I am a looooooong suffering sports fan... in America that is. If I didn't have the Geelong Cats to support down under I wouldn't have a winning card to play in my sports fan deck. My alma mater doesn't have a football team, and while the basketball team made the final four a few years back they A) got the shit kicked out of them by the eventual champs, and B) are DIII anyway so it's not like crowing about a win would have done much for me in the eyes of most sports fans. I've always rooted for the University of Maryland and they won a title with in the last decade in both men's and women's hoops, but I didn't go to school there so that feels like an empty victory.
In the realm of pro sports I have the two teams I have followed for most of my life. The Washington Redskins and the Baltimore Orioles. Both are owned owners with among the worst reputations in sports. Both have been terribly mismanaged over the last ten to fifteen years and as such have become a punching bag for the sports world. What's worse is the time in which they chose to suck. After being models of consistency and winning 3 titles each in their own heydays (the 60's, 70's and 80's for the O' and the 80's and early 90's for the Skins) they both went down the hill just in time for the dawn of on-line punditry. They are poked and prodded and laughed at time and time again.
None of this is my fault, mind you, but it still pisses me off. That said, I can't just up and change teams. I was there for the good times, like 1983 when both teams were simultaneously champs of their respective leagues, so likewise I have to be here for the bad. We do this hoping that the good times will come again through a renewal process much like spring following the winter.
But, it's been a long winter.
Not that all hope is lost. The baseball groundhog has show O's fans that one day the spring may come for us. They have stocked up with many a prized prospect, some of whom look like they might actually pan out. They have started the season 3-0 but us real fans know not to get too comfortable with that kind of pace. We know the losing streaks will come just like it did in 2005 when they started like a rocket taking off and ended like a rocket exploding. The little boy in me thinks they could be this year's version of the 2010 Giants, but the beat down fan would settle for this years version of the 2010 Detroit Tigers who went 81-81. Nothing like aiming for mediocrity, huh.
No matter what the record in September I know one thing for sure. When XL and I head down to Camden Yards tomorrow the O's will be in first place and even if they lose the game they will still have a winning record when the day is done. I'm just looking forward to sitting in the sun and watching some baseball with my best friend and dreaming that the impossible is possible.