Two words. Three syllables. Everything on the line.
It’s often said those are the two greatest words in sports. I’m personally more of a fan of “free peanuts!” or “touchdown Montana!”
Actually, who am I kidding?! Game seven is definitely better than both of those.
For all my non-sports fans who may not be in the know, tonight is game seven of the World Series. A winner-take-all battle that will put the cap on what has been a great series between the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros so far.
In fact, for the first time in all of the best-of-seven series to take place across the MLB, NHL and NBA, this is the first series in playoff history where the road team has won each of the first six games.
There truly is a first time for everything.
The thing that makes a game seven so special is that we get to see these world-class athletes leave everything they have out on the field or court or whatever type of surface the game takes place on. Not that they don’t care or aren’t trying in the games prior but there is literally “no tomorrow” for a season after a game seven.
Additionally, game sevens can make or break an individual’s legacy. They ripple through time with the lasting impact in our memories getting bigger the older we get.
One of the more recent and best game sevens I recall is the 2016 NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers. Imagine how different the NBA landscape would be if LeBron James didn’t make that crazy block on the glass or if Kyrie Irving, Standing Rock, didn’t hit that game-winning three over Steph Curry.
Would LeBron and Kyrie have stuck it out in Cleveland? How much would the media, including myself, rip LeBron for having a 2-6 record in the Finals rather than praising him for bringing the first championship to Cleveland since 1964?
Some things, we’ll never know.
Another one that has always stuck with me is the 2001 World Series game seven where Luis Gonzales hit a bloop-single over Derek Jeter to win the championship for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Watching that replay and hearing Joe Buck on the call makes me wonder how many sports memories of mine he’s been the voice of. Some people don’t like him but he’s up there along with the likes of Al Michaels, Mike Breen and Keith Jackson (just to name a few others) for having called some of the biggest moments in sports history.
As fans, we invest so much in our favorite teams and these winner-take-all games can be a roller coaster of emotions. Yet, there’s something comforting in seeing the players you root for all year long, leave their hearts on the field and know that it means more to them than just a paycheck.
These are the moments and games you dream of as a kid.
So even if you’re not a fan of the Nationals or Astros, you should definitely tune-in. There was controversy and drama in game six, setting the table for what should be truly a great game seven.
What more could we ask for?
(Actually, we ask for a Nats win ‘cause I really want to go to the parade since I’m based in Washington, D.C.)
Kolby KickingWoman is a reporter/producer for Indian Country Today. He is Blackfeet/Gros Ventre from the great state of Montana and currently reports and lives in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter - @KDKW_406. Email - email@example.com