I’m a huge sports fan, something that I haven’t really kept a secret. Most people don’t think that sports are very nerdy, but it’s very easy to be a huge sports nerd.
Baseball fans can memorize one hundred years’ worth of statistics.
Football fans draft players and watch every play for their fantasy teams.
Basketball fans analyze defenses and shot percentages, trying to figure out which matchup will work best for their favorite team.
So there’s plenty to nerd out about when it comes to sports.
Both sports and nerdclinations also have their highs and their lows. Following any team or loving any nerdclination always takes us on a roller coaster.
The joy of watching Luke duel Vader in Return of the Jedi and the pain of watching Greedo shoot first.
The excitement over seeing Riker and crew rescue Picard from the Borg and the sadness of the final scene in “All Good Things…”
The disappointment of X-Men 3 and the hope that X-Men: Days of Future Past could be special.
Sports and nerdclinations have their ups and downs. All we can hope for is that there will be more ups than downs. Unfortunately, in the 39 collective years I’ve been a fan of different sports teams, I’ve had way more downs than ups.
I’ve been a fan of the Bears since 1994. I’ve been a Cubs fan since 1996. And I’ve been a Warriors fan since 2011. That’s a total of 41 seasons as a fan of a team. In those 41 seasons I have had two good seasons, 27 forgettable seasons and 12 soul-crushing seasons. Here’s a look at the good and the soul-crushing.
- The 1998 Cubs won the Wild Card and made it to the playoffs by winning a one-game tiebreaker with the Giants. They got swept in the first round of the playoffs but 1998 was a great year.
- The 2012-2013 Warriors won their first series against the higher seeded Denver Nuggets. Steph Curry showed that he had superstar potential and the series was so much fun to watch.
- The 1994 Bears lost to 49ers in the playoffs.
- The 2001 Bears had one of the best records in the NFL and lost in their first playoff game.
- The 2003 Cubs were five outs away from the World Series and blew it.
- The 2004 Cubs fell apart at the end of a disappointing season, punctuated by Sammy Sosa walking out during the team’s last game.
- The 2005 Bears had a first round bye and were upset in their first playoff game.
- The 2006 Bears lost in the Super Bowl. I was very, very sad.
- The 2007 Cubs made the playoffs but were swept out of the first round by the Braves.
- The 2008 Cubs had the best record in the National League but were swept out of the first round by the Dodgers. I remember yelling a lot of colorful language at the television.
- The 2009 Cubs had just come off their beast season in over half a century but failed to make the playoffs.
- The 2010 Bears lost in the NFC Championship game to the Packers. I hate the Packers and they have contributed a lot to my soul being crushed.
- The 2012 Bears started the season 7-1 but failed to make the playoffs and then fired their head coach.
- The 2013 Bears’ season came down to their final game against the Packers. Had the Bears won, they would have won the division. Instead they lost to the Packers, the Packers won the division and I finished the game face down on the floor.
I both hate and love sports, kind of how I both hate and love the X-Men movies. There are always ups and downs in life, with sports and our favorite nerdclinations. Thankfully God is far more constant than sports or super heroes. Even if the Cubs lose or Guardians of the Galaxy isn’t as awesome as I want it to be, God is still good.
What are some of your best and most soul-crushing sports memories?