The difference between experience and history is often as simple as punctuation. And hashtags.
Anyone perusing a recap of the Detroit Tigers' season-saving 7-5 win against the Texas Rangers in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series will learn the outcome of the game. They will read edited statements like "Delmon Young hit two of Detroit's four homers and Miguel Cabrera had a tiebreaking double in the sixth inning – thanks to a bizarre bounce off third base."
Those things all happened. Nouns begat verbs and the occasional adjective was warranted. But those crisp sentences don't do anything to convey the excitement -- or agony -- of watching a sporting event unfold. In real time, each hit is an exclamation and each miscue a hair-pulling disaster. The wild swings of emotion and the camaraderie -- whether in the ballpark, at a sports bar or just on Twitter -- among those riding the roller coaster is as much a part of enjoying sports as the outcome of any particular game.
With the Tigers facing elimination on Thursday, there was no shortage of dramatic moments. As they happened, many were worthy of exclamation points even if it would seem a bit unusual for the Associated Press to retain them after the fact. Justin Verlander delivered a Herculean effort, tossing a career-high 133 pitches, for the Tigers as they earned themselves another game. Delmon Young, who very nearly missed the ALCS due to injury, slugged a pair of home runs as several Detroit players battling injuries came through with key hits. And, of course, there was the bizarre bounce at third base that was a key moment in the game. While describing it as merely being "a bizarre bounce off third base" is accurate, it hardly explains the confusion, elation and frustration that erupted as the ball looped over the head of Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre.
Here are the real-time images and feelings of fans, media members and even a member of the Philadelphia Phillies as the fifth game of the ALCS was unfolding.