May 15, 2010
Growing up a die hard Redsox fan I experienced many difficult losses. I was born in 1986 when they teased their fans by coming back from a 3-1 series deficit against the Angels only to lose to the Mets in heartbreaking fashion in the World Series. Many know the story but up 5-3 in game 6 of the World Series, the Mets scored 3 runs with 2 outs and nobody on with the winning run scoring on the infamous groundball that went through Bucknerâ€™s legs.
In 1995 I remember listening to games on the transistor radio with my dad as the team that wasnâ€™t expected to to do much of anything won the division and lost to the Indians in the ALDS. I wasnâ€™t old enough to stay awake for the games and watched Sportscenter every morning following the games only to be disappointed. Same thing happened in 1998 and in 1999 they came back from being down 0-2 against the Indians until losing the the Yankees in the ALCS.
Then came 2003, before that year I hadnâ€™t really experienced a Donnie Moore/Bill Buckner type of game. I was a senior in high school and was ready to see the Redsox take the next step. Down 0-2 in the ALDS to the Aâ€™s, I was at the game where everything turned around with a Trot Nixon walkoff homer in game 3. The next day I was at my great grandmaâ€™s birthday party and was able to sneak off to the bar as the Redsox staged another comeback against Foulke and the Aâ€™s. After winning in a nail biter in game 5 it was onto face the Yankees again.
I learned 2 very important lessons from that series. One is to never make a bet that youâ€™ll wear Yankees gear no matter what youâ€™re receiving from the other side as wearing Yankees gear in public is about as low as it gets for a Redsox fan. The second is that losing game 7 in a crushing manner is incredibly devastating. Incredibly devastating. I canâ€™t really put it into words, but when your team has the lead and blows it and this was in large part because of our idiot manager you just canâ€™t do anything but sit there in silence. You go numb, you mutter some phrases, and you think why do I put myself through this? I experienced the same feeling tonight with the Bruins.
I donâ€™t follow the Bruins nearly as much as the Redsox. I generally watch around 60 games a year and during the regular season if they suffer a tough loss I really donâ€™t lose any sleep over it. In addition my knowledge of the NHL isnâ€™t close to the MLB. I know a bunch about most teams in major league baseball but if you asked me to name the Blackhawks second pairing on defense or 2 members of the Capitals third line I couldnâ€™t do it.
However when youâ€™re up 3-0 in game 7 after being up 3-0 in the series, well thatâ€™s a collapse of epic proportions. Iâ€™m just gutted, I got home around mid 2nd period but had tivod it. Staying away from my phone and computer I watched as the euphoric state of being up 3-0 was quickly followed by stunned silence. Checking my phone after I had quite a few texts/ims around mid first period and my friends were genuinely excited. Iâ€™m happy they didnâ€™t send anything else after that.
However, I can now say Iâ€™m a true Bruins fan. Iâ€™ve gone through the heartbreak that many people here in upstate NY have experienced with the Sabres. In my mind Iâ€™m rationalizing it by thinking it wouldnâ€™t have been fair for me to experience success without going through something like this first. I can also say that I lost a game due to a too many men on the ice penalty that many Bruins die hards still curse about.
Putting it in perspective, it was still a very good season for the Bruins. They battled injuries all year long and upset Buffalo in the first round of the playoffs. Not only that, theyâ€™re a young team and have the #2 pick in this years draft from the Phil Kessel deal. They were an incredibly resilient team that was fun to watch and Iâ€™ll be back next October. But for the next few days Iâ€™m going to sulk and thereâ€™s no chance Iâ€™ll be watching any of the Eastern Conference Finals. In addition Iâ€™ll be rooting for whoever comes out of the West.
When the Redsox came back from 3-0 to win the 2004 ALCS I remember thinking how cool itâ€™ll be when they show teams that have come back from a 3-0 deficit in the future. Now when they flash that graphic itâ€™ll be bitter sweet. So for now Iâ€™m sick to my stomach but thereâ€™s not much else I can do now besides look forward to next year. Go Bruins.
â€œIt is inevitable that some defeat will enter even the most victorious life. The human spirit is never finished when it is defeatedâ€¦it is finished when it surrenders.â€
- Ben Stein