I’ve been a sports fan far too long to turn back now.
Or, to be more specific, I’ve been a Yankees and Cowboys fan since grade school, since the days of Mantle and Dandy Don, and no 12-step program could shake me free of these addictions. Yes, I confess I’m a frontrunner. I love winners. I could never have been an Amazing Mets fan or a long, long, long-suffering Cubs worshiper. It’s just not in my makeup. T-shirt: “Futility is Not Amusing”
Analyst: Und vy thees symbiotic attachment to vinning dynasties?
Me: Hey, I just like to win, y’know! It just makes me, uh, feel, I dunno, like I’m big and important too! Do I have to spell it out for you? OK? Satisfied now?
Anyway, that symbiotic attachment has brought decades of ecstasy, but when things go wrong in Dynasty Land, it’s as if the very foundations of the universe are shaken. Slightly paraphrasing the famous movie line, I often want to shout “Why can’t I quit you?” when my teams fail, as they both did last Sunday.
The day began with bright cheer. The Cowboys, after a somewhat disturbing opening loss to the Skins, would surely right the ship at home vs. the middling Bears. The Yanks had the revered Andy Pettitte coming back after 8 weeks on the disabled list.
Alas. The Boys stumblebummed their way to another loss, shrinking their playoff chances into single digits, while Pettitte’s gallant six innings were wasted by a suddenly-suspect Yankees bullpen. As hope slipped away, I was glad I use an electric razor.
Now what about today? Will all the laughter die in sorrow once more, to borrow from the borrowed line used by disgraced former Boys’ star Lance Rentzel? We have the desperate Cowboys hoping to escape an 0-3 grave in Sweat City vs. the Texans, who in this morning’s paper vow to take that “America’s Team” label and flush it into Buffalo Bayou.* All you can say is this: If the Cowboys have any unused Man-Up pills in the training room, they better gulp them down now. This is it. Armaggedon awaits if they go 0-3 today.
And the beloved Bronx Bombers? They’re reeling through a 4-game losing streak as crunch time arrives, falling out of first place and now fighting to stay ahead of those hellhounds on their trail, the Red Sox. The noble Pettitte seemed to be lobbing beer-league softballs on his last outing, in which the Yanks hit six homers but fell anyway. This third game of the series tonight, at the Stadium, is crucial. After this, the Yankees go to Toronto before closing out the season against the damnable Sox in Fenway.
Of course no just God would allow the defending World Champs to miss the playoffs–right? And the storyline of Cowboys-SuperBowl-at JerryWorld is too beautiful to be untrue–right? We’ll see as a potential Nightmare II unfolds.
*We must here insert the ritualistic disclaimer: The Cowboys did not dub themselves “America’s Team” in the early 70s. That was done by NFL public relations guys eager to whip up headlines.