The Breakdown: Looking at the bright side
September 28, 2010
There are a few rules that people should always try to live by: Never cry over spilt milk; never feed your magwai after midnight; and always remember that the boos are louder than the cheers.
It’s that last one I think we should focus on a bit more than the others, unless, you know, you happen to purchase a gremlin as a pet.
As fans, it often feels so easy – and, maybe, a little bit gratifying – to rip our teams a new one when they disappoint. We feel a little bitter about the energy we spent rooting for a team that’s now – with a week remaining in the season – 14 games below .500, 16 games back in the division, traded away its only likable player in August and whom people on TV constantly refer to as the “Lovable Losers.” Lately, every time I see a baseball highlight I want to smash my TV into 1,080 pieces, one for every single, stupid pixel that reminds how pathetic my favorite team is. (Really, I’m starting to feel that ESPN’s “Baseball Tonight” was created just to mock me.)
Being a Cubs fan sucks – not that anyone who cheers for any team playing above 5,000 ft. elevation would feel bad for me right now. (More on that later.)
But I guess that’s the problem here, because there isn’t any reason to get so down in the dumps. I mean, there has to be a better way to look at the masochistic ways some teams ruin their seasons, right? There has to be something good to come out of it, right?
Let’s try …
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Sad Story: No Rocktober. For a while, it looked like the Rockies – with yet another late surge – would save Denver from national sports irrelevance. But, in a stretch of games that would make even the Brewers blush – dropped seven of eight (as of Tuesday) against ‘Zona, San Fran and the Dodgers – the Rox lost a whole lot more than a chance at the playoffs. In this stretch, Ubaldo Jimenez all but ended his hopes of a Cy Young award, something that was thought to be inevitable when he was 15-1 at the All-star break, and Troy Tulowitzki’s and Carlos Gonzalez’s respective MVP bids were busted by the fact they’ll end up on a team that finished third in a relatively lousy division.
Silver-lining: At least Colorado has three bona-fide superstars (who are arguably the three best young players in the entire National League) to build off in the future. You know, if the team’s able to actually re-sign them down the road.
Sad Story: Bucked Broncos. The Broncos have had a pretty rough stretch, too. After a pathetic Week 1 loss, they blow through a weak Seattle team only to have tragedy strike – Kenny McKinley’s death – and play a red-hot Peyton Manning in Week 3. So, they’re 1-2, they run the ball about as effectively as Larry Johnson and they now get to play at Tennessee, at Baltimore and at home against the Jets. Gulp. Being 1-6 could be in their future.
Silver-lining: Um, Kyle Orton shaved his beard? That counts for something. Oh, and their two first-round draft picks have now touched the ball 10 times in three games. Not bad for a quarterback and a wide receiver, right?
Sad Story: Bears are 3-0. Actually, this is a great story. I just wanted to some how get it in this column that, through some divine act, Chicago has found a way to be the only unbeaten team in the NFC – after three straight games they should have lost.
Silver-lining: At least people in Colorado can still make a case that when Jay Cutler has a head set on he looks exactly like the kid who handed you your McDonald’s order the night before.
Sad Story: ‘Melo madness. The Nuggets’ star player – and only star player – doesn’t seem too interested in hanging around anymore. He’s one of the top scorers in the league, a decent rebounder and can hit critical shots during a game. And it looks as though he’ll now be doing so in some other city pretty soon.
Silver lining: He’s still a Nugget. Until Denver actually pulls the trigger and sends another one of the city’s franchise athletes to another town, he still has to show up and play. And, if he’s in town, you know he’ll give that all-out effort so many NBA players are known for. I mean, it’s not like basketball players to lack effort when they’re disgruntled.
Sure, Denver sports are in a bit of disarray at the moment, but, hey, if you want to feel better about it, go to an Avalanche game. With the Pepsi Center only a quarter full, you’ll never be able to hear the boos.
Bryce Evans can be reached at (970) 668-4634 or at email@example.com.
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