On balance, I'm not sure if sports makes me happy...
That was Big Cuter's status update on Facebook yesterday. He'd just finished suffering through the Golden State Warriors' humiliating pummeling by the Oklahoma City Thunder, and was left with his hometown boys down 3-1 in a series he and his father thought would be a Warriors' clean sweep.
No one understands what happened to Steph Curry and the boys; this is not the same team which delighted us throughout the regular season. Did they peak too early? Did they set a single season winning record and then lose focus? Was the rest of the league getting better as the post-season frenzy took hold? Were the referees biased?
In the end, it doesn't really matter at all. My boy is devastated, heart broken, torn up inside. He didn't want to talk on the phone last night; why should he make his blues ours? But the sorrow was unmistakable, and impossible not to share. He's my boy, after all.
He loved watching sports. He had a favorite team helmet. He cheered for the Broncos against the Browns just to annoy his Daddy. He grew up in Chicago with Michael Jordan and the Bears - winners when he was young and malleable. He lived 6 blocks from Wrigley Field the last time the Cubbies made a series run at the pennant; we could hear the cheering from the back yard.
He and TBG have been drawing up football plays since the kid was 3 years old; the couch was covered with pages of X's and O's every Sunday night. They can separate out the runners from the catchers from the throwers and the blockers and the tacklers, a task that is still elusive to me, even after 40 plus years of sitting on the couch with my sweetie. They notice intricacies that escape me, as I nod off to their blather. It's the cement that holds their weekends together.
He had Michael Jordan growing up in Chicago. He had Steve Young as he grew up in Marin. He went to Georgetown, looking forward to a wonderful 4 years of college basketball.... and found Coach Esherick instead of a John Thompson, II or III. That, I think was the beginning of the end, though we didn't notice it at the time.
Little Cuter went to Indiana when they, too, suffered through terrible basketball times. The 49'ers and the Bears found themselves without the talent or the resolve to win many games, The Bulls were plagued with injury, Sammy Sosa corked his bats, and then came concussions.
When the GM of the Buffalo Bills says that humans shouldn't play football it is time to take the issue seriously. Big Cuter has called football our national blood sport in the post he wrote for The Burrow in January, and his opinion hasn't changed. He's tried to withdraw from that sport, and happily replaced it with basketball and his hometown Warriors.
But this melt down has taken its toll. Watching sports isn't making him happy. What will he do?