Monday, October 17, 2005
Allegiances Part II: NLCS
I am sentimentally partial to St. Louis for a number of reasons. For one thing, I was born there. We lived there until I was four, so I guess a lot of psychologists would say that my entire personality was formed in Missouri. Also, the Cardinals were playing in the very first baseball game I ever watched. My dad told me to root for them, and I did, and they won. I thought it was earlier, but it must've been in '82; my dad only watches the playoffs. It's just one of those silly ties, but when you're that young it tends to stick. I don't follow them, but I'll root for those redbirds over almost any other team in baseball.
Also, as a red sox fan, I feel a little bit of gratitude toward the Cardinals. Not like they threw the series or anything. I just felt that the organization last year was a class act, and the fans, too. I don't fool myself into thinking they weren't pissed about losing, but still they managed to at least pretend they were happy for us, for the most part, and that's way above and beyond what you would expect from any sports fan. The 2004 St. Louis Cardinals were by far the best team in baseball throughout the regular season, and to sweep them in the way that our boys did... Well that would be ultra-satisfying against a team worthy of our disdain, but I respected that team enough to almost feel a bit sorry about it. And so, with that in mind, I look forward to the day when Cardinal fans can put that world series out of their minds, and replace it with a victory.
Before last night I had every intention of proclaiming my allegiance to the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLDS. But something has been bugging me about that since the playoffs started. Cardinal fans have quite a beef - and a legit one - with the media coverage of last year's World Series, as described here by Dweeze in comments made last month on Cardnilly:
"To me, it was as if we weren’t even in the Series. To me, it was as if our stirring comeback victory in the NLCS never happened." "And in some perverse way, it’s almost easier to take the media reaction to the Sox World Series win than it would have been to take the media reaction to a Sox World Series loss. You can bet that for every story talking about the Cardinals winning the World Series there would have been twenty
talking about the Red Sox losing the World Series. And that would have been annoying.
Course, it would have been worth the annoyance. But still."
I was reminded of this last night, from Julia:
"A lot of us have the same feeling as we did last year."
And I guess I'm afraid it could end up like last year - from the "stirring comeback victory in the NLCS" to the media completely ignoring the Cardinals. It's bad enough that we have to put up with the most awful announcer of all time (and Joe Buck, I hope you realize that the only reason you get off so easy is that the man sitting next to you in the booth is an even bigger moron than you are.) For Cardinal fans to have to listen to these guys prattle on about baseball eighty-some years ago, and whether or not this will be the year for yet another sox team...
On the one hand it would be great for the Cards to come back and win it, and take that momentum into the Series to this time stop the freight train of destiny cold in its tracks... yeah, that would be a sweet reward for Card fans, and I wouldn't mind seeing it myself. I'm not ruling that out of the realm of possibilities and in truth I'm sure a small corner of my mind will be pulling for just that scenario. But for reality's sake, I think the Astros are better equipped this year to handle the White Sox, so at least for tonight I've decided to root for the 'stros to put St. Louis out of its misery. Of course if they don't...