Sports sadness

Baseball is making me sad right now, and I don’t have anyone to really discuss it, nor does anyone really want to listen.  Not because the Atlanta Braves are on the verge of a pretty monumental collapse, having allowed a supposed insurmountable lead for the final playoff spot disintegrate completely, boiling down to a showdown tomorrow, or rather later on tonight, on the regular season’s final day.  That disappoints me, but I understand that defeat happens, and losing is a part of sport.  Whether it’s a historic collapse, or a triumphant comeback, there’s winners and losers.

What makes me sad right now is all the negativity surrounding the circumstances.

I know it’s pretty ironic for me to point out negativity, considering that in many other aspects outside of sport, I’m a pretty pessimistic individual.  But in seriousness, I feel as if all Braves fans and supporters around me have adopted this defeatist mentality, and have long given up on the team they supposedly root for.  I know that it’s frustrating, so I can’t blame at all these people for being all jaded and pessimistic, but up until the events of the previous night, the Braves were still in the driver’s seat.

The Braves website in which I author for has turned into this cauldron of negativity and condemnation, and the vast populous of the site are inconsolable and miserable over the trite fortunes of the Braves.  I kind of reached a boiling point and pointed out the relative silliness of their angst, and successful playoff appearance or not, it’s okay to support your team until the very end.  Clearly, people have accepted this slump as de facto defeat, and are reacting accordingly.  Ultimately, I told everyone that I need to disconnect, and that I looked forward to going to the ballpark and watching the game in person, just so I could be rid of all the pessimists and defeatists of the interwebs.

Unfortunately, I was naive in thinking that things would be any better at the ballpark itself, which is the last straw in my emotion of sadness towards my fellow baseball fans.  The Braves pitcher had a poor night, with the Braves ultimately losing yet again, and with a win from their pursuers from St. Louis, the final playoff spot is now a dead heat between the two teams, with the next result coming later on today.

But back to the point, after it was evident that the Braves’ pitcher wasn’t going to have an easy night, an ugly thing happened; the fans simply turned on him.  Braves fans, booing, jeering, yelling obscenities and hateful remarks, at their very own player.  A “Derek sucks” chant broke out at one point, and in an ugly way, it began to pick up momentum within the crowd.  When the manager emerged from the dugout to relieve the pitcher, the crowd roared with mocking approval, but once the attention was back on the pitcher making the lonely walk to the dugout, the boos came down in loud masse.

From the start of the game, the crowd had already resigned to defeat, and acted the part the whole way.  The first run forfeited by the Braves was pretty much the game to them, and it was like there was no coming back from it.  Granted, the Braves themselves didn’t help their cause, but to be in an environment where the home team had zero faith in them couldn’t possibly had felt any less helpful.

Frankly, it was the ugliest display of behavior I’ve ever witnessed from my hometown base.  For the rest of the game that I stayed, up until now, I’m sad for them, ashamed of them, but understanding of them all at the same time.  The Braves have played like shit all through September and put themselves in this predicament, and as fans, they have every right to be upset with the team.  But for them to react in such negative behaviors, I have to admit that I’m kind of appalled by it, and all in all, it simply just makes me sad.

The ironic thing?  With one game left, the Braves’ season isn’t over, and despite their shitty performance all through the month, it’s really almost a 50/50 shot still.

  1. Braves win, Cardinals lose, Braves make playoffs.
  2. Braves lose, Cardinals win, Cardinals make playoffs.
  3. Braves win/Cardinals win or Braves lose/Cardinals lose, then there’s an unfortunate tie-breaker game that needs to be played in St. Louis, with the winner of that getting the playoffs.

But with the way Braves Country is acting, it’s pretty much a forgone conclusion that scenario #2 is going to happen, and then the biodome of self-loathing pity party/hate fest for being a Braves fan will begin, and things will be a lot worse for an intermittent time period for them.

For obvious reasons, I want scenario #1 to happen, not just because I support the Braves, but for it simply to be a great big metaphorical “fuck you” to all the naysayers and condemners that in spite of their wet blanket, a playoff berth still occurred.  But until the future becomes the present, I simply am sad for my fellow baseball fans.

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