“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.” –George Orwell, 1984
I don’t follow baseball religiously. I’m a sports fan who is dedicated to the St. Louis Cardinals. I don’t remember very well many recent MLB playoffs, but I remember 2004. I remember the Cardinals getting crushed by the Red Sox in the World Series and I remember what the Red Sox did to get there. I remember the bloody sock. I remember Curt Schilling’s game 6 performance against the Yankees in the ALCS as one of the greatest moments in sports history. Despite my apathy toward Schilling and the Red Sox, I saw something I can never forget.
ESPN doesn’t want us to remember. According to the Washington Post, on Saturday April 29th, just days after Schilling was fired from his job as a baseball analyst for ESPN, the network aired an edited version of their 30 for 30 documentary “Four Days in October.” Their new cuts left the most memorable part of the series—Curt Schilling–on the editing room floor. The Cable Sports Giant claimed they made necessary edits because of a softball game that went long, but this is an absolute lie. To tell the story of the 2004 American League Championship game without Schilling’s performance is patently absurd. Schilling’s dominant pitching while his ankle bled was a heroic image seared in our memory. It’s an image ESPN eliminated because of Schilling’s non-compliance with their views on LGBT issues.
You probably already know that George Orwell’s protagonist in 1984, Winston, worked for the Ministry of Truth. Winston’s job was to edit history, change the story, and eliminate those that have fallen out of favor with Big Brother. I absolutely abhor anything that smells like a conspiracy theory. For years I avoided what most conservatives have to say about President Obama because it tended in this direction. I am a history teacher who avoids modern politics like I avoid kale. The Schilling case is not a right-wing conspiracy theory; it is real. ESPN rewrote history to fit its current political agenda. They wrote their newfound enemy out of his own story.
We all know Schilling is a blowhard. Maybe he should have been fired well before now. Still, the fact remains that he was fired because he was outspoken on the transgender bathroom issue. He was fired because he agreed with the elected governors and congressmen of some of our States. And after he was fired, he was edited out of game 6 of the 2004 American League Championship—bloody sock and all.
The Culture Wars are over. Curt Schilling never happened. There was no bloody sock. There was no game 6. The Ministry of Truth has taken care of everything.
On the bright side, if game 6 never happened, this could mean that the Cardinals beat the Yankees in an epic 7 game series. I’ll never “forget” when Pujols got that RBI single right past Jeter in the 9th against Rivera. Thanks ESPN, for the “memories.”