You just had to be there.
It's a phrase I have always disliked. It tends to be said with an air of superiority or tone that suggests that they experienced something no other person could possibly relate to. It manifests FOMO in the person having to hear those words - "You had to be there." All it takes is a description to, maybe, pass on the feelings and emotions that were had so that those who may not have gotten to experienced it MIGHT have some inkling of what it was all about....
The drive to Seattle was quicker and easier than I had anticipated. Arriving an hour before the gates open at 10:40, the lines had already begun to form. It was barely 10am and the grills and beers were out for the early tailgaters already celebrating playoff baseball in Seattle, one of the few times day drinking is entirely acceptable.
You could already hear the hollers of "GO MS" "LETS DO IT" and even a few "REFUSE TO LOSE." Mixed it all in with chorused boos at the Astros on the smatterings of TVs showing highlights. You could already feel it in the air. You could hear it catching bits of conversations from the people around, that spark from the fans sharing their ages the last times the Mariners made it this far. I myself was 14 for the 2001 run and 8 for Refuse2Lose in '95. The anticipation was palpable and infectious.
Even before first pitch, after the fans had begun to settle into their seats, there was no shortage of electricity.
When the Jumbotron went black and giant gold crowns began to flash across it, the crowd knew.
There was no better choice to throw out the first pitch.
For everything he had done for this team, it was the least they could do: The King was back in TMobile.
And TMobile lost their collective minds.
I dont know if it was announced or a surprise, but it immediately set the tone.
There were no empty seats. From pitch 1 to pitch 498 the fans stayed. For every 0 on that scoreboard for 17 and a half innings they stayed. And for 6 and a half hours they were heard.
Every "LETS GO MARINERS" was deafening.
Every "JUUUUULIOOOOOOO" was inspiring.
Every Altuve at bat "CHEATER" was chanted.
And even in the end, they took the 106 win Astros toe to toe the entire game. It was not a win. You really couldnt call it a loss though.
And while the Astros pranced around on Our field after their 1-0 win, the fans who stayed looked on in stunned silence and then the crowd of about 47000 began to chant - "LETS GO MARINERS"
It was a heartbreaking way to go out, but it was our team, and it was our thank you.
It was supposed to be the first playoff game in Seattle in 20 years, the Mariners gave us two of them in one day. And it will be hard to describe the feelings and emotions that I experienced in that crowd and that atmosphere for 6 straight hours.
But now I do kind of understand when I have to say.....
......You just had to be there.