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The Shock The World Chronicles: The Reds Clinch The NL Central

When Kenny got me hip to the greatness that is "The Shock The World Tour" the single biggest sticking point that him and B-Lew told me is that more than just seeing a game, or fans going nuts, or just the atmosphere that is created by being at a football stadium, a pee-wee basketball game, or a minor league baseball game, there's nothing that surpasses the fact that you really don't know what you might see when you show up to a live sporting event.

Last night I was able to attend the #RedsTweetup at the Great American Ballpark as the Cincinnati Reds faced the Houston Astros as the National League's Central Division hung in the balance. I got to witness three things that I've never witnessed in entire life as a sports fan, please allow me to share them with you.

#1. The M-V-P Chant - If you haven't been paying attention, the Cincinnati Reds' first baseman Mr. Joey Votto has been putting up a monster season for The Big Red Machine. "Votto-Matic" as the locals call him around here, ranks in the top three in batting, homers and RBIs. Dude's a beast. However, somewhere in the 4th inning, the crowd broke out this chant...

"M-V-P! M-V-P! M-V-P! M-V-P! M-V-P!"

It gave me goosebumps like none other. It was incredible. I think I'll start chanting "M-V-P!" when LeBron and the Miami Heat comes to Cleveland in a couple of months...

#2. The Walk-Off Home Run - There are few things in sports that are better than the walk-off home run. (I'll name them right now: Someone getting dunked aka YUUUUUULE'd on, a game-winning shot, nose-to-nose finish in the 100 meters) With that being said, the Astros and Reds ended up tied at 2 in the bottom of the ninth. Reds right fielder Jay Bruuuuuuuuuce (that's how you have to say it) came up to the plate. I swear in his own mind he thought, "I don't care what Dusty Baker says, on the first pitch I see I'm swinging real Real REAL hard."

This is what happened...

...now, that is awesome. A game-winning home run in the bottom of the ninth? What makes it more special though was...

#3. Witnessing a Major Team Achievement - That home run came with the caveat of the Reds clinching the NL Central Division title. You've got to understand that the Reds have been mediocre for a long period in time. Since the Big Red Machine World Series winner in 1990, the Reds have made the playoffs one time. (Losing to my Atlanta Braves in a sweep in 1995...sorry Reds fans, I like y'all but I love my Braves.) People were going nuts like they won the World Series. People were crying, folks were calling their parents in disbelief, people were throwing beer on women (yes, this really happened), and I have to admit...it was cool as hell.

So I challenge you all in Dallas, Tampa Bay, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, (and maybe Atlanta, San Francisco, and San Diego depending on the wild card) to go see these teams do work in the playoffs. Look, you're talking to someone who's played baseball, I can't even watch regular season baseball too consistently. However, PLAYOFF baseball is awesome. The tension is thick at all times and folks live or die with almost every single pitch.

Shoutout to all the folks here in Cincinnati who met up at the Reds' Tweetup. Great times were had, the 2010 playoffs can't get here soon enough. Go Braves and wow, I've been living in Cincy too long...Go Reds!


P.S. As a reminder, checkout the livest sports talk (and hopefully on the radio soon) show around, "The Unsportsmanlike Conduct Show" as we are live Wednesday's at 9pm Eastern at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/edthesportsfan! Download our podcasts if you missed the live show as well!


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