I’m sorry Sports. It’s not you, it’s me. It’s just that I put so much heart and soul into this relationship, and I really don’t feel like I’m getting anything out of it. I’m sorry. We’re going to need to take a break. At least for a week, just to see where we stand. I love you.
I’m taking a break.
Actually I’m close to bringing back last year’s idea of not following sports.
It’s just too much for me to handle.
I get frustrated. I get confident. I get nervous. I get hopeful. I get stressed. I get excited. I get upset … and what happens? I take it out on my family. My kids go dinnerless. My wife ignores me, thus taking away the one thing that can take my mind off sports for at least a minute and a half. It’s not fun. And isn’t that what’s sports supposed to be about?
I know, I know, it’s been happening since 1986, so I should be used to it now, right? Right! But how come I’m not?
Before I get into my own Black Sunday, let me, once again, give you a history of my frustrated, sports-loving life.
My first dab into sports was during the summer of 1986, June 6, 1986 to be exact, when I attended a San Diego Padres’ 3-2 extra-inning victory over the Atlanta Braves. I immediately became a Padre fan, and have been ever since. The problem with the Padres is that they hardly win. In my 27 years as a fan they have made four total playoff appearances that included, losing thrice in the Division Series, one World Series appearance, ending in a sweep in ’98 to those lovable Yankees. NOT counting the World Series run they are 1-9 in the postseason! The Padres have had 11 winning seasons in those 27 years, are the only team to not throw a no-hitter and one of only two teams to have never hit for the cycle. They’ve been around since 1969. It’s tough!
In ’92 we moved to the Seattle area and I joined the Mariners fan base. After a couple of mediocre seasons things turn around in ’95 when the Mariners and their “Refuse to Lose” mantra made a run to the playoffs. I attended the best sporting event I had ever attended (the Mariners 9-1 one-game playoff against the California Angels), the Kingdome was rocking, the team made a historic run to the American League Championship Series, the Mariners would be staying in Seattle and then … three playoff appearances later and still no taste of the World Series. But at least we have a cool banner that tells us that we had the most regular season wins in American League history. Bleh!
Despite living in Seattle, the Phoenix Suns were my NBA team in the ’90s. I had the huge purple, white and orange raincoat, the fancy Phoenix Suns logo watch, the purple Kevin Johnson jersey to go with my purple Suns hat, and my sweet denim shorts. A girl in my class would call me the “Desert Princess” after Kevin Johnson (and his incesstent whining). Yes, we share the same name. Phoenix made the playoffs eight times during my tenure in the ’90s (losing four times in the first round), and in ’92-’93 had the best regular season record in the NBA. They made the NBA Finals that year and … John Paxson hit a 3-pointer in Game 6 and I shed a few tears.
After KJ retired I attempted to jump on the Cleveland Cavaliers bandwagon, but it just wasn’t the same, and after LeBron made The Decision to leave Cleveland it just wasn’t the same.
NOTE: After wanting a NBA team to root for the last few years, I’ve since decided to follow the Indiana Pacers. I “called” Paul George’s breakout last year, followed them last season via the Indianapolis newspaper I follow because of the Colts, and thought “Why not?” Like most of the other teams I’ve followed in the years past they are off to a great start. Sorry Pacer fans … that’s all you’ll get from them. I’m on your bandwagon now!
Until 2004 when I fell in love with Peyton Manning. His antics at the line of scrimmage, the offense that he engineered, the fact that he looked and acted like a regular dude, and most importantly the fact that he led my fantasy football “Knocked Up / Postpartum Blues” to my second championship, was all I needed in making a decision to follow a NFL team.
I quickly became a Colts fan, and in 2006 they gave me my first taste of a championship when they won the Super Bowl. It felt nice but it was just two years into my love affair and I felt like I had jumped on board too late to deserve it. It’s possible that I just didn’t know what to expect after one of my teams actually won.
No worries, I felt that “punched in the gut” feeling years later when the Saints defeated the Colts in Super Bowl XLIV.
Unfortunately, my love of sports, and my fantasy sports career, parallels Manning’s NFL career. We’ll be really good in the regular season, but when it comes to the postseason expect us to choke more times than we win.
Which finally brings us to yesterday.
For the fourth straight week I watched as my beloved Colts, now led by Andrew Luck, were getting demolished in the first half of a game. Four weeks ago it was the lowly Texans, three weeks ago it was a horrible loss to the Rams, last week they were able to come back against the Titans, this week they let Carson Palmer throw the ball around on them. I had to turn it off. I was feeling ill.
OK, so the Cardinals are actually decent, and the Rams have a strong front seven, but how can I team that beats the Seahawks, owns the 49ers and holds off the Broncos, lose so badly to these two teams? C’mon!
Oh, in the last four weeks they have been outscored 93-12 in the first half. I’m ill again.
Later that evening the Broncos took a 24-0 halftime lead in “Manning vs. Brady XIV” and that was without Manning throwing the ball. You knew Brady would comeback right? I mean, the Patriots hate me, so it was bound to happen – and it did! The Patriots took a 31-24 lead. The Broncos would fire back and tie it at 31 apiece. Only to lose in overtime 34-31 in … I don’t want to talk about it.
Meanwhile, in the fantasy world, I needed one last comeback of my own. You’ll get the breakdown of this season in my “Diary of ‘The Wimpy Kids’ Season” at the end of this year, but the short version I was 2-6 four weeks ago. I made a couple of trades, picked up players, and turned a 15th place into 8th place, and just a game out of the playoff race. The two teams above me were losing badly. I needed a win badly, except the dude I was playing had Josh Gordon (14 catches, 237 yards receiving and a TD) and that Carson Palmer guy that the Colts let throw the ball around on them. No worries, I was down by 11 going into Sunday night’s game, with Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker to his Wes Welker. It was all in my Man Crush’s hands … except it wasn’t. It was cold, it was windy, and the running game was working, so no need to get Decker or Thomas involved until the very last-minute of regulation when you needed a TD and Thomas provided it! I lost by three. I have no shot at spot No. 6. A million “What ifs…” played in my mind. It doesn’t matter.
CORRECTION: Because of a stat correction to Dez Bryant, I lost by only one point, thus cementing this loss firmly into No. 2 on my all-time worst fantasy losses.
And that brings me back to today, the day after. I need a week to relax. To clear sports from my mind. I’ll set my rosters for the week, both in basketball and football, then I’ll recycle last week’s Sports Illustrated, block Sports Illustrated, ESPN, all the Facebook sports pages I follow, from my computer.
No Dad, I don’t need to watch football on Thanksgiving. Let’s watch reruns of Hotel Impossible.
No church play practice people, I don’t need to hurry home to watch the Broncos-Chiefs game Sunday afternoon. Let’s get in another round of practice for our Christmas program.
Yes. Mine and Sports break starts right …