Monday, September 18, 2006

Tough day for this sports fan

As we were sitting down to have dinner last night, I leaned over to our daughter, Sarah -- who is two-months old today by the way -- and told her to not be a sports fan when she grows up, it's too much torture. After spending six hours watching two of my favorite teams self-destruct, throwing away games they should have won, I was ready to join Sarah in a fit of crying, drooling on myself, and pooping my pants.

It started with the Eagles/Giants game. Since we got the Bears game on TV, and I wasn't able to run off to a nearby sports bar, I was relegated to following the game online. As the afternoon progressed, the Eagles erased an early seven-point deficit, and eventually had a 24-7 lead in the 4th quarter.

Fantastic! "They'll be 2-0, the Giants will be 0-2" I'm saying to myself. "The Eagles are in control of the division now...they could be making a run at another Super Bowl appearance" I'm thinking. In fact, I actually allowed myself to be happy about this game, and this team.

Big mistake.

I really don't want to get into the details, but you know how this story ends...The Giants score 17 points in the 4th quarter, force overtime, and win 30-24.

I think deep down I had a bad feeling about this one as the game headed to the 4th quarter. I called my parents to see how they were doing, and my dad answered. He's gradually withdrawn from watching sports over the years. Oh, he'll watch a baseball game, or a college football game now and then, but if it's a team from Philly, forget it. He's had enough. He simply doesn't pay much attention to it anymore. As I was talking to him, the Eagles were winning 24-7 in the 4th quarter. I knew he wasn't aware of the score, but I didn't even tell him they were winning, because I thought that would jinx it and the Eagles would eventually blow the game.

I hate Sundays in the fall.

So the Eagles game ends, and now it's 3:00, and the White Sox are taking the field in Oakland. Already fading in the AL playoff chase, there's still time left to make a run and sneak in at the end of the regular season. Maybe the Sox can salvage the finale of the series, and start a winning streak heading into the big Tigers series that starts tonight. After taking a 2-0 lead, things looked good.

Well, again, I really don't want to get into the messy details, but you know how this one ends as well. Former Sox star Frank Thomas hits a 3-run homer, the White Sox waste opportunity after opportunity to score, and they lose 5-4.

Yes, I know the White Sox won the world series last year, so even a disappointing finish to what was a promising 2006 season shouldn't be that difficult to deal with, but this team has missed so many opportunities, they're blowing a chance to repeat and really do something memorable. Granted, they're in the toughest division in baseball, but that shouldn't be an excuse.

There was one good thing that happened yesterday in sports for me, the Phillies won another game, 6-4 in Houston, and are just one game out of the wildcard. Given how many times the Phightin' Phils have let me down in the past, I'm not getting my hopes up about this playoff chase just yet. When you root for the teams I do, it's wise to brace for the worst, and just be pleasantly surprised when anything good happens.

And truth be told, I hope Sarah grows up to be a huge sports fan. Well, not that huge, I'd hate to see her have a weight problem. I have Megan brainwashed, I mean, aimed in the right direction. She cheers for the Sox, and yesterday she asked me how the Phillies were doing. Good kid. Now let's get set for the Sox/Tigers series, and the Cubs/Phillies series.

And Sarah, make some room for me. I may need some space to cry, drool, and poop myself later tonight.

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