Friday, July 11, 2008

Never.

Never.

It's an absolute. There is no wiggle room.

And, by the time I had reached my 34th birthday, there were certain Nevers in professional sports that I had concluded would fail to happen during my lifetime. I think I stated that right.

For example, after the 2003 post-season collapse, I was certain I was never going to see a Red Sox World Series championship. That wasn't going to stop me from saying at the beginning of every season, "this year's gonna be the year," but there was always that "never" sitting in the back of my head.

Sure, there are gonna be those people that say the true fans would never give up hope, but after 30 years of fandom as a hard-core, card-carrying member of the Nation, 30 years of 1975's, 78's, 86's, 88's, 90's, 96's, and a deep and abiding knowledge of what came before, it was like 30 years of being a faithful dog getting kicked. Hard. Eventually that seed of doubt was going to take hold and cling like a spider-monkey afraid of heights. 2003 was the final straw, 2003, when Pedro was left on the mound too long was when "never" set in.

Too many years of Mookie Wilsons and Bill Buckners and Bob Stanleys and Calvin Schiraldis. Too many times when the team crapped out against immortals like Dave Stewart, or shot themselves in the foot with bizarre managerial decisions from the likes of John McNamara or Grady Little.

Something had to give.

It was so bad that I turned off game four of the 2004 post-season series against the Yankees sometime around the seventh inning. Down three games to none, I was convinced the series was over, and didn't want to subject myself to that sort of pain.

While the cynic still resides in me somewhere, it's not quite as apt to surface the way it once did. At least, not with the Sox.

I bring all this up, because it appears that the Rooney family, as close to royalty as the NFL gets, is shopping around their shares in the Steelers.

There are certain absolutes that I expect in professional sports, and one is that the Rooneys would always own the Steelers, just as I expect the Yankees will always be in The Bronx, The Packers in Green Bay, and that Los Angeles will always be a tough sell in regards to getting hard-cores into the ball-parks/football fields and getting the people to stay in the stands until the end of the game.

The Rooneys looking to sell their shares in the Steelers...well, that's enough to make me rethink a lot of the other stuff.

1 comment:

David Sullivan said...

Yankees fans will NEVER not be assholes!!