Wednesday, May 14, 2008

An upside to repeated losing?


We've all been there. Head in hands, swearing off fandom for good. It's the nature of sports; something we can only fault ourselves for getting so invested in.

Our heart has been ripped out and trampled by two teams: the 2002 San Francisco Giants and the 2005-06 Washington Huskies basketball team.

In the first few months of our freshman year, the Giants were making a run we had never seen. They blew through the National League and took a 3-2 lead into Game 6 of the 2002 World Series.

Then this happened.

We're not sure if we, or the Giants, have ever recovered.

As a fitting end to our college days -- some of that full-circle bullshit -- our beloved Husky hoopsters were in the Sweet 16 for a second-straight year. There was no way the Dawgs could beat tourney-favorite UConn, right? No way. But it's so tempting to look ahead, and UW fans knew that if the Dawgs could pull the upset, they could very well then beat Cinderella George Mason and make the Final Four.

Then this happened.

Really, it was a strange reaction to a gut-wrenching loss. When the Giants blew that five-run lead, we tore apart our dorm room. When Rashad Anderson made a 3-pointer with 1.8 seconds left to send the game to OT, there was no sound. Standing up in anticipation of an Elite Eight appearance, we just crumbled to the floor.

After the game, of course, we drenched our pillow in tears. Don't laugh. It's OK to cry in sports.

But this horrible decision to recount our lowest moments in fandom is leading to a point.

Lately, our teams have been fucking miserable. The Giants can't hit, the Huskies can't hit free throws, the 49ers don't have a quarterback...the list goes on.

But rooting for terrible teams has been uplifting; we're not angry all the time! We don't break windows now when the Giants lose a July game to the Pirates. Or when the Dawgs miss a free throw to lose the game a la Darius Washington Jr.

Are we nuts? It's not that we want our teams to suck, but sucking has its perks. Really. We don't think a Royals fan would skip a party with strippers and blow to watch KC take on Minnesota in June. A die-hard Cubs fan might. To have a conference hoops game ruin your Saturday night is not fun, but it's the reality of a Duke fan. When Florida loses on the football field, Gators fans feel like the world is coming to an abrupt end.

Sports just set you up for heartbreak anyway. Unless you live in Boston, where teams are rarely mediocre.

Boston. Fuck.

14 comments:

rstiles said...

Good Deal!!!

rstiles said...

I hear ya on this...the Michigan Wolverines fucking kill me every year...like George Allen said, "You die a little each time, first your liver goes"...

I question why I put myself through it every fall just to watch them lose to Appy State or Purdue or Wisconsin...then ultimately, to lose to Fucking No-Good Ohio State!!!...

I have come so close to putting my foot through my television set so many times because of Michigan...and not to mention the long 3 hour drive back from Ann Arbor after a loss...

I was having a good day Zach, now all the bad memories are coming back to me now...thanks a lot!!!

rstiles said...

FUCK OHIO STATE!!!!

GMoney said...

As a Yankees fan, the past 8 years have me seriously questioning how many more failed seasons that I can take.

JMC said...

gmoney - you don't get it. When you've seen your team win like, I dunno 4 world championships, you don't get to talk. I'm sorry. The point is that we just want to see our teams win it all at least ONCE. If they've already done it 4 times then it's ok for them to lose for 15 years straight. Yankee fans, jeez.

Bokolis said...

The upside to having 2 terrible NY baseball teams in the '90s (Yankees 89-94, Mets 92-97) was that we could sit right down front. The cheapest lower deck ticket at the new Yankee Stadium figures to run over $100...and not much cheaper for the junkyard palace in Queens.

Bokolis said...

On a side note, regarding the right of Yankee fans to bitch, they've taken on the "philosophy" and characteristics of the Boss...when you pay the most, you get to bitch the most.

That said, some dude at my job (one of them, anyway, this one being sports related) is a psycho, go-off-into-a-diatribe-yell-at-the-TV-for-the-entire-next-at-bat because someone failed to move a runner over, Yankee fan. I mean it's bad, like a bratty kid who was just denied dessert...grown fucking man, too. I always ask the rest of the place, how bad would this guy be if they hadn't won 4 out of 5? They all say that he was just as bad while they were winning those championships.

Fucking Yankee fans.

rstiles said...

Love us or hate us, but you have to love us Yankees fans and the high demand that we put on our players...

Ya can't say that about a Pirates, Indians, Royals, Twins, fan, etc., etc....

rstiles said...

It's winning the World Series or nothing....

Who the fuck remembers who finished second?....Us Yankees fans have a higher standard!!!

The Big Picture said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JMC said...

stiles, that's fine. I'm fine with Yankees fans being passionate and being disappointed in a team that doesn't win it all. But you can't say:

the past 8 years have me seriously questioning how many more failed seasons that I can take.

It's one thing to not win it all for 8 years, it's another to have a losing record. Which the Yankees haven't done since 1992 (coincidentally the last year the Pirates had a winning season). What I'm trying to say is, its not hard to have a team in the playoffs every year (13 in a row for the yankees).

GMoney said...

But with the Buccos, you have no expectations. With the Yankees, they are always unrealistically high and are never met.

I see both sides of this argument but it doesn't change my opinion. Being a Yankees fan since 9/11 has been nothing but a massive disappointment.

pcsolotto said...

If im in the situation of the owner of this blog. I dont know how to post this kind of topic. he has a nice idea.

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