Opening Day…yes, I know, we’re a week late
I’m a fan of the major American sports (sorry NHL and *snicker* MLS) – I enjoy the speed and fluidity of basketball, the aggression and power of football…but in terms of interest and obsession, it’s baseball that ranks the highest for me. I won’t dive into why I feel baseball is the best sport – that’s a topic for another blog – but I will discuss why I think baseball has the best opening day.
More so than any other sport, baseball has an element of random luck when it comes to the playoffs and to the championship (just ask Billy Beane). And because of this randomness, because of the power of momentum (questionably real)…baseball fans tend to have a reservoir of hope throughout the whole season. And this hope is at its height on Opening Day – no matter what moves your team did or didn’t make, no matter what injuries have befallen your team, no matter if you’re the Mets…you still have hope on that first day. Talent tends to win out in any sport…yet for some reason in baseball, it’s been the most inspired team (Go Giants!) that has won it all as of late.
Talent tends to win out in any sport…yet for some reason in baseball, it’s been the most inspired team (Go Giants!) that has won it all as of late.
Although they’re coming off three World Series championships over the past five years (yes, I’m going to flaunt this until it’s no longer relevant), I actually don’t expect too much out of my San Francisco Giants. It was a bit of a non-offseason where we had to deal with the Kung-Fu Panda kicking us in the groin as he left town. I know that my fellow SF Giants fans appreciate all that he has done for team…and hope that he fails horribly in Boston. I look forward to the day that the Boston fans destroy his soul due to his inconsistent bat and Pablo drowns his sorrows in a pile of burritos and a vat of horchata from Anna’s Taqueria.
…where was I again? Oh yeah, hope around Opening Day.
Football is too short a season (and too little the number of games) to sustain hope – you know almost by the second or third week where you team is going to end up. Basketball has a clear hierarchy and it’s tough for the teams at the bottom to crack that playoff ceiling. Baseball has 162 games to agonize over. 162 games to shoot for your division lead…and then to go for a one game Wild Card playoff if you fall short of that division title. Baseball just enjoys giving teams more opportunities to fail their fans (see: A’s, Oakland) but that also means we get to squeeze out one more game..one more playoff series…one more at-bat where we have hope.
Good luck to the teams…good luck to the fans who support them. And remember, “hope is a dangerous thing…”