I am usually an optimistic person. I always try to see the bright side. And I treat this sports passion with with eternal hope. None of my teams have won a championship in my lifetime, but I have faith that someday, my faith will be rewarded.
Yeah, fuck that. Yesterday was ever more proof to me that the Sports Gods hate the Pacific Northwest, and that we will never win a championship.
You see, last night, two cockpunches were thrown to Northwest sports fan. The first was the announcement that the Sonics were almost certainly leaving Seattle. Now, I am not a Sonics fan (though my beloved Trail Blazers got a huge kick in the rear last night), but this is still yet another manifestation in my theory that God hates the Pacific NW. That was followed up by the real bombshell. Just as I'm finally getting excited about baseball season, that all comes crashing down, as Felix Hernandez left the game after 1/3 of an inning with elbow tightness. If this is serious, kiss the Mariners' postseason hopes goodbye. (Making this worse is that I had just bought tickets to the 4/28 game to see Felix pitch. Now, I am facing the prospect of having paid $50 for tickets and making the six hour round trip to see Jake Woods pitch against the Royals). Anyway, this was an epifinany for me: the Pacific NW is not allowed to have nice things when it comes to sports. Since the Blazers and Sonics' titles in the '70s, every moderately good thing to happen to NW sports fans has been, seeming miraculously, led to nothing but heartache. And I've got a bunch of examples to prove it. I'm not talking about great season which end in playoff losses, those are fun and are a part of sports (see great seasons such as 1995 Mariners, 2001-02 Oregon Basketball, etc. Nor am I talkign about genuine mistakes, which are also a part of every sports team in the world (see Blazers drafting Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan). No, I am talking about a series of events so damn improbable that you have no choice but to feel that some higher power is conspiring against you. Here, I offer my proof of this curse:
2001 Oregon Football: Oregon fans know this one all to well. Two bad things happened that season, and both were total flukes. First losing to freaking Stanford, in a game that I cannot even begin to describe the ridiculousness of. Coughing up a big lead on not one, but two blocked punts? What the hell are the chances? Then, in spite of that, we work our way all the way back to be the consensus #2 in the country in BOTH human polls. Oh, yeah. That fucking BCS. Apparently, some "computers" didn't think we were too worthy, and, in spite of our consensus #2 ranking, we were somehow ranked #4 in the BCS, behind a two loss Colorado team and a Nebraska team that didn't even win its conference and got absolutely rolled into oblivion in its last game. We whooped Colorado and, predictably, Nebraska got destroyed by Miami. We never got our title chance, and had to settle for #2. To make matters worse, some quarterback that can't throw won the Heisman over Joey.
2001 Seattle Mariners: The Mariners won 116 games. I'll say that again: 116 games. Nobody has won that many before or since. We played an inferior Yankee team that barely beat Oakland in the previous round only because Jeremy Giambi was too stupid to slide. No matter, the LCS was never even close, and the Yankees made that magical season disappear in five measley games. Our third ALCS loss in six years.
1999-2000 Portland Trail Blazers: The Trail Blazers go into the fourth quarter of game seven of the Western Conference Finals against the Lakers with a pretty much insurmountable 17 point lead. Yeah, it takes a choke of epic proportions to piss that away. As you would expect, a Northwest team obliges. Portland completely forgets both how to shoot and play defense, and 11 minutes later, Kobe is alley ooping to Shaq to cap the comeback, which still ranks as the single darkest moment of my sports fandom.
1998-1999 Portland Trail Blazers: Sad thing is, the above was the second time in two years that the Blazers were in the Conference Finals. In game two the year before, the Blazers were destroying the Spurs, with an 18 point lead in the third quarter. The Blazers were still clinging to a two point lead with less than ten seconds left. Stacey Augmon comes THIS close to a steal, but Sean Elliott recovers the ball and falling out of bounds, the ball gets just above Rasheed Wallace's hand and hits the bottom of the net, for the first Spur lead of the game. They call it the Memorial Day Miracle. It took the wind out of Portland's sails and they got swept.
2005 Oregon Football: This is irony, and proof that we can't win. We have only one loss all year, to USC no less. This time, the opposite of 2001 happens. The computers rank us high, and the humans low. It has the same effect, and Notre Dame goes to the BCS over us (and gets their asses kicked, as usual). To make matters worse, we choke away the Holiday Bowl against Oklahoma.
2006 Oregon Football: I'll throw this in for good measure. Oregon starts out the season on fire. But when it rains, it pours. All of a sudden, we can't hold onto the ball, get rolled in six of our last nine, including the last four in a row, and get trounced in the Holiday Bowl.
2005 Seattle Seahawks: The Hawks finally make the Super Bowl. But a bad call, or two, or three ensures that they don't win it.
1994 Seattle Sonics: They have the best record in the league, and prompltly lose to the 8 seed in the first round.
1991-92 Portland Trail Blazers: They make it to the NBA Finals, and win the first two games, ON THE ROAD, IN CHICAGO. No matter, Jordan goes crazy, they sweep the Blazers in Portland, and more sadness for Blazer fans.
1991 Washington Football: Yeah, I hate the Huskies, but I throw this one is as proof of the curse. Even when a NW team overcomes the odds, and CLEARLY, by all objective measures, shows its dominance over every other team, they still find a way to screw them. The Huskies had to "share" the national championship.
Yep. Its never gonna happen. The Northwest is never gonna win, the Sports Gods have made that clear.