Friday, September 30, 2005

It's September 30th, and if you're in Cleveland, you've got something to be excited about.

The Indians find themselves in a recently uncommon position: poised for the playoffs.
The Indians haven't done much of anything since their hey-day in the late-ninties. Gone are the days of Omar Visquel. We are left to the young and the inexperienced.
And yet some how, this club has managed to pull together enough wins to be tied with (of all people) the Yankees for the Wildcard going into the post-season.

Coming from Minnesota, I'm no stranger to losing. Or rather, I'm no stranger to losing big. When it counts. When I really really need it, that's when I'm disappointed. As Garrison Keillor would say, the Minnesotans have a certain capacity for suffering the rest of the world doesn't understand. It's a priviledge; we embrace it.
So it should be no surprise then when our sports teams fail and fall on their faces, we fans are still there for them to pick them up out of the dirt and dust them off. We love them. They're our friends. We invite them into our homes every Sunday afternoon, and three nights a week. We can't even say that about alot of our family.

But it would seem there is a trend in most other parts of the country that when your team does well, you're on the bandwagon. When they lose, you're in line to egg their house.
What is with this lack of loyalty? Why is it we're only a fan when things go well? I'll never understand this. Mistakes are made and blood will be spilled, but at the end of the day, those are still your Cleveland Indians or your Minnesota Vikings. Irregardless of if they succeed or fail, you must stand by them!

Fanaticism is well exercised in the likes of Boston and New York, where it's dangerous to one's well-being to wear a competing ball club's merchandise on their turf. And yet I've seen the most die-hard of fans turn into a horrible vehement of a human being, accusing everything including their own mothers for the loss that evening. How can there be no allowance for human error?

Two reasons:
1. Coming from a profession that does not allow for errors, I can sympathize with the contingent that demands perfection all of the time. There should be no room for silly mistakes, because that is their job.

2. They get paid too many butt-loads of money to be losing games. This reason I agree with even more. I say a player should be paid by the home-run, rbi, catch, stolen base, etc. . . we'd probably have to work on this idea some more. . .

At the end of the day, win or lose, these are your teams. They are part of your city's life, part of their identity and their existence. The friendly competition of sports is something that motivates us and helps make us want to continue on and acheive. It gives us something to rally around.
And after you've poured this much energy and effort into something, you can't betray it as soon as it doesn't turn out the way you hope. Hold on to it! Hide it away and wait for the next time!

Hope springs eternal, especially for the loyal sports fan.


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