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No justice


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There is no justice. None at all. At least not in sports.

If there were any justice, the Cardinals would have won it all in 2002 after the deaths of the voice of the team and their best starting pitcher.

If there were any justice, Scott Norwood would be able to do something other than sell insurance after missing wide right, Mitch Williams would be the Wild Thing and not just another World Series goat, and Lenny Bias could have been the best Celtic this side of Larry Bird.

But most of all, if there were any justice, LSU would have never been able to lose last night.

Sometimes it seems like a cruel joke. Anybody that could keep dry eyes as the Tigers took the field in Baton Rouge can't know what it's like to be human. For fifty minutes, it was all as planned. Then it all fell apart.

Three cancelled home openers and a game moved to enemy turf. A campus in mourning and the athletic department food given to perfect strangers. A basketball arena turned homeless shelter. A state that lost everything but its pride. Signs that read "I lost my home, but I still have my Tigers".

For fifty minutes, it didn't even matter. The emotional roller-coaster that is an SEC football game multiplied by a national tragedy almost ended perfectly. Instead, it could never have been worse, not even if you planned it.

I shouldn't be so darn bitter. It's a football game. But man, I feel like somebody owes Louisiana State something. Instead, it's just another loss, just another failure, just another time that those poor people get screwed.

I just hope that seeing a darn good football team play three and a half quarters of inspired imperfection did something to help people, even just a little. I know it inspired the heck out of me.

But I'd be lying if I didn't tell you that this is the first time that I actually feel like God should have stuck his hand in a football game.

He let me down.


10 Responses to “No justice”

  1. Blogger annegb 

    I used to be a Cardinals fan, until I stopped watching basebal when they went on strike.

    You know, the Cardinals went to the world series two years in a row, once against the Tigers, once against the Royals. I think there was one game with the Royals that went 16 innings.

    I loved the Cardinals, even though they seemed to self-destruct at the moment when it counted the most. They seemed to be their own worst enemies.

  2. Anonymous Anonymous 

    Are you this seriously into game?

  3. Blogger D-Train 

    Two answers, anonymous:

    1) Absolutely. I love sports more than anything else I've ever known.

    2) This wasn't just a game. Anyone that saw the festivities beforehand, heard the crowd, and knows SEC football could see that this is different. Maybe it doesn't make sense to lots of people that don't live and die with sports, but that football game was therapy for a lot of LSU fans that have been through hell lately. I wanted them to win that game more than I can say. A day removed from the game and my thoughts on it, I still don't feel any different about it.

    Also, implicit in your comment is the idea that being emotional about sports is somehow beneath people that know better. I'd presume that there's something other than God, country, and family that excites your passions too. I'm not saying college football is any better than literature, French cuisine, or whatever your thing is. I'm just saying that whatever it is, it probably isn't intrinsically any more important than football. In my experience, when I'm miserable, nothing turns a night around like a Cardinal win or a good game of racquetball. It must have felt good to people that love football to finally have their distraction back after weeks in a surreal misery. Substitute cooking or basket weaving if you feel better about it, but it's the same point.

  4. Blogger annegb 

    Is there a Cardinals football team?

    Does anybody remember the name of the Hispanic guy who hit two or three (I can't remember for certain)home runs in the same game, in a world series between San Diego and I think it was the Dodgers.

    Steve Garvey was on the San Diego team and they lost. I think it went five games, the Padres only won one game. I think they even lost the game that guy hit the home runs on.

    He wasn't a huge player, and I bet that was the best moment of his life.

  5. Blogger annegb 

    Okay, I'm all mixed up. The Cardinals went up against the Twins, and there was a sort of upset because the Twins stadium is different and people thought they cheated to win. But I didn't. Although I love the Cardinals, they whine a lot.

    The Padres were in the world series in 1984 against the Tigers. The guy who hit the home runs was Bevaqua. You guys, he was in heaven.

    And I'm pretty sure we're talking about football :).

  6. Anonymous Anonymous 

    I understand the thrill of personal achievements, accomplishments, studies, recreation, and other passions, but I don't understand vicarious involvement. You apparently did nothing (excepting perhaps cheering) to influence the outcome, so why the emotion (bond)? (I assume you don't have any personal relationship with any team member). Maybe I've got a defective Y gene?

    I wonder if this 'vicariousness' is typically a gender, cultural, geographic, etc. characteristic?

  7. Blogger D-Train 

    Anonymous,

    There's no easy answer I can give you. I live and die with the Cardinals for reasons I don't understand in the slightest. Maybe it's because my dad and I always watched games together. Maybe it's because I like red. I don't have an earthly idea.

    But I would like to suggest that this isn't unique to sports at all. I'm an American, and not by choice. I was born here. I guess I could leave, but it's not a realistic option at age 21. I have things because of America, but I could have those things in any other liberal democracy (probably more, being a poor student). But I love this place more than anything. I'm a part of it. I belong.

    Same thing with sports. I'm not part of the Cardinals (in the same way that I'm not part of American Olympic teams, I didn't frame the Constitution, and I never got a chance to vote on it), but I'm part of the group known as "Cardinal fans". There's an us and a them. We're united by a common bond, even if we don't understand it.

    I know this is a flawed analogy, but my point is that many identity groups are framed by processes that we usually have little to no control over, yet influence our emotions greatly. I didn't choose to be an American, but I root for American soccer teams and am genuinely touched by the national anthem (which I never wrote nor voted on). I don't recall choosing the St. Louis Cardinals, but I love them anyway.

    So, I think the key is identity. And yes, I think that all of the factors that you mentioned come into play significantly.

  8. Blogger Pris 

    Anonymous said, "Maybe I've got a defective Y gene?"

    Dude, if you're rooting for The Y, then you do.

  9. Anonymous Anonymous 

    Yes, I went to the Y, but I never care(d) about the teams. I always toss the sports section away without reading it.

    I've enjoyed the sports that I played (and vicaously enjoy the sports my kids play).

    To each his/her own I guess. Nothing wrong (in this aspect) with either of us. I hope you don't suffer ill health effects due to favorite team loss.

    Cheers,
    Anon

  10. Blogger D-Train 

    Anonymous,

    This has got to be a bloggernacle first --- an end to a disagreement with mutual respect for the views of another! The trophy is IN THE MAIL!

    Just kidding. We have lots of reasonable discourse around here. But I really like the tone of this discussion. It makes a guy want to keep on blogging.

    Keep coming by....

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