What Do You Do When Your Team Stinks?By
It’s late August, which means that there are only a handful of fanbases left with any kind of playoff aspirations. Some of them are getting ready for a deep run and others are deluding themselves into thinking they can make up seven games in the last month to somehow steal the Wild Card. Meanwhile, the rest of us are left trying to convince ourselves that there’s still a meaningful reason to watch the team we love. The problem is, there isn’t one. It’s easier to justify suffering through the last four games of a miserable football season because you only get to watch 16 of them per year. But, when you’ve already sat through 77 losses, there’s really no need to subject yourself to 25 more. Sure, you may love the sport, but what if the current season isn’t loving you back? What, exactly, is a fan of a team like the Astros or Marlins to do? Allow me to help…
Root against the Red Sox. I don’t care how sweet a person you are, one of the great joys of being a sports fan is being able to display an irrational hatred toward a team with which you have absolutely no connection. And, really, what better team to direct that inexplicable venom toward than the one with the most insufferable fanbase in all of sports? Over time, hating Boston slowly became the new hating New York and, if you’re smart, you’ll do your best to get in on this before we all decide to hate Chicago or some other random city. Believe me, it’s happening as I type this and once it’s over, you’ll never have the opportunity to bask in Bill Simmons’ misery ever again. Now, does that sound like something you’ll want to have missed out on?
Root for the Phillies. Despite winning one World Series in back-to-back trips and being the most dominant team in the National League since the 1989 Pirates (Don’t you dare question that. 8-year-old me knows what he saw and what he saw was Andy Van Slyke. SWOON!), I’ve yet to meet a Philly fan I didn’t like. It’s almost as if they’re too busy celebrating their recent success with one another to constantly remind everyone else in the country about their success and how excruciatingly painful it was rooting for a losing team for sooooooooooo long before that. (If you couldn’t tell, I really hate Red Sox fans.) Maybe this is wrong to say, what with the Phillies being in the NL East and all, but I’m kind of happy for that city. If a certain blogger gets to celebrate a World Series victory with Roy Halladay at the zoo and Michael Vick wins his first Super Bowl, I think I might get a tattoo of the Liberty Bell on my right butt cheek.
Watch only Mike Stanton‘s at-bats. In 1998, nobody cared about the Cardinals and Cubs. They could’ve had three fans total and the rest of the country wouldn’t have noticed. We weren’t fans of those teams. We weren’t even fans of McGwire and Sosa. We were fans of watching freakishly gifted athletes crush baseballs and defy the laws of gravity. (I’m pretty sure a few of McGwire’s homers still haven’t come down yet.) And if there’s one thing a meaningless Marlins game has going for it, it’s that there’s always the distinct possibility that Giancarlo Cruz Michael Stanton will murder a baseball.
Spend more time with your wife. In just a few weeks, football season will be upon us and your Sundays, Mondays and occasional Thursdays will be spent sitting on the couch with a remote in your hand, the RedZone channel on TV and a Publix sub in your mouth. The more time you spend with your wife now, the better chance you’ll have of her letting you be a lazy slob during the upcoming football season. You have to subtly let her know that you’re missing a baseball game for her, though, the same way you casually tell your boss that you came into the office to work on Saturday. Also, I can’t guarantee that any of that advice will work, since I spend the majority of football season running errands with my girlfriend, anyway.
Take your family to a game. The middle of a pennant race is not the time to take your wife and kids to a baseball game. They don’t understand that it’s the 7th inning and your team is only down by one and that a win would pull the team within a game of the division leader. They have to get home early because Little Timmy has school tomorrow. And if they have to go, then you have to go, and someone’s going to be pissed when he gets home and sees the highlights of the incredible 14-inning game he missed. Don’t do that to yourself. Take your family now, when a ninth inning bathroom break is a lot less likely to cause you to strangle your 7-year-old.
Watch the Royals. I know you’re wondering why I’m suggesting you watch one godawful team when you’ve just given up on watching your own godawful team, but hear me out on this. Rooting for your own team and watching them fail miserably breaks your heart. Rooting for a team you have no emotional connection to, though? That’s awesome. Do you have any idea how easy it is to change the channel from a disappointing loss to Jersey Shore when you aren’t invested in the team in any real way, shape or form? Winning is always easy to celebrate, but losing only hurts after you’ve put some time into crafting your fandom. Also, if they somehow wind up making an improbable run, you’ll have the luxury of knowing you were there before all of those annoying bandwagon fans. Kansas City street cred: always a plus.
If you’re still not sure what to do, just stop watching baseball completely. Instead, go on the internet and read a sarcastic blogger try and figure out what the heck to write about a baseball season that’s been over for the better part of two months already. After all, you have a choice. He, on the other hand, has to watch this drek.