briefly. . .

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I’ll have a short post this week. I’m excited to announce my law school graduation this friday. This also means the folks are coming to town and we’re all getting ready to celebrate, and I’m wiped out from taking finals, so, long story short, short post this week.

Survey question: What’s you’re most painful moment as a sports fan? This question was put into relief for me this weekend (as Joe’s already hinted at) by consecutive horrendous perfomances by teams I follow, the Rockets and the Astros.

The Rockets seemed to have a stranglehold on their first-round series with the Mavericks, taking the first two games on the Mavs home court. They proceeded to drop three straight before a rousing game six victory at home to force it to a game seven. The series had been epic to that point, every game but game six going to late in the fourth quarter before being decided. Naturally, I assumed the Rockets would come out with intensity and focus in game seven, and hang in it long enough for T-Mac to pull it out with some late heroics. Or THEY COULD COME OUT AND LAY THE BIGGEST EGG IN GAME SEVEN HISTORY!!!!! Sorry for the caps; I realize that’s very rude, but good gravy, could you maybe keep it within forty flippin’ points? Is that too much to ask? How about showing up for the biggest game of the year? How about stopping dribble penetration maybe once?

Well, I barely had time to make it home from church the next day before the Braves were already up 3 – 0 on the sad excuse for a major league team the Astros are fielding these days. Our erstwhile franchise first baseman was missing his fifth consecutive start because he has no rotator cuff on his shoulder, and our current franchise leftfielder/firstbaseman type dude was charging back into the lineup in the beginnings of a 1-17 start to his season. Our fifth starter was serving up batting practice, and by the end of the afternoon, we had given up an opposite field homerun to the other team’s starting pitcher and probably gotten Ryan Langerhans a spot on the All-Star team. The final count was 16-0 as Mike Hampton joined the growing list of pitchers who happened to have their best start of the year against the Astros., who were shut out for the sixth time this year (Ken Griffey has three home runs if you’re keeping score).

The funny thing is I’ll probably forget all about this weekend (well maybe not now that I’ve written an article about it). I mean, I was a fan of the Braves in the eighties, when they got shutout about as often as they turned a double play. What really lingers in the brain are the near misses. Game seven last year against the Cardinals; the 1995 college hoops final against UCLA. So, what do you think, is it more painful to have a good team just miss or to endure watching a truly awful team get it’s head kicked in?

Then again, watching pitching legend Brian Moehler hold your team to one earned is pretty awful.

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8 Responses to “briefly. . .”

  1. JD Says:

    My Most Painful sports moment? The night that I had ringside seats in Greenwood, Mississippi. My friend Danny Dodd and I were booing the bad guys in the latest match. I shouted out to an aging Big Cat Ernie Ladd that he needed to get in his wheelchair and go home. He looked directly at me and said, “Shut your filthy mouth fat boy.”

  2. JD Says:

    Oh, and congratulations on your graduation. That’s awesome.

  3. Al Sturgeon Says:

    Man, life as a sports fan is filled with painful moments.

    COWBOYS: Either Jackie Smith’s dropped touchdown in Super Bowl 12 or “The Catch” (Montana to Clark). Tough call.

    CARDINALS: Don Denkinger’s missed call at 1st base in the 1985 WS against Kansas City.

    RAZORBACKS: The Ken Hatfield/Jack Crowe/SEC succession. Ugly. On the basketball court, I’d agree with 1995’s NCAA Final.

    76ERS (DR. J ERA): Every time the Celtics won.

    OVERALL: I’d probably go with “The Catch.” That really sucked.

    You asked, “So, what do you think, is it more painful to have a good team just miss or to endure watching a truly awful team get it’s head kicked in?”

    Apples and oranges to me, my friend. Equally painful, just in different ways…

  4. juvenal_urbino Says:

    Congratulations on your law school graduation, Coolhand. Major accomplishment!

    As far as most painful sports moments, I could echo several of Al’s, but the most painful ones all involve the Dodgers. Reggie Jackson’s homers in the ’77 World Series, and Ozzie Smith and Jack Clark’s homers off Tom Niedenfuer in the ’85 playoffs.

  5. Joe Longhorn Says:

    There are just so many.

    MLB: The most painful Astros losses were game 5 of the ’80 NLCS (blew a 3 run lead in the 7th, lost in the 10th), game 6 of the ’86 NLCS (blew a 3 run lead in the 9th, lost in 16 innings), Game 3 of the ’99 NLDS (Walt Weiss’ diving stab at the Eusebio game-winner), and of course game 7 of the ’04 NLCS. The Stros had the lead in every one of those games. The most painful of those being the game 6 loss in ’86. I still can’t stand the Mets.

    NCAA Hoops: ’83 Tourney, NC State over Phi Slamma Jamma. Events since that game have softened that blow and given it more of a “feel-good” edge.

    NFL: ’93 playoffs, Bills over Oilers 41-38 in OT after Houston leading 35-3 in the third quarter.

    NCAA Football: 2000 Stanford vs. Texas @ Palo Alto. Texas ranked #5, Stanford unranked. I’m attending my first Longhorn game since the Sugar Bowl in ’95 (when they lost to Va Tech). Horns proceed to roll over and play dead. Oh yeah… the first or second Saturday in October has pretty much sucked for the last five years (Except when the second Saturday happened to fall on my anniversary!)

    It’s much more painful to see your team come close, only to watch in slip away. The Astros are starting to feel a lot like the Red Sox to me. They find new and excruciating ways to lose games, and we’re half way to 86 years.

    I can still pull a little joy away from watching a bad team steal one from a contender every once in a while. It’s nice to watch a team without any pressure.

  6. DeJon Redd Says:

    My wife just finished her 2L year and I sense some envy towards your graduation. Congratulations.

    Now for regurgitating the surpressed memories:

    LSU:
    1) Jamie Howard throws 3 interceptions in the 4th quarter at hated Auburn to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory

    2) ’94 LSU Basketball blows 31-point lead with 15:34 to play to complete the greatest choke

    Cubs:

    1)1946-2004 have ushered in a whopping 4 playoff appearances with all in the last 20 years.

    2) I threw up the night I first heard the name “Bartman”

    This is too painful … I must stop.

  7. Joe Longhorn Says:

    C’mon Deej. You can’t blame Bartman! It would have only been the second out anyway. Gonzalez’ error was the REAL turning point of the game!

  8. DeJon Redd Says:

    Joseph, you speak the truth. That whole night was so terribly painful. I allowed myself to accept the same mythic bartman mumbo-jumbo. I agree the real goat was Alex Gonzalez for the boot (and for usually hitting his weight), Moises for the lack of poise and the bullpen for their inability to stop the bleeding.

    I ramble because it hurts. But my therapist says its good to talk.

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