I remember reading an excerpt from Bill Simmons' The Book of Basketball that really helped justify my theory about the sports fan heartache I had endured. I'd like to give you the actual quote, but I couldn't find it amidst the 700-plus pages in his book. (By the way, just on a side note, did anyone see on ESPN's SportsNation when they tried to see if the book could stop a bullet and it did??? You'd think that would be uncanny, but trust me, just pick up the book; the thing is a brick). But anyways, the quote talked about how losing was agonizing for a sports fan, but losing after you had tasted winning was 10-trillion times more agonizing. And its so true. I know what losing is like. For example: I was a Giants fan during the years of 1993 - 2006. I was also a Knicks fan since the day I was born. I've also tried to be good at pool. (Ask anyone that has ever played with me. They've never seen anyone worse. I would lose to a blind man. Unless he scratched on the eight ball). So I know what it's like to just never win...ever. It becomes almost comical at times. You always expect the worst, and nine times out of ten, the worst always happens. But you learn to brace yourself for it. Even if its as bad as this. Okay, even I wasn't prepared for that. (Damn you, Reggie Miller. Ps. I decided today that Kevin Durant is the Second Coming to be of Reggie Miller. He will be awesome. He will never win an MVP award. He will never win an NBA Championship. And this my friends is my "bold prediction that will likely not come true" of this article). But even through all the hardships as a Knicks and Giants fan from '93-06, no loss has hit me harder than the 2001 World Series loss for the New York Yankees. Not because I like the Yankees more than the Knicks or Giants. Not because the way it ended was so heartbreaking (the Reggie highlight was equally as heartbreaking), but because it was so unexpected and felt so unnatural and surreal. The Yankees weren't supposed to lose.
I didn't even know what losing was as a Yankee fan. The Yankees won every time. Winning wasn't a luxury, it was a necessity. Anything short of a championship was a failure. And even if the Diamondbacks might have had more talent and, in Luis Gonzalez's case, more steroids (Ya I said it. No one can carry a broken bat ball off Rivera into the outfield), the Yankees should have won that game. Rivera should have come through like he had every time before that. It just didn't make sense. This inning left me more heartache as a sports fan than I ever expect to go through. And I know every true Yankee fan feels the same way.
With all this being said, its come to the point where I'd like to at least have the chance at some heartache in the future for the Knicks and Giants. Which would involve the Knicks and Giants actually being a legitimate franchise once again. The Yankees can't carry the load forever. Although I hope they carry part of it for the rest of eternity. The Giants gave me a recent championship, and Plaxico Burress gave me immediate heartache. But if its possible, the Giants have literally wasted no time becoming a team I expect bad things to happen to. Namely: losing, lack of playoff appearances, and no championships in sight. I went to the game on Sunday. The last game in Giants stadium. Playoff hopes were still alive. The fans were asking for one big win against a 6-8 Panthers team to send the stadium off right. And the Giants put up the worst, most un-inspirational performance I think I've ever seen out of them. And I saw the likes of Kerry Collins, Danny Kanell, Kent Graham and Dave Brown at the helm. I know, you're thinking, "Who are half those guys? He's gotta be making them up". And the once-removed Super Bowl champions put up a more un-inspirational performance than any of them ever did! How is that possible??? Someone please, tell me.
I think what I'm trying to say is. I'm tired of being uninspired by the Knicks and Giants. I went to the Knicks game tonight. They lost to the Nets. Excuse me, they got dominated by the Nets. For those of you that have been living in a cave for the last two months, the 2009 Nets might be the worst team of all-time. They set the record for most losses to start a season (18), and before tonight, were on pace to break the 1973 76ers record worst mark of 9-73 for a season. They still might do it. That's how bad they are. The team got a standing ovation after the game. Who gets a standing ovation for beating a 12-19 team?? The Nets do, because it was their third win in 32 games this year. Remember the "t-shirt toss" during timeouts at games? The Nets had a "burrito toss" during the first timeout of the game. (By the way, that was the most entertaining timeout experience of my life, but nonetheless...). The Nets are a struggling franchise people! And the Knicks lost to them.
Look at that picture of Lebron celebrating his birthday with teammates minutes before the game tonight. Which was then followed by the Cavs beating an elite team (the Hawks) for the second night in a row. I want my team to be able to joke around and have fun. Instead, I watched Jared Jeffries and David Lee bitch to the refs all game, and Al Harrington watch every shot outside of 3-feet he took, clank off the rim. (Of course he took 19 shots anyways). The only person having fun was Nate Robinson at half time. He juggled the ball around like it was a soccer ball and warmed up shooting lefty, knowing he wouldn't see the light of day on the court. The team is laughable. Reggie Miller could still dag us if he played. And I'm not convinced he can even run anymore.
The Knicks are so bad that I've been looking forward to the 2010-11 season for three years now. The Knicks have the potential to sign three of the biggest stars in the NBA. Could they possibly screw this up??? Yes, of course they can, they're the Knicks. Please Donnie Walsh, make the right moves. Jackie Moon understood that Ed Monix was a little more valuable than the team washing machine. And they really needed that washing machine!! We might have to give up some potential future big guns (Gallinari, Hill - did I really just say Hill could be a big gun?), but were talking Lebron James and Dwyane Wade in their prime! That opportunity will never come around again. Never.
And as for the Giants. Here's a list of things it would be really nice of you to do (for Giants fans that is):
1. Fire Bill Sheridan! Don't even think twice.
2. Fire Kevin Gilbride! He's not the worst offensive coordinator in the world, but he might be close to it.
3. Please revamp the defense. We have plenty of wide receivers. If Kenny Phillips gets hurt again, we can't turn to C.C. Brown, and it would be nice to have linebackers that have some impact on the plays.
4. Fire Bill Sheridan!
Lebron, I sure hope you wished New York would give you some reason to come play there before you blew out those candles.
Image taken from espn.com