I grew up in Denver and now live in the East Bay in California. Even here in Berkeley people are going pretty nuts about the World Series. It got me to thinking.
That World Series that just ended tonight makes the last major sports championship of 2010. I don't follow hockey at all, I've never been able to appreciate that sport in the least. But I do pay a bit of attention to baseball and football. Let's take stock of how the championships played out in these three sports this year:
February 2010: The Colts, making only their second appearance in the Super Bowl since moving to Indianapolis in 1984, lost in a close game to the New Orleans Saints, who prior to this year had never made it to the championship round since entering the league in 1967. What a "feel-good" Cinderella story. Wasn't it great, seeing all those long-suffering Saints fans finally celebrating in the French Quarter?
October/November 2010: The Texas Rangers made it to their first World Series in franchise history, dating all the way back to 1967. They were no match for the red-hot Giants, who moved to San Francisco in 1958, but hadn't won the World Series since 1954, when they were still in New York. Now there's going to be a World Series victory parade on Market Street, for the first time ever. I have a lot of friends around here who stuck with this team through some good times and a lot of bad ones. They're thrilled right now and I'm very happy for them. A new champion! What a great "feel-good" story.
Let's see now, what happened in the NBA Finals this year?
Oh yeah. The fucking Lakers and goddamn Celtics, who combine to own MORE THAN HALF of the NBA championships ever awarded, met in the Finals for the billionth time. I guess it slipped my mind because I didn't watch a single second of it.
Re. the question I asked a few paragraphs above about the Super Bowl, "Wasn't it great, seeing all those long-suffering Saints fans finally celebrating in the French Quarter?", I imagine David Stern's answer to that question would be "No, it was horrible, I couldn't stand it. The Super Bowl should just be the Steelers vs. the Cowboys, every single year. There should only ever be a small handful of teams in the championship round. We do it right in the NBA. The Lakers are like the Globetrotters and the rest of the Western Conference are pretty much the Washington Generals. They just exist because the Lakers need someone to beat on their way to the Finals. I want the Lakers in the Finals every single year, so that's why we do everything we can to give them as much unfair advantage as possible, and that's why we hate parity and do everything we can to avoid it."
I seem to remember late last season Nate had a post where we all worked together and made a list of NBA teams who've never made it to the Finals in their current cities. It was about 10 teams.
I believe I heard a couple of weeks ago, after the Rangers beat the Yankees (Stern must've been absolutely apoplectic over that), that there are only two MLB teams who've never made it to the World Series.
There's only one non-expansion NFL team who's never been to the Super Bowl: The Detroit Lions, and even they won several NFL championships before the Super Bowl era began.
So yeah, I love a feel-good story, a Cinderella story -- I love it when the underdog makes good and knocks down the bully. It seems I've been following the wrong sport.