Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Always the bridesmaid and never the bride. Always really good, but never good enough. For example, on Sunday, Dale Jr. lost for the 99th time in a row. Sure, he won that 100th race before that, but that race on June 15, 2008, was a rain shortened event, and while a win is a win, it's not a true win. That said... he came close - leading down to the near end when Kevin Harvick passed him and then Kyle Busch, who he had passed for the lead, almost passed him for 2nd. In the end, Jr. nudged him out for second, but a loss is a loss, and second place is the first loser. On Monday night, in a battle of who wants to lose the least of the "great" men's basketball teams, and let's say - it was close, Connecticut pulled a rabbit out of their butts and got the win against Butler. How bad was it? Two teams haven't scored this few of points since 1949. Back then, Truman was in office, Korea wasn't a war, and my mom wasn't born. Butler shot 18.8%, which sucks so badly that they couldn't even get into the paint in the time I watched the game (up until the last 8 minutes or so when I couldn't justify any more time on it and for the fact that I still had to drive home from my parents' house). To this, there came a point where they literally stopped trying to drive in. They couldn't get offensive rebounds and defensive rebounds. When their defense held off UConn, they still gave up 2nd and 3rd chance points. In all honesty, UConn wasn't that good either with a 34.5% shooting rate. And tonight, Notre Dame women came close but no cigar as they lost to Texas A+M, ruining my first cousin, once removed's chance to be national champion for a second time. That said, whooping on TN and UConn means something - just not the trophy. Better luck next year, Moffet. In football, the Buffalo Bills were playing well enough to be in the Superbowl 4 years running, but they lost every year. Eventually, the run and the opportunity ended, and they haven't been back since. And baseball is no different. Sometimes, we go our whole lives and wait for the chance to get in there, and when it happens, we lose 4 straight (Houston) or get beat both times we get in there (San Diego). And what happens for the great players who gave their all to make it happen (Tony Gwynn), but can't get the ring? Do we see them as less, remember them a little duller in the spotlight? Tony Gwynn is in the hall of fame, but he's not wearing the jewelry. To this, there's something about getting the job done... and if we can't seal the deal, no matter what famous pedigree we have or investment there is in the team, eventually we become Kyle Petty or see the team broken up into aging parts for resale. It happens... just ask the Cleveland Indians.