Meaningful Games: The Results are In

It’s exhausting, isn’t it? Even if you’re not in the game, even if you’re only watching. Necessarily, you’re invested after so much back and forth, the numbers encouraging, then not, then going your way again. I’m talking about both baseball and the federal election, in case I’m being too opaque here. The campaign, which kicked off right around the time that the Blue Jays, with an influx of new blood, began their winning ways, was too close to call. Last night felt like a deciding game.

And too the Blue Jays were desperate, returning last night to Toronto, down two games to none to Kansas City. A loss wouldn’t have ended their season, not yet, but it would have brought the end terribly close. Instead the offense woke up, and something like hope filled the Dome. Ryan Goins busied himself like a committed campaign worker, a vital cog in the winning machine.

I gave the home wifi a workout in the interest of keeping up with both tight contests. In the end, each broke the way I’d hoped it would. In the lead-up some naive part of me wondered how the surging national interest in the Jays might influence this election. Losing, of course, breeds cynicism, and there’s been plenty of that in Canada for a few years now. But without getting too rosy about things, you could sense in the Dome’s crowds, and in the blue-clad folks you’d see all over the country, something new, or something as familiar as nostalgia; positivity, or maybe just weariness with all that negativity, which is pretty much the same thing. Belief in the Jays spread across the nation like a populist movement. Give us change, folks said. And give us a World Series, too.

Already it seems to me that a new all-in-togetherness, a pervasive civic-mindedness, is taking hold across the country. There’s a spring in the collective step that’s only partially attributable to the reemergence of the Blue Jays’ offense. I’m not immune. This morning as I walked home after depositing the children at school, the winds of change pushed along an empty Doritos bag. It blew right across my path. I picked it up.

A pennant-race dispatch from Invisible author Andrew Forbes (What You Need). In April 2016 we’ll be releasing The Utility of Boredom, a collection of Forbes’s baseball essays. 

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