Thursday, September 6, 2012

Double Deuce and Triple Goose

It’s never fun to watch your team lose, and it’s especially demoralizing to watch them lose to a division rival … or to watch them lose a close game that could easily have gone the other way … or to watch them lose on opening day … with the whole rest of the country watching as well … when they’re supposed to be defending their Super Bowl title and nurturing hopes of a repeat … I could go on. But let’s just say that the universe served me up a big steaming helping of “ha-ha, you stayed up for this!” last night, plus seconds, with the Giants’ defeat at the hands of the Cowboys. And let’s further hope that this does not mark the beginning of any kind of “and it was all downhill from there” slide, either.

Of course now that the NFL season is upon us, it is Pick’Em Pool time again as well, but with last night’s dishearteninhg results I am left holding the triple goose (egg, that is): .000 in my predictions. I know I’m in good company, since New York was favored and there are a ton of other G-Men fans in the pool. And I know it’s statistically unlikely I will still be sitting at .000 once a full 16 games have hit the record books as of Monday night. But yeesh, off to a bad start.

Thankfully the Yankees won last night, stopping a stomach-churning skid and reclaiming sole possession of first place in the AL East (for now!) due to the O’s loss in Toronto. You may have noticed that I haven’t talked about the friendly O’s/Yanks rivalry between my wife and myself lately, and that is due to one simple factor: it is getting way too intense. By which I mean way too intense inside our respective heads (places where my beautiful bride and I both spend inordinate amounts of time as it is), so much so that neither of us dares to let it out all that much. We’re keeping the peace in the house so far, largely by speaking of the standings as little as possible. We had joked earlier in the summer about how it would be beyond cool and in fact totally mandatory for us to go to an ALDS or ALCS game between the Yankees and Orioles at Camden Yards if such a scenario came to pass, and weirdly enough that is looking more and more like an actual thing that could conceivably happen. Before the Yankees started fading down the stretch, I hadn’t even considered a third mathematical possibility, but here it is now: the Rays could make a surge and win the pennant, and the Yankees and O’s could wind up as the double wildcard, and face each other in a one-game win-or-go-home playoff. And, cue both of our heads a’sploding!

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves: the final BAL/NYY series of the season, four games in Charm City, starts tonight, with approximately equal chances of not much net change as a wholly different landscape heading into the final weeks before October. And then, just a few hours after that series finale, it’s the Steelers’ season opener on Sunday Night Football. Blood pressure spikes notwithstanding, I really can’t deny it: I love this time of year. And so does my wife, another one of those common bonds that keeps us together, rivalries and all.

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