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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Celebrating, St. Louis style”

    Confetti rains down on Cardinals fans following their teams win over Detroit in Game 5 of the World Series in Busch Stadium. St. Louis united in celebration at the ballpark and in the surrounding streets after the game.
    Confetti rains down on Cardinals fans following their team’s win over Detroit in Game 5 of the World Series in Busch Stadium. St. Louis united in celebration at the ballpark and in the surrounding streets after the game.

    ST. LOUIS – Streams of red, white and blue confetti flew through the air, more than 46,000 fans screamed in unison and a blanket of red covered the stadium.

    The scene from Busch Stadium late Friday night after the St. Louis Cardinals clinched their first World Series victory in 24 years is exactly what makes sports so great.

    You follow a team all season, from the offseason all the way through the postseason year after year – 98 and counting if you’re a fan of the Chicago Cubs – just for that one moment when ball hits mitt for the final out in baseball or the clock shows “”0.00″” in other sports and every fan involved goes into a state of pure ecstasy.

    St. Louis, widely acknowledged as one of the best baseball cities in the country, went absolutely nuts Friday.

    When Cardinals’ closer Adam Wainwright threw strike three into the glove of catcher Yadier Molina to end the series, it felt like a scene from a baseball video game with players mobbing each other in the middle of the field and the crowd jumping up and down, thunderously screaming with joy amidst a sky flashing with fireworks.

    There were graying old men who had celebrated championships won by Stan Musial in the 1940s and wide-eyed teenagers celebrating their first.

    There were rich people sitting in the luxury suites and those not as well off, a horde of just as rabid fans congregating right outside the stadium, viewing the game from a big screen while chanting their batters’ name and counting down the outs.

    It didn’t matter: young or old, rich or poor, black or white, everybody was an equal in counting down the outs and celebrating the championship.

    Legions of Cardinals fans – and it sure seemed like everybody living in St. Louis was a huge Cardinals fan – danced on their cars in the middle of the street, honking their horns and high-fiving strangers who passed by on both car and foot.

    Sports bring communities together. Even people who had never watched a baseball game in their lives couldn’t help but join in the fun.

    It’s what makes sports so magical. There are downs – as everybody who roots for Arizona’s version of the Cardinals sure knows – but it’s all worth it for that one night that connects a city.

    Two seasons ago, as the Arizona men’s basketball team made a run to the Final Four, Tucson seemingly lived and died with every shot.

    The whole campus seemed to be out celebrating after former guard Salim Stoudamire’s game-winning shot put the Wildcats into the Elite Eight, and practically the entire city watched as Illinois ended those dreams with a stunning comeback from 15 points down with four minutes to go, shooting the fan base right in the heart.

    No matter what happens, you can’t help but get caught up in the excitement.

    As “”We are the Champions”” blared over the loudspeakers Friday in a scene of pure pandemonium, I remembered once again why I love sports so much.

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