STL pride, baby
Game six. The Cardinals are tied after coming back from two runs down in extra innings for the second time. David Freese is up with two outs and two strikes. Do you believe in miracles? At times like these, you have to.
After their game six victory, the Cardinals were most praised for their tenacity, their continued fighting to the bitter end and never giving up as the Rangers batted to lead after lead, sending the game to extra innings. Even as the Cards were down to their last strike, twice, they never stopped playing their game.
This sort of dogged determination has its place on the baseball field, and even in day to day life. A particularly complicated math problem can stump a student the first three times he looks at it, but if he can hang on and look at it for a fourth time, he’ll see something, some clue, and he will be able to solve it. The best stories in sports, miraculous recoveries and just plain inspirational living come from the people who never surrendered even when their enemies and troubles seemed insurmountable. Everyone admires Jackie Robinson, the legendary second baseman who broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball, and most athletes or those who know anything about sports wish they could do something half as amazing.
America has every reason to root for an underdog, or cling to hope in desperate situations. Going back to the Revolutionary War, the then-rebellious colonial army only won a few victories and was severely out-classed by the British. Yet, we all know how the war ended, and Americans take special pride in their dark horse status.
While Americans especially relate to an underdog who never gives up, we should equally praise those who compromise and learn to yield in an argument. In many circumstances, conceding part of what you desperately want to someone else, and allowing them to partially have their way, is even more difficult than stubbornly standing by and refusing to budge. Our nation should glorify compromise, especially as the Constitution’s famed system of checks and balances is based on it. Finding a balance between victory and defeat, our goals and someone else’s, is key to living a healthy life. Just as the Cardinals can’t win every game and every season can’t boast an amazing story of comeback like this year’s, we can’t dwell on our grievances forever.
For example, St. Louisans can’t spend our entire life grouching about how Chicago stole our glory or how underrated we are. It’s true, cities like Chicago, New York and Los Angeles with higher populations and legitimate public transportation systems draw more attention and tourism. Get over it. In fact, celebrate it. St. Louis’ limited appeal keeps our city from overcrowding. Part of its charm is in its optimal size, a cross between metropolis and Hickville, USA. Besides, just look at our past. Events like the World’s Fair and hosting Lewis and Clark’s journey of exploration keep us in history textbooks.
Of course, this begs the question, what makes St. Louis important today? The simplest answer: baseball. St. Louis is and always has been a baseball town. The Rams, quite frankly, are the most inconsistent, semi-competent team around. The Blues have their moments, and the soccer team rarely gets any attention at all, but only the Cardinals have constantly kept up with our demands for glory.
We may not always understand the team’s methods, but nobody can disrespect the results it delivers. After all, with their incredible, unbelievable, awe-inspiring (insert your adjective of choice here) comeback, their continual success that keeps us on the map, how can we blame them for anything?