Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Lifetime of Losing


I've definitely earned the ridicule of having everyone on the planet ask me about the Padres being in last place. I could attempt to analyze their destruction, but I know it sounds like making excuses, so I won't. Instead, I'll say it: they are awful. And embarrassing. And hard to watch very often, even when winning.

But I have a secret: I'm used to it, and I really don't care as much as you might think. Le tme explain, though.

I'm 30 years old and the Padres have been to the World Series twice. The first cam when I was 6. I do remember pieces of that - like their broadcaster Jerry Coleman's daughter was my teacher that year and we got to watch the Padres in class a few times, and Steve Garvey's  homer to win the pivotal game of the series against the Cubs, and the Cubs Busters shirts, and the record album my Dad had of all kinds of goofy songs from the radio station KFMB about the team (I stole it from my Dad after he started cheering for the Rockies and then the Twins ... don't tell him), and a whole bunch of other random junk. The next time they made it that far I was 20 years old, and obviously I remember a whole lot about that. It was fantastic and I felt just as happy and caught in the moment as I did as a little kid.

The thing is, the Pads are 1-8 in World Series games, and even taking certain at-bats and bad calls frame-by-frame (which I have done and will gladly do for you anytime if you'd like to see Tino Martinez strike out in Game 1 of the 98 Series although it was called a ball and he subsequently hit a grand slam off of Mark Langston) they weren't close to winning at all. The team has been in last place more times than I care to look up in my lifetime, there have ben years where there was little to be excited about besides Tony Gwynn (and yes, he's fat. He also rakes like mad). Basically, I'm used to it. Oh - and in some sick, weird way, I love it!

I love underdogs, so much so, in fact, that I often cheer for them even when I hate the team or don' t want them t win. I'll even start pulling for a team that I wanted to lose when they are down in the late stages of a game.

I never liked Michael Jordan. Ever. I can go on about it, but it will seem crazy to you.

I detested Kobe before he even got charged with factual crimes that he subsequently got away with (editorial opinion/"fact").

The Patriots are the worst thing to ever happen. And Red Sox fans weren't obnoxious until they started winning.

The site of a single Yankees hat makes me vomit.

Sometimes, the idea of the Chargers realizing their potential and winning the Superbowl makes me sick when I think of all the front-runners that will wear their gear afterwards. (NOTE: I'd get over it. This is an allowable paradox. I do want to win ... I just like the suffering on some level).

All this to say, I'm not bothered b it. It's one year. The Padres have had moderate success lately, and maybe we'll figure stuff out next year, who knows? All I do know is that I'm loyal, I'm used to the losing, and I love my Padres even more every time they lose. Call me crazy, but I will follow these losers everyday until I die, even if they kill me early.


2 comments:

Layner said...

"...to win the pivotal game of the series against the Cubs"

And you talk about a lifetime of losing. How many teams can talk of that "pivotal win against the Cubs" in my lifetime? Too many. Too many.

Dan said...

As a lifelong Cubs fan, supporting a team that hasn't won a world series in 100 years... yeah, I know what you're talking about.

Winners aren't really interesting unless they had something monumental to overcome... like the Hoosiers...