Let us on this day say a final prayer for our beloved team. Whether they deserve it is another matter. That the season thus witnessed is best buried, unlamented and unloved, in that unmarked graveyard in the back of our collective memory is all for the best.
Perhap a prayer, instead, should be said for those tempered souls for whom this season was dedicated, for surely it is they who are worthy of such. Then again for what is prayer worth when little is expected and those expectations met?
I note all this while watching the MLB playoffs, which haven’t featured the Mariners since 2001-the longest playoff drought in pro sports. This inevitably leads to the whole notion of being a sports fan and having a favorite team to root for.
That is not, dear readers, an idle thought.
I find I have not lost an interest in the sports themselves, predominantly baseball and football, but in recent years I find myself less and less interested in being the fan of any particular team, mainly because the payoff is often obscure and the cost not worth the possible ROI-return on investment. This is illustrated nicely by the recent seasons of our Seattle Mariners. While coming close to playoff contention in the previous 2 seasons, the understanding by the cognoscenti was that they didn’t have it in them, as constituted, to compete, that the team was too old and too expensive, so…
With that in mind, they decided to start over, or as the say in the sportsbiz: rebuild. This necessitates gutting the team and testing the patience of the fans.
To which I ask: Why on my dime? What benefit do I derive from the prospect of bad, if I mean to be critical, or maturing, if I mean to delude myself, play from a team that has no reasonable expectation of being competitive, other than being gouged of my entertainment dollar? Will the team be lowering prices, offering bargains, gimmicks, something to better endure the prospect of a 100 loss season?
The answer is no.
But they do want to upgrade the splendid ballpark us taxpayers built for them, so as to lesson the impact of the follies occuring on the field. For what so stirs the wearied fan’s soul than infrastructure improvements, a better sound system-to better pound out the same tired sports tunes-and a new bar for better inebriation.
How about a better team!
There is also the distinct possibility that nothing will come of this, that prospects and draftees will not pan out or, as is common in Mariner lore, make it big after leaving. Thus, I believe, it is better to make peace with the notion of fandom and let go of any particular team because in truth…
They don’t love you and are really only interested in your money.
Harsh? Perhaps, but proven time and time again by example.
So let us pray that the postseason is entertaining, because the regular season, certainly in this part of the baseball world, was not.
©2019 David William Pearce