Realistically my Reds have been out of the pennant race for two months, if not longer. It was a disappointing year to be a fan of the baseball team in Cincinnati. A busy September and nothing to see them play for meant I watched few of their games as they played out the string.
Still, I am a baseball fan, so I tuned in to see which teams would grab the last two spots in the playoffs. I didn't have any particular rooting interest. Sure, I preferred for Atlanta and Tampa to advance, but it didn't have anything invested in the outcomes.
As it turns out, it was a great night to be a fan of the sport. Of the four games that mattered, only one didn't require one's close attention. Two went to extra innings, one of which probably never should have needed the additional frames. One was decided with a two-out ninth inning rally. Two of the games with somewhat improbable endings wrapped within minutes of each other.
Except for sporting events, technology and time-shifting have rendered live viewing of television largely inessential. (You can get away with recording games to watch later, but you're also probably more in danger of having the result spoiled.) Tonight's dramatic conclusion of the regular season had to be experienced as it happened, though. Whether it was switching between channels or interacting with friends through Twitter as we watched the games while hundreds of miles apart, being in the moment is what made it so thrilling. It certainly was worth fighting through the slumber trying to overtake me.