Looking Forward to Looking Back

New Years is an interesting concept that I never really understood. How exactly did replacing a calendar become a holiday? The conspiracy theorist in me believes that no matter what the official reasons were for celebrating New Years Day, it was probably a marketing ploy by the Hallmark Corporation to try and pump up the sales of cards and calendars. It is not just replacing a calendar that is odd but it is how people react to this event. All around the world tonight people will join together and consume large amounts of alcohol as they carefully watch the clock and count down the seconds until all 2007 calendars will become obsolete. They will then wildly cheer, throw small torn pieces of paper into the air and kiss complete strangers. They will then sing and dance late into the night then try to navigate the police infested streets trying to avoid field sobriety tests. After a few short hours of sleep these people will drag themselves out of bed and curse being alive as they find that their headache is more painful than being a Tampa Bay Ray lifetime season ticket holder.

Personally I am not much of a New Year’s Eve kind of guy. There is no baseball, and no World Series championship so what is the point of celebrating? I’ve already gotten my 2008 Diamondbacks calendar (actually I got two, one wall calendar and one desk calendar) so I celebrated at the check stand. I tried to get into the spirit of the holiday and waved my arms wildly and yelled “Happy New Calendar Day!” The cashier just stared blankly at me and briefly looked at the store security guard wondering if she should call him over. I felt it was probably best at that point that I not try to reach across the counter and give her a kiss or start singing Old Lang Syne. Instead I just collected my sack and quietly left the store.

I returned home and unboxed my new calendars. As I took down my 2007 wall calendar I stopped to think about all that had occurred during the past 364 days. Last year at this time I was eagerly waiting for the calendar to turn as that meant that baseball season was one day closer (ok some things never change). My expectations for 2007 were not that high especially when it came to the Arizona Diamondbacks. With the departure of most of the veterans and the Diamondbacks commitment to their youth movement I fully expected to endure a season filled with more ups and downs than a ride on Disneyland’s Space Mountain. Instead it was more like taking a turn on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. Although the Diamondbacks were outscored during the 2007 regular season, they had an exemplary record in one-run games. The problem came when they lost; the team lost with gusto being blown out of games by several runs. This created havoc on their run differential statistics and skewed an otherwise stellar season. Even with the blow-outs the Arizona Diamondbacks were still able to accumulate the best record in the National League giving them home field advantage throughout the post season up until the World Series.

The post season, that phrase has not been coupled with the Diamondbacks name since 2002 and the fans were especially excited to see play-off baseball being played in Chase Field for the first time (the last time the Diamondbacks were in the post season the stadium was called Bank One Ballpark). Hopes were high when the Diamondbacks swept the Chicago Cubs in the Divisional series to earn their second trip to the National League Championship Series in franchise history. Unfortunately they ran into the Colorado Rockies runaway train that was at the time unstoppable. Although few had predicted that the Diamondbacks would reach the NLCS this season it was still painful to watch the team get swept in Coors Field; a feeling that still hurts two months later. Time has begun to heal those wounds and now I can at least appreciate the accomplishments that occurred this season. As I flipped the last page of the calendar I was filled with a feeling of peace and accomplishment that I survived another year and was able to experience some pretty incredible things over the past twelve months.

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