It was August of last year, and The Beautiful Heth and I were watching a Red Sox-Blue Jays game on NESN (a 6-1 win, by the way). Truth be told, Heth was probably reading and I was watching the game — details — but the point is that suddenly I’m looking at one of those “Greatest Moments” commercials, and it happens to be dedicated to the single greatest Red Sox moment of all time … the 2004 World Series victory.
Pause. I’m reflecting.
Just another moment please.
The commercial is rolling along, and folks are talking about the championship. There’s Johnny Pesky. There’s Ben Affleck. There’s some blonde on her front steps. There’s Carlton Fisk.
Whoa-whoa-whoa. Hold up. The blonde. Was that …
“Honey, was that … Tara?”
Heth looks up. We rewind. Sure enough, there’s our pal Tara Sasseville, recalling the one-hopper back to Keith Foulke, the flip to Doug Mientkiewicz, and Joe Buck’s “Red Sox fans have longed to hear it …”
Tara smiles into the camera and says, “I get chills just thinking about it.”
Funny thing is, it surprised neither of us that Tara found her way into the middle of this celebrity-studded commercial. This is the woman, after all, who became “Barrel Girl,” counterpart to the legendary “Barrel Man” at Denver Broncos games. She’s a handstand-on-the-mountaintop kind of woman (I think there’s a fact-based reference there, but I’m being poetic just in case), one whom you would absolutely expect to show up on a commercial among those kind of people on that kind of tribute to that kind of moment.
And now, she’s exactly the kind of stay-at-home mother-of-three whom you would expect to romp into the Colby-Sawyer College gym on a frigid February afternoon and fire back pass after pass after pass, faster and faster and faster, and walk away having helped drain a whopping 1,800 foul shots in a hair under two hours. The very-pregnant Laura Lorio was across the lane for much of the time, but she was encouraged to rebound only those which didn’t require much movement. Quadrupling the fun was the fact that a good chunk of the Bates Group — Gary Watson, Brian and Marie Langdon, Mom and Paul — came for a few hundred shots to help further bolster morale.
So there was Tara — daughter to Pat and Rick, sister to Diana, wife to Aaron — keeping it light and super-fast. Every miss was followed by a mini pep talk (“Let’s Go!”), every 100th followed by a cheer (“Seven hundred! Wooooo-hooooo!”), every ball-get followed by a rifled-back pass.
We walked off the court at 3:06 p.m., having grown the overall number to 125,307 down, 874,693 to go to 1 million — a little more than one-eighth of the way there.
Thanks, Tara. See you again soon.