« Sports

Shattered Dream(s)

by Nick Vitrano

This time of year is always bittersweet for me.  Fall is my favorite season.  The pleasant days - the cool nights – the beautiful colors – the calming rustle of the rapidly aging leaves in the wind.  It’s the best time to be out in the yard, thatching and overseeding and getting that lawn ready for next season.  I love it.  Unfortunately, it reminds me that my lifelong dream of becoming the head grounds keeper for the Milwaukee Brewers (or any MLB team) has suffered another annual hit.

For the months of September and October, my face pretty much hurts…all the time.  Crap is draining down my throat, my voice is hoarse, my ears are plugged up.  I’m always delighted when the calendar turns over to November for all of the aforementioned. 

Our parents provide the great disservice of over-nurturing us on the principle of sticktoitiveness, culminating in the oft expressed, rarely backed-up idiom: "You can do anything if you put your mind to it."

Not true.

I am not a major league baseball player.  Trust me.  I wore out my mind (and everything else) on that one.  Still waitin’ on the call.

When I was growing up, I looked forward to the hours before first pitch as much as I did the actual baseball game.  It was mandatory that my father get us to the park as soon as the gates opened, not to heighten my chances at snagging a BP fly ball (though that was a nice fringe benefit), but in order that I might be able to view the final on-field preparations. 

I marveled at the setting of the batter’s box, the watering of the infield, the manicuring of the mound.  I always imagined myself moving not from the dugout to the broadcast booth…you know, when I retired from the game…but rather to the role of head groundskeeper.

Unlike being a player or even a broadcaster, I’ve always regarded my dream of MLB grounds caretaker as one of great attainability.  Nope.  I’m reminded every fall of the fact that it simply is not in the cards.

A lifetime of chronic sinus related distress has led me to the offices of multiple specialists over the years.  Recently I subscribed to a pretty exhaustive examination.  CT scans and several meetings with a few really smart people and the conclusion is, and I’m not kidding:

  • Avoid yard work.

There are other factors involved - I have a deviated septum, multiple cysts in my right sinus cavity, a few issues with my right nasal concha, terrible allergies to a couple of everpresent triggers – dust and mold - it's pretty much a mess in there.  But all my brain has processed is one sentence in the 10 pages of literature that I was given that states:

“The possibility of a sinus episode can be greatly reduced through the avoidance of outdoor chores.”

Maybe I can live vicariously through my wife, though I don’t think she’s at all interested in mowing the Miller Park outfield. 

Just another shattered sports dream.