Thursday, February 19, 2009

Fan of the Game

This isn’t in-depth, really. It’s just a commentary on life.

Last Saturday, I attended quite possibly the worst hockey game I’ve ever attended. While the team I was rooting for lost, it was a miserable loss--in fact, I daresay, in some ways it was worse than being shut out. The point is, the team had a 3-0 lead after the first period, and proceeded to lose 3-5. It was like the Tale of Two Teams: in the first period, the home team dominated and played like a team, while the visiting team looked like they couldn’t keep up. For the next two periods, the visiting team seemed to play crisply and cleanly, and the home team looked like they hadn’t played hockey with each other ever before. I’m sure the fans for the visiting team left the area pleased with their decision to attend, but the home team’s fans were less than pleased.

This made me realize one of the things I’m grateful for baseball. The home team played on Saturday, and didn’t play again until tonight. There were five days between games for the fans to stew about the state of their team. Now, it’s not often that hockey games are spread out so far, and its not unheard of for games to be back-to-back (as in, one night after another). But they’re not played regularly with a grueling schedule (the sport of hockey itself is more grueling, with the possible exception of the starting pitcher in baseball).

That’s what I’m grateful about baseball. While every game is important (ask the White Sox and Twins how important every game is. If one team had won one more game in the course of 162, that team would’ve won the AL-Central division with no contest), you have to move on from a loss. It’s required, because within two days, there’s another game (two exceptions: game before the All-Star break, and the last game of the season). In fact, while hockey players might play two nights in a row, baseball players are grateful for the rule that they’re not allowed to play more than 21 days in a row--and that double-headers (two games in one day) are rare.

I’m not comparing the toughness of the sports, just to clarify. Each sport has its challenges and there’s no way to compare apples to parakeets. And it’s not really how tough the fans are, either. It’s just a comment on the different aspects of difficulties for fans.

Timberwolves update: 18-35 (1-1 since last time, 14-20 since McHale).

Marian Gaborik Injury Status: I’ve heard he’s skating, but that’s all.

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