I have to admit, I came home yesterday with visions of Racing Gracie wielding a light saber laying waste to the Jedi Council. There was something unnerving about that vision. When I tried to describe it, all I could think of was a quote from Obi-Wan Kenobi, “I feel a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced.” Of course that might just have been the San Francisco Giants fans after they were swept and eliminated from the post season.
Still, I couldn’t help but wonder if yesterday’s allegiance to the Dark Side would have other implications. Walking around the concourse before the game, there was Racing Gracie who looked as though nothing had happened. He was still wearing his purple jersey rather than some dark sith cloak.
Maybe I was just imagining things. After all I think Han Solo said it best, “Kid, I’ve flown from one side of this galaxy to the other, and I’ve seen a lot of strange stuff, but I’ve never seen *anything* to make me believe that there’s one all-powerful Force controlling everything. ‘Cause no mystical energy field controls *my* destiny. It’s all a lot of simple tricks and nonsense.”
At the conclusion of the fifth inning it was once again time for the Legends Races. The trumpet sounded and the gates to the Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen burst open releasing the racers. One-two-three, where was Racing Gracie?
Luis Gonzalez, Matt Williams, and Randy Johnson were running down the track towards the Dodgers dugout but Mark Grace was nowhere to be found. Suddenly Racing Gracie leapt from the dugout to take the lead.
It was such a shock to see Racing Gracie that everyone in the crowd seemed to ignore the fact that he hadn’t started the race. There he was in front as they rounded home plate Gracie crossed the finish line in first.
The crowd at Chase Field jumped from their seats in an impromptu standing ovation. I can’t be certain but I think I saw a tear flow down the cheek of the little old man sitting down the row from me. Amid his sobs he said something about being able to die happy now that Racing Gracie had won the race.
As the crowd celebrated dancing around the seats in Chase Field the public address announcer came on and admonished the fans claiming that Racing Gracie had been disqualified for cheating by not starting in the bullpen like the other racers.
There was no joy in Mudville that day. Joy was in the stands at Chase Field crying as victory was snatched away from Racing Gracie replaced with a long chain of failure and a value hot dog. As if that was not enough shame, Racing Gracie has been banished from racing in tomorrow’s race.
Oh the humanity of it all. A dejected Racing Gracie trudged up the stairs from the playing field. I have no doubt that the events of today are a direct result of Grace aligning himself with Darth Vader and starting that path down the dark side.
While I have sympathy for Racing Gracie it is the kids I feel most sorry for. Gracie’s large foam head seemed to sag from the weight of the dark side. As he exited I thought I saw a small child tug on his polyester pant leg and exclaim, “Say it ain’t so Gracie! Say it ain’t so!”