This may sound ridiculous, but I think the Baltimore Orioles have put me in a mild state of what happens when persons are abused. You face the initial shock of abuse, then grow used to it, then become a shell who consciously doesn’t care but really does.
I mean, the last ten years with the Orioles has been dreadful. I’ve seen the early season runs followed by August and September precipitous falls, I’ve seen completely dreadful seasons, and I’ve endured nail-biter games this year while attending Camden Yards where the Orioles come back from two runs down to tie the game in the ninth, only to lose promptly from dumb mistakes in the tenth. I’ve been through it all.
…..sooooooo, I shouldn’t have been surprised when I opened orioles.com on this day (like any other). Last night (Sept 17), the Orioles were up 6-0 in the fifth inning. I was elated at the quick glimpse I had, but in a guarded way, since they’ve made a habit out of frittering those kinds of leads away. So, I brought up the website with some hope mixed with fear and trepidation…and my heart sank.
Lost. 8-7. After my heart sank, I quickly moved through the stages of grief. Denial that they could squander such a massive lead. Anger that they do this all the time, and it hurts to see. Bargaining, as I thought, “Orioles, I can hold steady through this, IF you promise you’ll work to get to .500 next year. Please?” Depression as I deeply sighed, viewing more of a the same. And a grudging acceptance; “This is the way it’s been for nearly half of my life, so why do I care as much as I do?”
I mean, geez, it’s not like the state of the universe or world is in jeopardy because the Orioles choke every year. So I can put it in perspective. But I just needed to talk this out as a form of therapy for something I care about.
Thanks, Internet, for your commitment to listening. Just knowing the collective global brain of billions of people has the potential to read such ridiculous whining has some kind of therapeutic effect.
I guess I’m experiencing a bit of what it’s like to be a Philadelphia sports fan; or a Chicago Cubs fan.
It’s clear that even in September with a lead in the NL Central, the Cubbies fans are hedging their bets; acting like they don’t care, pretending to have more fun with a beer and their friends than watching baseball. But on the inside, the ones who care are agonizing, living in denial of their active desire to win, keeping the mask of passive acceptance on as a protecting wall of sorts; the kind of wall with jagged glass and broken pottery on top to slice up would-be intruders…even the intruding feeling of Satisfaction when the Cubs win suffers lacerations in his hands.
“I’m a innocent good feeling!” Satisfaction protests in vain. ““Don’t you want to experience what I can give? Why must I, a pure, virtuous emotion, bleed as you lash out in fear?”
“Get away from me, cursed feeling of elation,” traumatized Cubs fans say, “with your mixed emotions that make me have hope. I won’t have hope until ten days after my team wins the World Series…in 2025. I won’t even let my mind consider this emotion. Don’t you know Zambrano’s arm is still sore and we’re depending on Rich “Ever-Injured” Harden and an inconsistent bullpen? Begone, you pox of Chicago!”
And so, Satisfaction slinks away, weeping, though acknowledging the Cubs fans’ point.
Oh, sweet catharsis of writing.
I feel better already.