Thursday, September 29, 2011

ON SPORTS ~ Can't Forgive, Can't Forget...


At the age of 45, writer Regina Brett wrote a column for the Cleveland Plain Dealer listing 45 lessons that life had taught her thus far. As a breast cancer survivor, many of those lessons were learned the hard way. Five years later she added five more lessons rounding her list up to 50 and turned her popular list into a book called God Never Blinks. I found her list to be entertaining, inspiring and thought provoking. I thought I would go through each of her lessons learned and write about how that lesson has or has not come up in my own life, now that I am 40 and feel old enough to have finally learned something.

"Forgive everyone everything."
~ LESSON #28

I can forgive. I had an evil ex-boyfriend who was a total a-hole. But I forgave him for sending me into financial despair and emotional chaos. It wasn't his fault he was a manipulative, lazy, jealousy fueled sweet talker. As he liked to point out to me all the time, he came from a poor, broken home and he did what he needed to do to survive. It was my fault for falling for it and being afraid to get out. I forgave him because it led me to a relationship with Andy. If I hadn't dated a total dick I never would have appreciated the good guy I always felt I hadn't deserved. So thank you, evil ex-boyfriend. You are forgiven.

But I have to draw the line at my forgiveness with the Red Sox. This week they put the finishing touch on the most monumental of all free-falls, leaving them one game short of the playoffs. And I watched it all. Even though I was bleary eyed the entire season due to being pregnant, giving birth and raising a newborn baby, I still found time for their games. I devoted a lot of time, heart and energy into this team. I defended their shortcomings. I analyzed and evaluated and decided that they were capable of success. I watched their abysmal April beginning rise up to the best record in baseball throughout the summer. And then I watched September come and turn into the other bookend of disgrace. They squandered their stronghold on the Wildcard and blew the final game of the season with two outs in the 9th, while the Tampa Bay Rays were mounting an insane comeback in extra innings to win their parallel game giving them the playoff spot instead.

In my world, that kind of a season is unforgivable. To put yourself out there as the cream of the crop. To give millions of dollars to talent you didn't properly evaluate. To be incapable of keeping said athletes healthy. To bombard fans with silly promos about how much you care about us. How you need us to be there to get you through the challenges. What a load of crap.

This team was monumentally dismal. Injuries did them in last year. So you think they would have learned how to prepare for them. Or to prevent them. Or to avoid players that always get them. Where was the cohesiveness? Even when they were on top of the baseball standings there wasn't a sense of team - just a collection of really great athletes who did the best they could and went home. Which is cool when you are winning. And not enough when you aren't.

No. I can forgive. But I can't forgive everyone everything. Call me greedy. Call me spoiled. Boston has certainly had its share of championships recently - Sox included. But all that has done is raise the bar. Heighten expectations. The Sox are like a member of my family. Until they start treating me that way, I will withhold my forgiveness. Because sometimes, it just feels better to kick somebody in the ass.

9 comments:

otin said...

There was a point in the season where they were the best team in baseball. That's what will really get you aggravated!

Gwen@ChewDigestBooks.com said...

You're right somethings are harder to forgive/forget than others.

Now, you and I can't talk baseball because well, I walk on the dark side according to most Sox fans. However, there are many past seasons where I can relate to your anguish and forgiving your team is never easy. (This coming from a person who still considers the Dodgers dead to me because they traded Steve Garvey. 29 years and I still can't let it go)

Thanks for sharing your pain and I hope that you don't mind that you made me giggle, just a bit.

stacybuckeye said...

Is this the first life lesson you've rejected? Those Red Sox should be ashamed not only of their late suckienss but also for making you unable to forgive. I do understand a little, since I'm still trying to find a way to accept Ohio State football's fall to disgrace.

Sandy Nawrot said...

You win the prize of giving me my first chuckle of the day. That really was an unbelievable ending to their season. Holy crap. Of course that is the norm for the Cubbies and I think most of their fans have accepted mediocrity at this point.

ds said...

That was some night. I am sorry for your loss. But you know that parts of your third paragraph really hit home here, too... ;-)

Tami said...

I'm not much of a baseball fan, but I feel your pain. I have a certain college team that I gear up for every year (football and basketball) - I believe the hype and the pre-season propaganda. I read the reports on the AMAZING athletes we were lucky enough to recruit - and then they let me down again and I leave them stranded and unforgiven - until next year.

Hope your Sox return to your good graces next year.

Kathleen said...

I'm having a hard time forgiving my Giants too. I waited my whole life for them to win the Series and it was painful watching them go from that to the season they've had this year. Here's hoping we will both have more to celebrate next year!

kaye said...

sometimes a good kicking does the job. I hope they have a better season next year. Thanks for stopping by the blog. I enjoyed all of your comments :)

Lin said...

I feel your pain with some Sox of my own. The White Sox were a dull-fest as well this year. The team that was supposed to go all the way fell flat, were boring to watch, and had a pathetic season. I hardly watched this summer--I couldn't watch it.

Now my Ozzie bails for the Marlins. :( What else???! Ugh.