Saturday, September 20, 2008

Separation Anxiety

(NOTE: If you're not a hardcore sports fan, this article will make no sense to you. It may as well be in some other language altogether. Don't bother with it.)

Divorce is painful. Divorce signals the end of something that you vowed would last forever. When you first entered into your relationship, you never imagined this day coming. You do everything in your power to keep divorce from happening, but in the end it sometimes has to be done. So it is with me. This has nothing to do with me and Pumpkin, who are rock solid. After 38 years, I'm filing for a divorce from the Milwaukee Brewers.

The non-Brewer fan would no doubt greet this with something like, "why quit now when they're finally starting to get good?". That's a fair question, but it fails to address the decades of suffering Brewers fans have endured. Many sports franchises have glory years, tremendous runs of success. The Brewers have 1982, their last World Series appearance, and their last playoff appearance altogether. Last season marked the first time since 1991 that the Brewers won more games in a season than they lost. They'll win more than they lose again this season, and improve on last year's record.

So why quit? Simple. They will never, ever achieve what a fan roots for. A championship. In a wild case of irony, the Brewers recent success has showed me that a championship is less likely than when they were losing games in droves year after year. As little as two weeks ago, Milwaukee looked like a lock to get into the playoffs. Then September arrives. September is a time when the good teams turn it on, and the bad teams fold. The Brewers are 3-14 in September. The bad teams fold. A team that was supposed to be good has showed its true colors (yellow), and folded like a newbie at a 4/8 table. I've given all I can. To paraphrase Brett Favre, I still have what it takes to root for the Brewers. I just don't think I want to.

They lost again last night (11-2 to the Reds) and I didn't get angry. I didn't get annoyed. I didn't even shake my head in mild disgust. I have turned the corner from Outright Fanatic Street on to Increasingly Indifferent Avenue, and it feels fine. If anything, this team betrayed me by allowing me to believe that after 26 years of frustration and foolishness, THIS was going to be the year things turned around. Then September came. It's akin to pursuing a girl for the longest time, and she allows this pursuit. Then she tells you she's married, or a lesbian. Either works. So much work for no reward, and in the end far too much wasted time.

I almost cried after a bad loss this week. That makes no sense to me. I don't cry for human tragedies. Why cry over an underachieving 70 million dollar payroll, right?

No comments: