An Ode To Omaha
I never expected this. I never expected any of this.
I just came to Omaha hoping to escape the Detroit Tigers for a few days. I wanted to make sure that I held true to my responsibilities. I didn't want to leave my fantastic followers from Michigan in the dark, but I just wanted to escape. When you live and die by every pitch of the god-awful baseball team, it does take something out of you. I just wanted to see something different for a change. I had forgotten what meaningful baseball looked like. It was all fun and games, and then came the Ole Miss Rebels.
This is not my championship. I never had to endure the hardship the Rebels fans have suffered for years. This doesn't belong to me. But as a Detroit sports fan, I know what it means to take that pain. When you root for teams that consistently come up short, it makes you as a fan feel like a loser. That's a completely unhealthy and bizarre way of looking at things, but it's the truth. Red Sox fans went through it for 86 years. Cubs fans went through it for 108. The feeling of ecstasy when you know you've finally broken the mold is indescribable. It's not something I've ever experienced, but it always warms my heart.
I'm so happy for Ben Mintz. And my emotion after that final out was about the moment. Sometimes the greatest happiness you'll ever find is the happiness that your friends are willing to show. Authenticity and emotion are the pillars on which this company was founded on. I wouldn't have changed a thing. When you are friends with someone, you support what they support. I could've been an asshole and played the heel role, but that's not me. And that doesn't make me better than any other person. But I disagree with the idea that it's not hip to support your friends. There's a massive difference between busting balls and being an utter douche nozzle. Some people have the spine to be the latter. I don't. If you want to work at Barstool, you do it by being authentic. And it was authentic.
This is a sidebar, but I'm so sickened by what's become of the modern age. I get so disgusted by the idea that we cannot associate with people because they share different political views or feel a certain way about a hot-button issue. To me, we are devolving as a society when we preach the idea that a person is lesser because they don't share our opinion. What I saw in Omaha this week was a friendly reminder of what we can still be. Through all my cynicism, I found hope. There is always a middle ground; sometimes, that middle ground is baseball. The kindness shown to me this week by the Ole Miss community is something that will stay with me forever. All of this belongs to you. I came to Omaha to get away, but in my heart of hearts, I don't know if I'll ever truly leave.
I never get tired of these moments. I never get tired of trying to comprehend this incredible experience that I've had since I started working at Barstool. And I've had moments that are probably more personally gratifying. But I don't think I've had many moments that have been more surreal since I started working here. Ole Miss winning The College World Series as the last team to make the tournament was something out of a movie. It was lightning in a bottle. It was one in a million. Only God knows when the lights are going to get turned out on me, but if I'm fortunate enough to be 100 years old sitting in my rocking chair, I will happily tell my grandkids about this week, Barstool Sports, Ben Mintz, and the Ole Miss Rebels. I'll never forget Omaha, Nebraska. It was heaven on earth.