Sunday, October 30, 2011

world series

And now, for a special guest blog post from Michael:

There are only two times when I tolerate Budweiser: when on the brewery tour, and when the St. Louis Cardinals are in the postseason. In July, while on the Budweiser brewery tour with Lauren, I figured that I should enjoy the cold Bud at the end while I could, since the Cardinals were mired in mediocrity at the time with little hope of making the postseason. They had the talent--Albert Pujols, Chris Carpenter, Yadier Molina--but couldn't put it all together. Even when the team made a run in early September, I blew it off as too little too late. Lauren and I went to a game in Philadelphia with her uncle in mid-September in which the Cardinals were blown out in spectacular fashion. I bid adieu to the team there.

Then, unexpectedly, they went on an unprecedented tear at the same time that the Atlanta Braves, the wild card leaders, swooned. As was fitting, the Cardinals waited for the last day of the season to clinch a playoff berth. I figured that it was going to be a short-lived series, considering how badly the Phillies beat the Cards at that game we attended. But they somehow dispatched of the Phillies in five games, and as readers of this blog know, went on to face the Milwaukee Brewers in the Suds Series. If every there was a time for Budweiser, this was it.

It was the beer-iest series in baseball. The Cardinals play in Busch Stadium, the Brewers play in Miller Park. The Cardinals were owned for decades by the Busch family, who used to parade out on a beer wagon pulled by Clydesdales every year on opening day. The Brewers mascot is a beer-maker who slides into a vat of beer each time the Brewers hit a homerun. What more could Super Cool Bottle Caps have hoped for?

Well, a Cardinals victory for one, which happened in six games. So it was on to the World Series. Thankfully, the Clydesdales still make an appearance in the World Series, parading onto the field as a reminder of St. Louis's proud beer history. Never does Budweiser taste better than when the Cardinals are in the World Series.

Of course, the Cardinals stretched the series to the limit, going so far as to almost lose the sixth game twice before improbably rallying back in extra innings. Lauren had long since gone to bed by then, but I was so amped afterward that I woke her up and babbled on until three in the morning. The deciding game was almost anticlimactic in comparison, decided as much by the Rangers' sloppiness as the Cardinals' greatness. But a win is a win is a win, and once the last out was recorded, it was definitely time for a Bud. I should enjoy it while I can; it might be a while before a Bud tastes so, well, triumphant.

So raise one high for the Cardinals and for the brewery that's sponsored them for so long. They deserve it.

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