Like many companies in the Baltimore area, my job is big on "Purple Fridays" during the football season, to support the home town Ravens. And so it was on Thursday, with the Plant Manager's Administrative Assistant sending out an email urging everyone to wear their purple for the first Purple Friday of the season.
Wait. Not yet, I thought. The Ravens don't play until Monday, and the Orioles are playing the Yankees this weekend!
Now in recent years, of course, this bit of information would not have mattered one bit. The Orioles, as everyone knows, have been pretty awful the last 14 seasons, and by the time football season had rolled around, they have routinely been way of the running for any playoff chances. But not this year! For the first time in this millennium, my beloved O's are playing with a chance to do something other than watch football with the rest of us in October. Don't get me wrong, I love the Ravens, but the Orioles have been part of my life practically from birth. So come Friday, I was rocking Orange all day. I fired off an email responding to the Purple Friday notice stating that we should have Purple Monday, and do Orange Friday instead. Whether or not anyone else would follow suit didn't matter. The Angry Nerd was going to be in an Orange state of mind all weekend. Come Monday, the Ravens would have my undivided attention, but the weekend it was all about "dem O's"...
And then came Thursday's game. The Orioles jumped out to a 6-1 lead, and I was on Cloud Nine. But then, in the top of the 8th inning, the Yankees - with a big assist from our wild relief pitching - tied it up. O's fans everywhere were no doubt having flashbacks of 14 years worth of screwing up games just like this. But in doing so, they forgot - just like I temporarily did - that this ain't the same bunch of sad sack Orioles from the past, and they wasted no time proving that as soon as got to bat in the bottom of the 8th. Adam Jones, front and center as a leader on this team- HOME RUN!. Matt Wieters, quieter than Jones, but a leader as well (especially of the pitching staff) - walk. The red-hot Mark Reynolds - HOME RUN! - his 8th in 7 games! The streaky Chris Davis - the first player since Babe Ruth to win a game as a pitcher AND hit 3 Home Runs in a game in the same season - HOME RUN! And just like that, we were up 10-6. Unbelievable! This year's team has a flair for the dramatic, that's for sure. There's no way any of the sad sack Orioles squads from the past decade and a half wins a game like Thursday's (or like any number of other games they have managed to win in dramatic fashion).
If I was committed to an Orange Friday before Thursday's game, you can bet there was no stopping me after the game. Hell, if I had some orange pants I would have worn them too (then again, I guess there is a reason I don't have orange pants). So to the Ravens, love y'all, can't wait for the Monday Night Football beat down of the Bengals, but until then - it's all about "Dem O's"!