "Subway Series" I was hungry for another trophy. At the time as a Yankee fan, I felt I had waited long enough.
Little did I know!
With a one-run lead in the eighth inning, manager Joe Torre called on all-time saves leader Mariano Rivera to nail down the win and send the Yankees to the World Series.
Mariano, Mo to Yankee fans, blew the save and for good measure, did it again the next night.
The Yankees managed to flub the rest of that series without any help from the great Mariano. In the grandest choke in baseball history the Yankees allowed their arch-rivals to get passed them and onto the World Series, where the Red Sox went on to beat the Saint Louis Cardinals giving them their first World Series victory in 86-years. Thus breaking the curse!
The baseball tragedy played out over four nights. A misery, which in the 17-years since, the Yankees have failed to avenge.
The 2019 Fiesta Bowl and National Semi Final between my Ohio State Buckeyes and the Tigers from Clemson took the pain of those four nights and condensed it into a single moment. In a way which only football can.
Down by six with 45-seconds to play THE Buckeyes drove themselves to the Clemson 23-yard line and in position to score the game-winning touchdown and extra-point. Taking the snap, Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields dropped back and threw the ball into the endzone. To a spot where his best receiver Chris Olave (pronounced Oh-lah-vay) had assured him, he would be.
Fields had no reason to doubt him. The quarterback had connected with Olave for touchdowns 13 times in 2019. Including once earlier this game from the same 23-yard line.
But a missed communication between the two Ohio State stars left Olave far from the action as the ball sailed towards its destiny in the end zone. It landed in a defenders arms for a game (and season) ending interception. Dashing THE Buckeyes hope for a shot at the national championship.
The cumulative pain of those four nights in October of 2004 condensed into one moment made me, silent.
But unlike my Yankees who have been able to find anything which feels like redemption my Bucks, with an assist from a last-minute rule change designed to increase TV ratings, got a quick rematch with the Clemson Tigers. This time in the National Semi-Final game at the 2021 Sugar Bowl. An opportunity to avenge their crushing defeat, and move on to play Alabama for the National Championship.
This time, Justin Fields-to-Chris Olave never missed. With two-touchdowns to Olave, and four others spread around to the balance of the receiving corps, Fields’ six-touchdown performance not only gave THE Bucks a shot to play for a national championship on January 11, 2021 he also determined my wardrobe for the week until the game!
And saved me the burden of carrying that stinging loss for 17+ years! Go Bucks!
Having my wardrobe already established for the week before Sunday's sun rose on Stamford, should leave me extra time as I get back to work on the sites of THE Revolution.
I’m expecting the five other sites of the original Minutedealers to go live in the coming days. As I write this in my smoker’s “lounge” on Saturday night, Townlinepaint.com remains the only site to have gone fully live and is making sales.
Making Andriots and Columbia a little late, which irritates me.
While sales have generally been small and sporadic, I am already impressed with how the site is doing its job of attracting attention of the local paint shoppers.
The week between Christmas and the New Year is without doubt, the worst shopping week on the calendar for paint stores. The only week that compared in my Bronx, NY stores was the preceding week leading up to the Christmas holiday.
Yet, despite the bad seasonal timing of the launch the pages of TownlinePaint.com received over 750 views over that first week, which included the Christmas holiday.
They doubled that total in week two!
Until they start doing some marketing and trying to collect data, we’ll never know how many of those 2500 views will become sales.
Or how many of them already have?
What we do know is this: in the span of two seasonally slow paint-weeks, some sizeable number of consumers who were likely never going to know the name Town Line Paint, NOW know it!
We planted a seed, which will now grow. I’m looking forward to getting these other five sites live so I can share more specific results on them all.
Until then it’s all eyes on THE 2021 National Championships.
Let’s Go Bucks!!