Holyhell you guys, my right wrist hasn't been the same since The Outing on Saturday.
I'm not kidding. There was a noticeable pain afflicting both sides of my hand the following day. I could barely lift my pre-flight cocktails! And then, not long after my return to Pacific S. Time, the source of my mysterious pain was realized...
I high-fived too hard at the meth-up. High-tens too. So many spirited high-multiples-of-five!
What an intense day/night for the ol' pack! This was a special year for the South Side Sox Outing, featuring the first double-header in meth-up history, as well as Carlos Rodon's first major league start. Badass circumstances fell into our collective lap, and we celebrated accordingly. This whole thing was mega-fun planetary alignment shit, and I'm thankful for everyone who faced the cold day/night at the park to attend and contribute to the good times.
Aside from seeing Alexei crush a couple, one of my favorite moments from the games was when Conor Gillaspie (bless his heart) came into shallow right field (in front of us) on a defensive shift. I've found over the years that our group can quickly get a chant - literally ANY chant! - started and heard. And typically we rambunctiously celebrate game events that are amusing to us and only us.
So when we fifty-strong enthusiastically began chanting "LET'S GO, CONOR" (claps and stuff) from just over his left shoulder, I am prrretty sure we overwhelmed and subsequently broke the guy's central operating system. The hit ball went past him to his right into the field... and then the next batter hit one directly to where Conor was standing the play before.
Ah well. We gave him the Conor chant of the season, and I think somewhere deep down, he FEELS like HE LIKED IT.
Anyway, we're getting pretty professional at this after seven years. I don't recall anyone this year being too far gone, dancing between innings with multiple drinks in hand, giving up precious private liquor stashes to NARCs, making out, getting kicked out of the park, hitting on others' future-wives, passing out during the game with liquid stains on crotchal regions, disappearing with random dudes fresh back from Iraq, being found at or around some train station, lap-dancing for a girl on the train, peeing in the bar's outdoor garden area and blaming America when questioned, injuring themselves in adult racing situations, cramming into cars beyond legal limits, putting bellies onto stuffs, getting locked inside of bathrooms where the lock was most definitely inside the bathroom, cheering for Jerry Owens, nor even a single security guard hovering around us the entirety of the game as though we draw attention or something.
Proud of youuuuus.
Many cheers and endless thanks to e-gus for manning the grill, shopping for supplies, and hauling it all to (and from :-/) the park even earlier than anticipated. It's been too long since we had hot steamy meat action in the air at our tailgate, so this was a pleasant return to our roots. Given my logistical limitations when I'm in town, I'm really grateful for those who are willing to step up each year and lend a hand to the tailgate, be it schlepping or arriving early to man the fort. Can't thank you enough, gus. And I swear we don't have that much left over every year!
I'm honestly not certain how to score our win-loss record anymore (poll below). Do we count Noesi's game toward official Outinging? Probably. But I feel like maybe we need an asterisk now. Please vote below.
Also. Gotta say, this wrist thing is easily my most embarrassing injury since the elbow nerve damage I did while jigsaw-puzzling a few years ago. I wish people would just stop asking about the goat-patterned bandana that's been serving as my wrist brace this week. No, it's not a fashion statement, people, it's a sports spectator-related health matter, don't ACT like you've never had one.
‘til next year! Sox on, friends.
The L'Original Seven - (Perfect Attendance / OGs)
(colintj was making fun of my man-sized hands, and so I naturally jazzed 'em up)
Errrrrybody (aside from an important few who weren't able to make it before the first game, stoopid doubleheader)
On the way in, it's important to select a beer that will complement the journey
Fun in the sun