I’ve been meaning to write something intellectual and insightful, but then I remembered that that’s not the way I write, so why bother. Plus I went out of town for a long weekend to visit my family and that didn’t seem like a good time to write. After talking with some people yesterday, I was going to write some more about baseball’s wild card and how, if they’re going to have it, at least do it right. Have the two wild card teams play a best of 3 series all at the higher seed’s ballpark. Also, maybe we can get the NBA to go the route of MLB and have 9 teams make the playoffs in each conference and have the 8 and 9 seeds play each other in a one game play-in game. If it works for the NCAA (I’m not saying it does), it can work for the NBA.
That would be fun to write about in depth, but I thought I’d write about sports in general right now. More specifically, the teams that I follow. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more of a pessimist when it comes to cheering for my teams. I try to remain positive, but I’ve noticed that I get a bit negative. I think I do this so I won’t be disappointed. All these years of being a Reds, Caps and Redskins fan has really done a number on me. Sure I still have the Buckeyes and Hokies, but how much can college football do for me? As I sit here during the second week in October, I realize that my sports world is just not good (see, there’s the pessimist). Let’s take a look at this by each sport and see how my teams are doing and what the future holds for them.
In the NHL I’ve got the Caps. They had a decent season last year, but once again failed to make it past the second round of the playoffs. They should be ramping up for another exciting season right now under new head coach Adam Oates, but they’re not. The NHL has locked out the players and there probably won’t be a season at all. At best, I can’t imagine a season starting before Thanksgiving. There’s one team I don’t have to worry about.
In the NBA, I have been a Lakers fan for quite some time and would like to root for the Bullets (you can call them the Wizards if you want), but the NBA blows until the playoffs and we all know the Bullets won’t be playing then. You can check back with me after the new year to see how the Lakers are doing. There’s two more teams I don’t have to worry about.
For the NFL I’ve got my beloved Redskins. There’s a bunch of excitement for the team this year because of Robert Griffin III, but that’s about it. The defense is not very good and the Shanahans are still coaching the team. They’ll be lucky to win 6 or 7 games this season and definitely won’t make the playoffs. There’s another team I don’t have to worry about.
How about Major League Baseball? My Reds were the first team to clinch their division and then went out and won the first two games of the playoffs on the road. They had the next three at home and only had to win one to advance. They’ve lost the first two and now have a decisive Game 5 tomorrow. Not surprisingly, I don’t think they’ll win. They’re playing the San Francisco Giants and one of their fans asked me today how nervous I was about Leake pitching today. I said I was very nervous. Not just for today, but for the series and that I didn’t think the Reds would win. The Nationals trail in their series 2-1, but have the next two at home. The downside is they’ve lost the last two games by a combined score of 20-4, including being shut out 8-0 at home today. I’m not optimistic (shocker). Two more teams down the tubes.
Lastly there is NCAA football. Normally this is my saving grace. I’ve got the Ohio State Buckeyes and Virginia Tech Hokies. I like to say that I’m a Buckeye by blood and a Hokie by birth. The Hokies have won at least 10 games in a season for the last 8 seasons. They’re 3-3 right now with 6 games left in the regular season. They need to win out and win their bowl game to get to 10 this year and I really don’t see that happening. At this point they’re playing for a third rate bowl that they probably shouldn’t even be playing in. And if they lose this week to Duke, forget about it. Might as well just pack it in completely for the season. The Buckeyes on the other hand are 6-0, ranked 8th in the AP poll and have a good shot at going undefeated this season. Of course all this is moot because they can’t play for the Big Ten or National Championship. So they’re basically playing for...well, I’m really not quite sure. I guess I can pay half attention to them. Bottom line, one more team I don’t have to worry about and another that is playing for very little.
All of this makes for a very exciting time in my world of sports. Of course the Reds could win tomorrow, the Nationals could win their next two games, the Redskins could get hot, the Hokies could run the table, the Bullets could gel and make a run for the playoffs and the NHL could pull it’s head out of its ass and have a season. I could also win the lottery.