honorary Hose Monster:
I have an exceptional talent for allying myself with sports teams that give me nothing but extreme failure and disappointment. I come to every season hopeful that seasons will not end in failure, that certain moves maid in the offseason will make a big difference, that players fighting injuries all last year will keep it together this year, that with hard work they could dark horse their way to a championship.
It of course never happens.
Even the Cubs this year became something of a disappointment because they could not do what I thought they would. Implode in August, disappear in September. Instead they became the country's baseball sweetheart all the way into October. Of course, now with Mark Prior, Kerry Wood & Co. really coming into their own, I can already see myself going through the previews in March thinking that this is the Cubs' year.
I have never gotten much from the NFL, so even though I consider myself a Raiders fan, I didn't really receive much enjoyment from their run last year. But after that year I thought maybe this season could change things up. And I was right. The Raiders blow.
My college football hopes this year rest with the Northwestern Wildcats. They have a .500 season going and I find myself seeing that as a big-time success for me. My other college team, the Cornfield Crappers, may very well be the worst Big Conference Division I-A team this season.
And then my real passion, the Los Angeles Kings. They killed me last year.
Minus the occasional unresolved goaltending questions, looking at the Kings roster, I think the team has the perfect balance for NHL success. They have three superstars who can legitimately take over a game and carry a team. They have a strong, young defensive core that has guys who can push the puck up and bomb from the point, and they have guys who passionately compete in the "fewest points a season" competition and focus on staying home. They have rookies and veterans, a inspiring coach and a fan base that, though small, truly does get the idea of fandom, much to the contrary of fans of many other LA franchises.
Problem is, it never comes together like that.
At any point last year, the Kings had at least six different guys out with injuries. I remember a couple of weeks where 12 of their normal roster guys missed due to injuries. For the record, NHL teams generally only dress 16-19 skaters a game. No team in any sport will have success when they have skate 6-8 rookies in every game. And worst of all, two of their biggest investments cannot seem to get healthy, leaving their third superstar (and my favorite) guy to carry the load and try and steal games against opponents with healthier line-ups.
But they're playing tough this year, trying to hold out to some point where their lineup will be healthy, if that day ever comes. But round about January, if they don't get some good news, my team will once against fade to the other side of the playoff bubble.
I guess this sort of perenial disappointment goes hand in hand with being a sports fan. Unless you have a thing for the Detroit Red Wings, or the Nebraska Cornhuskers or Ohio State, or any other team where anything less than a championship means failure. Personally, I would gladly make the playoffs every year.
This post is rambling now. Sorry. I think I need to re-learn how to post on my blog.