Wait, what? Didn’t Romo just lead the Cowboys to victory in a must-win game against the Redskins on the road yesterday? Major blow for “America’s Team.” Wouldn’t it be funny if Kyle Orton stepped in and took the Cowboys somewhere Romo never could…like the Super Bowl? Poor Tony.
A devastating defeat and a worst-to-first story for the ages summed up my 2013 as a sports fan.
When it comes to rooting for our respective teams, more often than not we are left disappointed at the end of a given season. Our teams do not win championships every year. Some of our teams have never won a championship at all. People might say it’s a little insane to care so much about something that is so completely out of our control. There is nothing we can do to influence the outcome of a game, despite what those Bud Light commercials say.
Why do we invest so much energy and emotion into something that we are unable to control? Why do we allow sports to mean so much? Why do they mean so much to me?
We hope for the chance that one day, those teams that we put our heart and soul into as fans will earn the right to play for a championship…and come out on top.
I have been a fan of Notre Dame football since I was a kid. My first memories go back to the 1993 team when I was nine years old. I remember Kevin McDougal, Derrick Mayes, Bobby Taylor, Ray Zellars and Lee Becton. I remember the Irish beating No. 1 Florida State in “The Game of the Century” to take over the number one spot in the country…only to lose to an underdog Boston College team a week later which dashed Notre Dame’s title hopes and put a stop to an undefeated season.
They didn’t win the title, but I was hooked on Notre Dame football from that season on.
I went close to 20 years before reaching that level of excitement again…until the 2012 season. Notre Dame over-achieved and won tight game after tight game on their way to a perfect 12-0 regular season which culminated with a road win over USC. I had never felt so good about Notre Dame. At that point I thought they were a team of destiny. When Alabama earned its rightful place in the BCS National Championship by winning the SEC title, I thought that was how it was supposed to happen. If Notre Dame was to end its championship drought, it had to happen against the powerful Crimson Tide.
Boy was I wrong.
On that night in January in Miami, Notre Dame looked like a shell of the team I watched all season. The Irish were a good team that played great for 12 games. Alabama was a great team that saved its absolute best for last. And there was no stopping them.
I was so convinced that Notre Dame would win that game because it was “destiny” that I never stopped to think if they could win. They were simply outmatched. And the disappointment I felt that night as Alabama continued to score and score while refusing to yield on defense was crushing. I had never felt so let down as a sports fan in my life.
Sometimes it happens….
Our teams play well and win…and win…and win. They suck us in and once we’re in, we think there is no stopping them. And then we get let down. It happens. Do I think the whole season was one giant waste? Hell no. I’ll never forget that season despite the loss in the title game. Watching that team every Saturday was the highlight of the weekend. It was a great experience.
Fast forward to July. The Boston Red Sox, coming off one of their worst seasons in years, are battling for first place in the AL East. They had a very likable team. The most likable since 2004. David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia and Shane Victorino. Mike Napoli and Jonny Gomes. Then, eventually, Koji Uehara. This team was really fun to watch every single game. How do I know? Because John and I bit the bullet and ordered the MLB Extra Innings package in July. It turned out to be a great investment.
John was intertwined with the Pittsburgh Pirates in the middle of their first winning season in two decades and I was more hooked on the Red Sox than I had ever been. So we bought the package for the second half of the season.
Rooting for your favorite baseball team when they are in the middle of a pennant race is one of the most invigorating things that can happen to a sports fan. I was determining my nightly plans based around who the Red Sox were playing, who was pitching and what the standings were.
When Boston finally wrapped up the division and the best record in the AL in September, I thought we would be in for a wild ride in October…and we were. By “we” I mean Cody, the biggest Sox fan I know, and myself. For 16 games in October, the night consisted of drinking Genny Light and watching the Sox fight for a championship. Not a bad way to spend your free time.
We hung on every pitch, every hit, every strike and every out. My favorite moment by far, aside from the final out in the World Series, was Victorino’s go-ahead grand slam in the 7th inning of Game 6 of the ALCS against Detroit. Facing a possible Game 7 against Justin Verlander, Victorino delivered a towering shot into the seats of the Green Monster to give Boston a 5-2 lead before Koji closed it out.
Boston didn’t have an easy route to a World Series title as they overcame three of the best pitching staffs in baseball (Tampa Bay, Detroit and St. Louis) before clinching their first World Series in Fenway Park in 95 years. The clinching game was especially satisfying as Boston built a 6-0 lead through four innings and worked around a couple of jams before Koji slammed the door on the game and the season in the 9th. It was awesome. Euphoria.
Sometimes it happens…
Our teams win…and win…and win. And they keep winning. You can see chemistry developing and how the players interact with, and react to, each other. You can see momentum building until, finally, there are no games left to play and your favorite team is the last one standing and they’ve won a title.
Defeat and victory. That was 2013 for me.
Happy New Year everyone.
Oh Tom. Pulled over with open beer bottles in the car? You’re better than that. You have to throw them out the window before you leave the parking lot! At least I have an excuse to link the montage of the greatest white dunker of all time.
Tom Chambers, the popular former Suns star player and current broadcaster, has been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, reports the Arizona Republic.
Chambers has issued an apology to the Suns organization and its fans.
The Arizona Republic has all the details, and they are not pretty.
Chambers, 54, was pulled over about 9:45 p.m. Saturday at Pinnacle Vista and Scottsdale Road in far north Scottsdale. A police officer pulled over Chambers after seeing a GMC pickup truck going north on Scottsdale Road in the bicycle lane and weaving, according to a police report.
Chambers told the officer he had a few beers at the ASU-Stanford football game at Sun Devils Stadium earlier in the night, the report indicates. There was a passenger in the truck, along with two opened bottles of beer inside the vehicle, the report states.
The report also says Chambers was belligerent and yelled…
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The Hershel Walker trade has been beaten to death in the last 30 years. how many more times can it get brought up? Yes, we know it was a terrible trade for Minnesota because Walker tailed off and Dallas built a dynasty. The John Elway trade for the Colts kind of had to happen because that horse-faced whiner didn’t want to play for them “Wahhh, wahhhh…daddy I don’t want to play for the Colts.” Boo hoo. I hate John Elway. For that reason. Oh, and because of “The Drive.” Eli Manning pulled the same move in 2004 with the Chargers. He cried to Archie and got traded to the Giants. What a baby.
Well, that was depressing to say the least. I hope you weren’t planning on the United States was going to make it out of Group play, because it’s probably not going to happen now that they are going up against Portugal, Germany and Ghana. Crap. Oh well, there’s always 2018.
Well, Florida State can pretty much punch their ticket to the BCS National Championship game now. All that stands in their way is Duke in the ACC Championship game on Saturday. Yes….Duke. Duke football. Unbelievable. Had to have a feeling that Winston was not going to be charged in this case. Too much time had passed and it was basically the woman’s word vs. Jameis’ word. We’ll probably never know what exactly happened, but it’s got to be a huge sigh of relief for Winston, whose bright future could have been flushed down the toilet.
Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston will not be charged with sexual assault, state attorney Willie Meggs announced Thursday.
“We have a duty as prosecution to only file those charges if we have a reasonable likelihood of a conviction,” Meggs said Thursday. “After reviewing all the events we did not feel we could meet that burden.”
Meggs’ investigation concluded three weeks after reports surfaced that a woman told police she was raped by Winston last winter. A sexual encounter did occur, Meggs said, though he said his investigation didn’t find enough evidence to prove it was not consensual.
[nbcsports_video src=http://vplayer.nbcsports.com/p/BxmELC/nbcsportsembed/embed/select/SK2sq7ec0GD5 width=590 height=365]
Winston’s DNA matched evidence from the day of the incident, though Winston’s Tallahassee-based attorney, Tim Jansen, has argued the encounter between the FSU quarterback and the accuser was consensual. The accuser’s family has denied that claim, and in a statement released last month said the accuser was told by…
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See Mexico? This is why you can’t have nice things. We give you one NBA game (a regular season game no less) and your generator, which I’m sure was last inspected sometime in the late 90’s, catches fire and nearly burns the arena to the ground. Good job, good effort. I vote for no more games in Mexico from the four major professional sports. Soccer can play down there all they want. Mexico is like that child that is incapable of taking care of anything nice that their parents buy them. They forget to lock up their bicycle at night and it gets stolen, leave their new baseball glove out in the rain, etc. No more, Mexico. No more.
UPDATE 9:46 p.m.: The NBA later issued an official release detailing the postponement:
“The National Basketball Association game scheduled for tonight between the San Antonio Spurs and the Minnesota Timberwolves has been postponed due to a generator malfunction which produced smoke inside Mexico City Arena.
“The date for the rescheduled game, which will be played at Target Center in Minneapolis, will be announced at a later time.”
The cause of the smoke was a generator that malfunctioned and caught fire.
9:27 p.m.: The Spurs and the Timberwolves were set to play a game in Mexico City on Wednesday as part of the NBA’s Global Games schedule, but an apparent fire has caused smoke to fill the arena, and the building has been evacuated.
The conditions look pretty unsafe for an athletic competition to take place, and while the league is going to delay things as much as possible to try…
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Of course Red Sox fans would have liked Boston to keep their star center fielder for the rest of his career. What’s not to like about Ellsbury? He gets on base, steals bases, scores runs and plays great defense. What are you going to do? He’s a good ballplayer, but $153 million-good? I’m not so sure about that. Time will tell. And no, he’s not a “traitor.” Baseball is a business and he went where he could earn the most money for his abilities. Good for him. As for improving the Yankees, the addition of Ellsbury certainly helps, but the last time I checked he was not a pitcher. Other than Captain Crunch master CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda, the Yankees have lousy starting pitching. So good luck with that. Ellsbury helped the Red Sox win two World Series titles in his seven years in Boston, so for that I thank him. But make no mistake, he is now the enemy.
The Quarterback Blog’s Additional Award (of futility)…the Worst Conference of the Quarter: Eastern Conference. The Eastern Conference has TWO teams over .500 right now. I’ll repeat that…TWO FREAKING TEAMS OUT OF 15 are over the .500 mark. I didn’t even know that was possible. Seriously though, TWO teams? A little food for thought: New Orleans (9-8) is in the 10th position in the Western Conference (which has 10 teams over .500). If the playoffs started today, New Orleans would be on the outside-looking-in for the West. If they were in the Eastern Conference? They would be the 3 seed! My favorite team (the Celtics) was supposed to so bad that a top five pick in the 2014 Draft was all but a lock, yet they are a half game out of first in the Atlantic Division behind Toronto (6-10). Yes, the Raptors lead the Atlantic with a 6-10 record. Boston had better be careful or they might accidentally make the playoffs. Sweet, merciful Christ is this bad. Unless Miami or Indiana is involved, don’t watch the East. Watch all of the Western Conference that you want, but whatever you do, stay away from the East.
Believe it or not, we’re nearly at the quarter mark of the NBA season already. That means it’s time to start believing a little more in what we’ve seen so far, and maybe even time to dish out a few awards.
Remember, these aren’t predictions for what will happen at the end of the season. These awards are based solely on performances thus far.
MVP of the Quarter: LeBron James, F, Miami Heat
I almost went with Chris Paul or Paul George here, but it all felt a little too Karl Malone for my taste. Maybe we’re just a little bored by LeBron’s dominance at this point, but once again he’s been the best player in the league.
James is shooting nearly 60 percent from the field, he has a true shooting percentage of nearly 70 percent (which only two players in NBA history have ever achieved over a full…
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What could go wrong? This is a good idea on paper, but what about that person who starts a problem with one of these undercover cops masquerading around as a Saints fan? A wasted Seahawks fan isn’t going to start a beef with a Saints fan and then go “Oh, shoot. Are you an under cover cop?” It’s like drunken football fan entrapment! But seriously, I’m really looking forward to this game. Too bad Jon Gruden’s “Let me tell you about this guy here!!”-Nonsense ruins the experience by about 18-20%. That guy is the worst.