I am not a sports enthusiast. There are a few things I find interesting to watch (LOVE the Kentucky Derby), but, on the whole, I really don’t care much about the endless games and matches on TV. Husband, however, borders on maniacal when it comes to sports. He can even tell you the rules for rugby, skulling and cricket – and probably some wacked out statistics around the players and teams if you’d like.
He’s cool like that.
Even though I haven’t watched a game in, say, oh, 17 years, I have seen every sports-related movie and do have an appreciation for some of the inner workings of sports and their teams. Namely superstition and weirdness.
The Astros won last night (in case you hadn’t heard). They will, for the first time EVER in the franchise history, go to the World Series. The Show. The Dance. That’s both momentous and totally cool.
I didn’t watch the game. On purpose. See, for Game 4 I didn’t watch until the very end. We were winning until I turned it on to watch Pujols jam one down our throats. So, respecting the sports gods, I realized I could not watch the game last night.
Don’t tell me I’m nuts. There’s a line in Bull Durham that TOTALLY supports my theory. Crash (Kevin Costner) is arguing with Annie (Susan Sarandon) about the psychology of a streak:
“If you believe you’re playing well because you’re getting laid, or because you’re not getting laid, or because you wear women’s underwear, then you ARE!”
See? So, I couldn’t watch.
Husband coached Little League for 15 gazillion years and even took a team of 13 year olds to the State Competition – and won. They traveled to Florida to compete for a slot in the Little League World Series – and lost. But that’s not the important part of the story.
The important part is the story of the team itself. I’ve met several of these kids (many of whom are now married and have kids of their own ohmyg-d) and one is even playing in the majors. (Husband was his first pitching coach.) What I learned through the (endless) stories about this team is that, well, they were an odd bunch of kids. Each was a unique personality or story unto themselves and there was no explanation for their success. It was just, well, magical. Kinda like the 1980 Gold Medal Hockey team. Weird. And the kids’ team was just weird enough to have that special moment in time that they all remember.
When the Astros hit the playoffs, I had the same thought. Ya know, they are just weird enough to pull this off. And they did.
And so I will not watch the World Series games. I will respect the streak and revel in their weirdness.
One last obligatory quote from Bull Durham:
Walt Whitman once said, “I see great things in baseball. It’s our game, the American game. It will repair our losses and be a blessing to us.” You could look it up.