Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Baseball Gods still hate me

A girl in class the other day wore a sweatshirt with a football on it, and the shirt read “Michigan: 1997 Natural Champions.” Konglish (ie, Korean English based in mistakes) actually kinda worked here. In the 1997 college football debate, I always felt that co-champ Michigan was the natural champion, and that co-champ Nebraska was more the man-made, false champion. Then again, what do I know? Michigan’s victory over Ryan Leaf - led Washington State in the Rose Bowl doesn’t exactly hold up so well in College football lore anymore.

I have less to say about the current incarnation of college football. The less said, the better, given the performances of the Kansas football Jayhawks and Notre Dame.

I can’t say that I’m particularly happy with the Baseball Gods either. I suppose I never am, given that each season’s playoffs are generally just another boot in the face. This year, I mean that for both the MLB and the KBO (Korean Baseball).

Kia, my beloved, defending champion Kia, shat the bed this season. They didn’t make the playoffs. It’s an 8 team league and 4 make the post-season, so it’s not hard to do. This year’s Korea series involves the Samsung (Daegu) Lions and the SK (Incheon) Wyverns. I don’t care for either team. In fact, they are likely my two least-favorite Korean teams. Samsung is the richest team, as they are sponsored by the biggest company. SK have been in the finals every year that I’ve been here, and they’ve won it twice. Also, Incheon is probably the least interesting KBO town. SK also has basically zero out of town fans, like the Jacksonville Jaguars or the San Diego Padres. I don’t care who wins. I lose.

In the American baseball playoffs, I was pulling for the Devil Rays given that I worked for them, but they made a quick exit. The remaining four teams are, in my book, a pretty contemptible bunch. Not as bad as previous years, don’t get me wrong. I’m happy to avoid dealing with Rocky Fan or Nelly Fan or, god help us, Pink Hat Fan. However, I really don’t like:

The Yankees. Who does?

The Rangers. I still hate George Bush. I always will. Speaking of long seeded grudges -

The Giants. They beat the Cubs in the 1989 NLDS. I know I should be over it. They have a great stadium, play in a great city, and Willie Mays played for them. I’ll still never like them, just like I’ll never like the Miami Dolphins after they beat the Bears in 1985 and I’ll never like the Knicks for taking the ’92 Bulls to 7 games and I’ll never like Duke, UCLA, UTEP, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Virginia, Syracuse, Arizona, Rhode Island, Kentucky, Illinois, Maryland, Georgia Tech, Bucknell, Bradley, and Northern Iowa for having the audacity to beat KU in the NCAA tournament.

I guess that means I’m cheering for the Phillies. I’m pretty sick of de-facto cheering for Philadelphia teams simply because none of them have ever done anything particularly offensive to any of my teams. Yes, I’m aware that Philly beat the Royals in the 1980 World Series, but that’s before my time really. Also, the Eagles beat the Bears in the 2001 playoffs, but everyone knew that the 2001 Bears were crazy lucky and likely the worst 13-3 team of all time, so no hard feelings. Speaking of weak 13-3 teams, I also hold no particular grudge toward the Indianapolis Colts. The 13-3 Chiefs teams that lost to the Colts at home in 1995 and 2003 pretty much worked as hard as they could to lose those games. Stupid Chiefs. ’95 defense plus ’03 offense = ’85 Bears. ’95 offense plus ’03 defense = ’08 Lions.

Later this week - yayhooing about the NFL.


Kevin B. said...

1. The 1997 Nebraska team thoroughly manhandled the #3 Peyton Manning-led Tennessee Volunteers. Michigan struggled to beat, and almost lost to, Ryan Leaf. Let that sink in. Ryan Leaf. "Natural Champion?" I hardly think so.

2. I don't really care all that much about baseball - it's usually just another thing that makes TV in the summer such a snooze-fest, and it hijacks Sportscenter from June to September. But I also endured years of crappy Rangers teams at crappy Arlington Stadium long before GWB was ever involved with the team. And during his involvement with the team they pretty much sucked. Now that he and Tom Hicks no longer have a stake, how can you not like Ron Washington and his scrappy band of relative no-names?

3. There's a very simple reason never to root for Philly teams - the fans. Worst fans in all of sports, with the possible exception of English soccer fans. I've had affections for various Philly teams over the years - the Brown/Iverson 76ers, even the Reid/McNabb Eagles. But I've always been forced to root against them out of principle to spite Philly fans (and because the Eagles are in the NFC East, though that didn't stop me from cheering for the Giants against the Pats in the SB).

Jae-hak said...

1. Peyton Manning couldn't win a clutch game at all until 2006.

2. W is at all these playoff games. that's enough for me.

3. Denver fans are worse. a) they're hippies. b) they like Elway.

Kevin B. said...

I like Elway. And Philly fans are definitely way worse than anyone. As people Philadelphians are generally worse than almost anyone.

I guarantee you every team you like/love has at least one major fan who's 10 times more evil than GWB. In fact, Cheney is a huge Chiefs fan. So the next time you cheer for a Chiefs touchdown, think about how much joy that same play is bringing him, and probably ensuring that his heart will continue to beat for at least one more week.

Jae-hak said...

i suppose you're right, there are horrible people cheering for every team. Rush Limbaugh is a huge Royals fan, and the Chiefs would probably be Quantrill's team of choice. still, W wasn't just a fan, so that's definitely negative points for the Rangers.

i've never heard of Cheney being a Chiefs fan. where did you hear that? i'd imagine he'd either be a Cowboys fan or a Bronco fan since Wyoming is close to Denver.