Every now and then, the wheels come off.
As a sports fan, you get that kind of a weekend from time to time. We all have our own combinations and variety-box selections of favourite teams from various sports, and every so often, well, the wheels come off.
Take the weekend just past for example. Top of the list naturally is my own team, the Dublin City Hurricanes, who lost the finals of the Irish Baseball League on Saturday to the Spartans (and congratulations to them). More on that as we move through the week. That alone would have been a bitter weekend pill to swallow. Naturally, when the wheels come off, they tend to do so in style.
The Boston Red Sox didn’t just exit the playoffs, they crashed, in flames, they exploded out of the playoffs. If anyone is ever asked to direct a crash-bang-wallop movie representation of the Sox demise it will be Michael Bay, of Transformers fame. Boom! Loud explosions. What a (expletive deleted) disaster. Insert your own expletive actually. You would have to be creative to come up with a combination of expletives that accurately depict just how much of a cluster (expletive deleted) of an inning that ninth inning was.
How about the Patriots? Leading 17-7 in Denver, they succumbed to a Kyle Orton led come-back of all things. Their demise in over-time was as predictable as it was ugly. Their loss to Denver has negated the good work they did the last few weeks against Baltimore in particular. Instead of keeping momentum going they are now back firmly at the drawing board.
Ireland? In their attempt to qualify for the World Cup in South Africa, Ireland gave us on the island nation one hell of a big tease Saturday night. They played the World Champions Italy off the park for sections of the match, and took a crazy, dramatic lead with a truly uplifting diving header in the last minute. At 2-1 with only a handful of injury time to be played, you would assume a team coached by a defensive minded Italian would sit back and get eleven men behind the ball, right? Not at all! Not this (expletive deleted) weekend. Ireland poured forward and you just knew what was coming, Italy hit us with a sucker-punch on the break. 2-2 draw. Gone any hope of winning the group. Instead, Ireland will have to play a two game, home and away playoff against a big team. Knowing our luck we get France in the draw next week.
It didn’t stop there. Friday night the pride of Irish rugby, the Heineken Cup winners Leinster were beaten at home by an (expletive deleted) English team. To rub salt in the wounds, another English team beat Munster on Saturday. The figureheads of Irish rugby beaten back to back to get their Heineken Cup campaigns off to a terrible start. Both times by English teams, no less!
What special torture is this?!
Naturally, we’re all smart people in here. There is of course bigger things in life than sports. After a weekend of sporting disaster like that, however, it’s a little hard to remember that very fact. Once that misty haze of disappointment fades and clears the reality that life is bigger than some bad sporting results will dawn and everything will be okay.
Saw a tiny gap in the haze on Saturday night, spending time with great friends off the Hurricanes. At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about anyway, isn’t it? It’s not the prestige, it’s not the winning or losing even, and it definitely isn’t the crumpled up bookies docket tossed angrily at the television. It’s being out in the open air, pitching until your shoulder is about to fall off and then bashing back a few beers with the best friends you could care to wish for.
See, that haze is already lifting!
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