Friday, October 9, 2009

Measured Thoughts on the Tigers' Loss: A Guest Post by My Husband

Jeremy had some wise words for me following the athletic tragedy that took place on Tuesday, October 6th ... truly a sad day in Tigers history.  So, I asked him to share his thoughts with my devoted fans. 

With no further ado, my brilliant and sports-obsessed husband, Jeremy:

I wouldn't necessarily say that I am sports obsessed; I like sports, and I feel like they like me back a little.  That's all. 

The Detroit Tigers have been a passion of mine for some 22 years now, and during this time I have seen a lot of things ... well, really not that many.  From the time I became seriously involved with the Tigers they have been mediocre, at best.  I wasn't fully baseball sentient when Detroit was good in the mid-80s, so up until that magical and ultimatley tragic 2006 season I had watched a lot (and I mean a lot) of crappy baseball. 

So, the Tigers' recent success sits very well with me.  I finally feel like I am being rewarded for all my time I put in watching them.  As some of you know, the baseball season lasts 162 wonderful games.  From April to October they play practically every night, and on probably 9 out of 10 nights I would park my ass in front of the TV to watch and hope, all to my wife's chagrin.

This season started out tremoundously.  The Tigers rode their strong pitching to first pace by May and looked, to the outside observer, poised to make a run at the playoffs.  What the trained eye saw was that this Tigers team was streaky.  Just like in undergarments, streakyness is a baseball season is usually bad.  The Tigers would win 5 in a row, then drop 4, then during their next 10 games would be 3 and 7.  What is worse was that they always seemd to be on a losing streak when they needed to win the most. 

I apologize for all that background on myself and this season, but it was necessary to fully appreicate the MONUMENTAL collaspe the Tigers had in September.  The Tigers were 7 games ahead of the Minnesota Twins on September 7th.  Then, a losing spell: with 4 games left in the season, the Tigers were 3 games ahead of the Twins.  All they had to do was win 2 games to clinch the division championship and secure a trip to the playoffs.  Well, as many of you probably know, they LOST 3 of those last 4 games in particularly sucky fashion.  After 162 games, they were tied with Minnesota.

We all know what happend after that ... I don't even like talking about it.  Anyway, here are the 2 most dissappointing things about the Tigers blowing their huge division lead:

1)  Given the long 162 game season, I feel like I have wasted my whole summer watching and hoping for something that never happened.  It isn't that I regret watching the games.  I watched them every night when they lost 109 games in 2004, but this feels different.  It is like each month that passed by I looked more and more towards the playoffs.  As a Tigers fan, and a baseball fan in general, watching the playoffs is the crowning acheivment of an entire season of devotion.  I got really used to watching other teams play in October.  But when my Tigers had a chance to get in, and then crapped out, it was like thinking about Christmas three hours every night for 6 straight months, then when December comes, you get a letter in the mail saying Santa killed all the reindeer and Christmas is cancelled.  That is seriously how I felt after that game.  Again, it is not like I regret watching all that baseball over the summer, but I just feel a little silly for spending that much time on something that never came to fruition.  

2) The thing I love about baseball is that the game's history is such a huge part of the present.  Fans love comparing eras of the game and arguing over which players were the best, blah, blah, blah.  While this might sometimes make me happy to be reminded constantly of Joe Dimaggio's 56 game hit streak, or that Ted Williams was the last hitter to hit over .400 in a season, announcers also remined you of the bad times; they say things like "(insert team here) is so bad they could match the record of the worst team in recent memory, the 2004 Detroit Tigers."  Only now, every time a team blows a seemingly insurmountable lead with a month to go in the season, I will be reminded of this tragedy.  Or every time a team even comes close to blowing a huge lead, the Tigers will come up.  Is it not enough that I suffered once?

With the baseball season over, I will now have to spend my time diving back into my real loves: scrimshaw and sketching various flora and fauna I came across in the three hours I spend sauntering (when I used to be watching the Tigers).


  1. OMG Jeremy. You are a great writer! I could feel your pain...

  2. I share your pain. There is a big packet of tickets to games that never will be, and I was really looking forward to being there for ONE postseason game after so many hours of unrequited hope.

    Still, I sit here sipping from my "Always a Tiger" coffee cup and dream of spring....



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