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I will not rest until this postgame speech becomes the new state motto of New Jersey

Maybe it's because I moved away to Texas a few years ago, and I don't get home as often as I should. Maybe it's because I managed to drag two well-meaning but profoundly unprepared friends to see "Blinded by the Light" recently and it made me want to write an ode to every exit on the Garden State Parkway (but especially 109). Maybe it's because I finally found a bagel place down here that sells pork roll.

I'm not sure what the reason is. All I know is that I've spent the last few days watching a group of kids from Elizabeth, N.J., scratch and claw and sprint their way through the Little League World Series, and now that their wildly entertaining run has finally come to an end, I'm ready to literally lay down my life to ensure that this speech becomes the new motto of the great state of New Jersey:

"Liberty and Prosperity": antiquated, lifeless, generic.

"There's dad, and there's coach -- I love you guys": one-of-a-kind, instantly iconic, promotes the beauty of human connection.

The moment the team's manager, Jairo Labrador, felt his voice start to crack, that was it -- the whole reason why the LLWS exists in the first place, a relatively low-stakes excuse to show everybody that it's OK to cry, to feel it all.

The Elmora Troopers only won a couple of games in Williamsport this year, but that's not really the point. Put them on the state flag -- preferably with a new shade of yellow that doesn't remind me of spoiled mustard. After all, as any Bruce record will tell you, nothing is more New Jersey than having a lot of fun while falling a little short.