Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Here We Go Again

by Nick McCann

After the first two weekends of The Men’s Basketball NCAA Tournament, I have managed to do extremely well in my various bracket pools to the point that I feel guilty. The reason for my guilt is that I chose all four number one seated teams and they have all reached The Final Four. This is great for my immediate financial future, but I genuinely feel the emotion of guilt because I chose teams that were expected to succeed. I feel this way because of something I love.

When you really love something it dramatically affects your worldview. I’m in love with the San Diego Padres and I feel guilty about associating myself with winning. Not that I would feel guilty if The Padres won (that would mean the last book in the bible would have turned out to be more than a Kirk Cameron vehicle), but usually when I fill out my brackets I make sure that I never pick all of the number one seated teams in the Final Four positions because (A) it never works out that way and (B) because I want underdogs to win. Is this because I’ve spent 27 years loving something that has never been expected to win it all?

Being a fan of The San Diego Padres is like being a fan of Dennis Quaid. Dennis Quaid is completely watchable in almost everything he does and he was with Meg Ryan. While he has the chops to carry a movie that can be the best movie of the year, he also doesn’t upset anybody if he gives a bad performance. You never hear anybody complain about Dennis Quaid mailing it in and you never hear somebody say after watching the Oscars, “Man, next year is going to be Quaid’s year.” If it were possible for you to be a hardcore Dennis Quaid fan, you would have to except that you would probably never get to go out to a bar after the Oscars, puff out chest, and start shit with a bunch of Russell Crowe fans saying things like, “Your boy should have played another crazy mathematician,” and “That was for Proof Of Life, BITCH!”

Russell Crowe stole Meg Ryan from Dennis Quaid while they were starring in Proof Of Life, a forgettable kidnapping movie with an Elliott Smith laden soundtrack. Russell was at the peak of his celebrity and he managed to end a seemingly successful Hollywood marriage, by taking her out of the country (speculation)and giving her a new life; just like when the Toronto Blue Jays stole Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter from the Padres in the late 80s.

Meg Ryan will always be important to native San Diegan guys under thirty because she was married to Goose in Top Gun. She sat at the Kansas City Grill and yelled out to him to take her to bed or lose her forever. She is our sun. When she cried to Maverick over losing Goose with her feathered bangs and appropriately exposed shoulders, she was hot enough to melt all of the blubber on all of the Orcas at Sea World into enough oil to light the Gaslamp for a four game series against The Dodgers.

However, The Padres are not as innocent as they seem. They consciously keep the team at a certain payroll level with mid level talent that can keep them competitive all year, but not competitive enough to really compete in the post season. It always feels like that if the organization can field a team that matters for its 80 home dates, then they have done there job because they will pack enough seats to at least break even. The playoffs and the World Series are icing on the cake for a business that’s main concern is the overall worth of the franchise.

Every year we are persuaded to care even though we know it is just going to be another year of the same. In the movie Innerspace there is a scene that reflects what the Padres (played by Dennis Quaid) do to their fans:

Last night, The Padres, with help from their best player, Jake Peavy, pitching seven shutout innings, beat the Houston Astros 4-0 in their season opener. This is exactly what was ideally supposed to happen. Things will not get any better, even if our faith is kept.


Liz said...

They say pitching wins the playoffs, so if you get there you have a shot. Trouble is, hitting gets you to the playoffs, and they will need to start doing better than 4 runs on nights when they get 14 hits.

Red said...

We will never win a major game with Trevor on the team.

Heath Bell for Closer!

(comment verification? really?)

Sean said...

Great blog. Very colourful, insightful commentary! Will subscribe!