To those of you who have followed my blog posts here at Rumors and Rants for the last four years or however long it has been, thanks. However, I am pretty sure I may be done here, because I hate sports now.
Maybe there’s still time for me to get into Broadway musicals or something as my hobby/vocation/entire life. You know, something that may provide me with an actual reward for all the time and effort I put into it.
The crazy thing is that I loved sports as recently as last month. But current events have conspired to convince me that its only purpose in my life is to suck out my soul.
As a graduate of Indiana University, I am predisposed to root for the Hoosiers in basketball and football. That’s just the way it’s got to be. If you root for a school other than your alma mater or one from where you grew up, you are not one of my people. (Special dispensations granted for service academies and religious-based institutions that weren’t geographically nearby).
For IU football, this year began with something completely different than others in modern or ancient history: there was actually a great deal of hype thanks to new head coach Kevin Wilson, who came from Oklahoma and got short with hacky radio hosts who made fun of his program. The cherry on top was the verbal commitment of Gunner Kiel, one of the top 5 quarterback prospects in the nation who somehow picked IU over, well, anyone.
Instead, it’s been meet the new boss, even worse than the old boss.
IU’s only win is against Division I-AA South Carolina State. Kiel has backed out of his commitment, and I’m guessing it’s unlikely he’ll ever come back — his older brother is on the team, and probably is not painting a very good picture of the Wilson Administration.
But only an idiot would count on IU football to offer satisfaction. We’re a basketball, school, right?
Used to be, anyway. The Hoosiers haven’t won a national title since 1987. Haven’t even had a winning season the last three years. Hell, we’ve fallen into being the fourth-best program in the state behind Butler, Purdue and Notre Dame. At this point I just want to stay better than Valparaiso.
There was some hope that this year, a crucial one for coach Tom Crean, would be the first major step in making that happen. But then the sporting gods figured the timing was right to give Hoosier fans another golden shower as junior Maurice Creek, widely accepted to be IU’s best player when he was a freshman, was lost for the season to a torn Achilles tendon before practice even started. It’s the third straight year Creek has suffered a season-ending injury.
Then this past week the whipped cream was scooped on top of the sports shit sandwich as the St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series.
A lot of people are using deceiving language about the Cards’ unlikely run to the Series, such as “inspirational” and “incredible.”
Actually, on second thought, that language is accurate. St. Louis winning the Series is so incredibly infuriating that it is inspiring me to cut sports out of my life as quickly as possible. I realize that I won’t be able to do it cold turkey, and relapses are inevitable, but it’s the move that is necessary if I want to reach the ripe old age of 40.
Because I have the misfortune of being a fourth-generation, life-long Cub fan, the Cardinals are my sworn enemy. So seeing them win it all is particularly galling in the first place. But it is the manner in which they have done it that makes me want to wake up drunk at a stoplight and realize it was all a bad dream.
In 2006, the Cardinals were the worst team to ever win a World Series, somehow parlaying an 83-win season into a championship. Fortunately, I was able to pretend like that year never actually happened because it was such a fluke.
But this championship run has been a totally unavoidable balls-to-the-face nightmare.
First off you have the fact the Cardinals never would have made the playoffs in the first place if it had not been for the choking-ass Braves and a couple of horrible blown saves by choking-ass Cubs closer Carlos Marmol against the Cardinals this season, the last of which came in the final week when he walked former Cub and current dickweed Ryan Theriot with the bases loaded to tie the game, then uncorked a wild pitch to lose it. Had the Cubs won that game, St. Louis would have been eliminated.
Once the Cards snuck in, I feared for the worst even though they faced the Phillies in the Division Series. I was so convinced that the Cardinals would win that I nearly accepted a $100 bet offered by my buddy AK-47, who did not think any team with Kyle Lohse and Edwin Jackson in its rotation could beat a staff of stars. But as the Cardinals constantly prove, sometimes it is better to be lucky than good.
How else can you explain a team winning an elimination game of the World Series despite committing three comically bad errors and having a runner picked off of third base with the bases loaded? And being one strike from elimination twice in that same game only to win the whole thing?
Maybe it’s just divine intervention — to walk away from this thing forever.
UPDATE: Tony La Russa retired on Monday! I love sports!