Jeff Weaver felt the same way when he was traded, in mid-season, from the Tigers to the New York Yankees, and arrived on Old-Timers' Day at the Stadium. "I felt like a kid," the then 25-year-old said while surrounded by giants. "I wanted to find a corner to hide in."
The scent of a pastry set Proust off on a recollection of childhood three volumes long, each the size of a breeze block. Likewise, the distinctive odor of the Metrodome—of concrete and Raid and grill disinfectant—had me instantly feeling 16 upon inhaling it again last week. Sports can do that, to you better than anything else. Just touch the pebble grain of a football. Quarterbacks Mark Rypien, 40, and Rodney Peete, 36, said exactly the same thing this season after returning from long layoffs: "I felt like a kid again."
In other words, they felt like they did when the end zone was two coats, and out-of-bounds was Mrs. Cleary's yard next door, and night games were klieg-lit by the back-porch light. "I felt like a little kid," Patriots running back Patrick Pass said of his team's victory over the Oakland Raiders in that playoff blizzard last January. "I would look up, returning kicks, and with the snow and the lights, you could hardly see the ball."
While your kids were turning the backyard into Foxboro, the Patriots were turning Foxboro into your backyard. Remember, when it was over, what New England long snapper Lonie Paxton did?
He fell onto his back in the end zone and made a snow angel.