By "that," I mean this entire past week in sports, beginning with Hines Ward's fumble in Pittsburgh's Thursday night 13-10 opening-game victory and ending with...well, it hasn't ended yet.
Why that particular moment for the beginning? Because it epitomized the pain that the Steelers have caused me over the years, though it stabbed me in the back instead of the front, like usual. See, when Ward was headed towards the end zone, I was mad because I knew Pittsburgh would win, but at least my pick (Steelers -6) would have been right. Nick points out that Ward wouldn't have scored, fine, but they would've on the next play. They always do. Nevertheless, I was elated when he coughed it up - I'm happy to be wrong if it means the Steelers lose! Plus, I loved watching Ward walk dejectedly off the field. Loved it. I was feeling good.
Then they won 13-10 in overtime. They win, I don't cover - it's like two losses. Urgh.
Watched some Indians baseball tonight, a 2-1 defeat in 12 innings to the mighty KC Royals. This one featured the game-winning run thrown out at home trying to score from second on a Jhonny Peralta single in two separate innings. The second time (11th inning, Brantley running, 2 outs) was a reasonable decision; the first one (9th inning, Cabrera running, 1 out, DeJesus had the ball before he even hit 3rd) was just horrible.
However, I just discovered that, in high school football, New Phila won 58-7 and Dover lost a double-overtime heartbreaker, 22-21. Hey, things aren't all bad! I guess I shoulda gone home for the weekend and shut off the TV, huh?
But back to the bad times.
First, I had to watch Michigan come from behind to stun Notre Dame in a game during which I penned an article about how much I hate Michigan. I simply cannot stand watching them win, even when nominally it's in my best interest. This was mildly deflating.
Then I got about 5 kg of salt poured into the wound by Ohio State's 18-15 crushing defeat to USC. A good night at the bar, including some serious Lobster Zone action and a guy complaining loudly about the Indians having traded "two Cy Young muthafuckas," was spoiled rotten by that one.
If you look through the archives or have talked to me about sports, you know that I'm very reluctant to blame coaches for teams' success or failure. Well, this time, I think Jim Tressel was seriously outcoached by Pete Carroll, in terms of play-calling, clock management, and field position decisions.
This does not, however, mean that I'm calling for Tressel's ouster or anything. He has my full support, though I see areas where he may be able to improve. I've read with some sadness about all the critical e-mails and such he's been receiving - can't we step back for a minute and reflect on all the success the eight-year Tressel era has brought to the program? 7-1 against Michigan, 6 BCS appearances, 1 title? I don't think he managed this game well, but geez, let's relax. I liked the way Tressel addressed his more vocal critics:
"When I read some of them I feel terrible for them because there's no way they're happy. They've got to be some of the most unhappy people in the world, and I feel bad because we just made them less happy, and I hate to be a part of making someone less happy. I mean, they're already miserable."
Admittedly, I was pretty stung after the loss, but I never even thought about criticizing Tressel personally for it! After a viewing of Anchorman and a night's sleep, I was pretty much over it.
This was, clearly, an equilibrium that the Browns could not and would not leave alone. As with the steeler, Tribe, wolferine, and Buckeye games, I got the rug pulled out from under me again today, and this time got some sunburn to go with it.
Around 2:30, things were looking good in Francisland. I'd had a fine morning of tailgating with two of my crews, and was in perfect game shape. The sun was shining, the air was electric, the beer line was short, and the Browns led 13-10 at half.
Around 4:00, Francisland became a wasteland. The Browns nosedived and ended up absorbing a 34-20 pasting. I had a mild incident with the beer lady. Someone I know ended up being (unnecessarily) arrested, a situation that ended up costing me a few hours because I am, at times, a responsible invididual. Not a fun end to the day.
The beer lady incident was annoying. It's worth pointing out here that I was being very responsible today and was in very good control of myself. When I made my second trip to the stand, I had no shirt and was joking with her about carding me a second time. The other guy behind the counter made a crack about how they card everyone with no shirt, which I thought was funny. She mentioned "we do accept tips," which I find incredibly patronizing, but I did tip her for their friendliness. The next time back, I get carded again, now for the 3rd time. Come on. I said, "really, don't you remember last time, when we were joking about this?" and still got ID'd. The guy said you never know when someone might be watching, but didn't listen when I pointed out that I was way over 21 and that it would be fairly easy to explain to anyone that I'd already been there and built a rapport with them. Nope. Then she has the nerve to remind me again, "we do accept tips." I told her, "I know, you told me last time." Bye.
Anyway, that game was lousy.
I'd heard rumors that the Indians were still playing baseball, and that they'd gone 1-1 since Friday's debacle. I tuned in this evening to watch the Indians bullpen turn a 3-0 lead into a 6-3 loss.
I'd heard rumors that the Indians were still playing baseball, so I tuned in this evening to watch the Indians turn a 3-1 lead into a 5-4 loss.
I'd heard rumors that the Indians were still playing baseball, so I checked the Major League Baseball scoreboard and saw they'd incurred a 7-3 loss.
Friday, September 18