Curt Schilling, Our Friend and Confidant

Watching Curt Schilling’s commanding performance last night made us wish that he wasn’t just Curt Schilling, ace starter for the Boston Red Sox, five-time All-Star, four-time top-5 finisher in the Cy Young Award voting, 20-game winner and 2001 World Series MVP, but Curt Schilling, Our Friend and Confidant.

Curt Schilling pitched so well, even though his ankle tendon was sutured to his ankle skin and bleeding through his sweat sock. Curt Schilling thoughtfully wrote “K ALS,” to mean “strikeout ALS” on his shoe right near the bloodstain, because he knew the television cameras would focus on it and he wants to promote the eradication of Lou Gehrig’s disease. Curt Schilling, when he was interviewed after his six solid innings ensured a Red Sox win, actually sounded sincere when he invoked the Almighty as a factor in his stellar performance on the mound. When the game ended, we were sad to see Curt Schilling go. We wanted to keep him around a while longer. He seemed like someone who could help us with our problems, help us to take charge, play through the pain, and deliver. Someone we’d benefit from being around. He isn’t very much like any of our other friends, but we wondered, what if Curt Schilling was one of us? What if every now and then the buzzer would buzz or the telephone would ring and it would be Curt Schilling, Our Friend and Confidant?

“Hey, it’s Curt Schilling!” we’d say. “Come on in, Curt.”

“Hey, guys, look who’s here–it’s Curt Schilling, 5-time All-Star and 2001 World Series MVP.”

“Howya doin’, Curt? Have some wine.”

“Oh, I’m sorry, Curt, I forgot you were a born-again Christian. Let me get you a nice, nonalcoholic Perrier. There you go.”

“Have a seat on the couch, Curt. You’ll want to get off that bloodstained ankle of yours. I bet it hurts, having your tendon stapled to the outside of your ankle through your skin. How did you pitch so many solid innings?”

And then Curt would tell us about how he did it and we would better understand how to be mentally tough.

We’d make him feel at home, we’d remember not to offer him alcohol, we wouldn’t make fun of God. We wouldn’t bring up his creepily, predictably patriotic “Letter to America” in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. We’d accept Curt Schilling for who he is and put aside our differences so we could learn from him.

And then we could tell Curt all our problems and he would tell us how to solve them, because he would be Curt Schilling, Our Friend and Confidant.

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