Monday, January 9, 2012

The Day After

Many of my friends are wondering how I'm faring after the events of the weekend.  Well, I'll tell you.    I'm glad I have a low profile right now because I have to confess that there seems to be some karmic correlation to my arriving in Pennsylvania and the sports icons in the state going to hell in a hand basket.  If you're of the paranoid or superstitious ilk, you might suggest that I'm the reason for all of this chaos.  Like I ripped the fabric of time and space by making such a dramatic move.  I might even tend to believe it myself, because the laundry list of woes is rather extensive.  Among the calamities to visit various sports teams:

  1. The Steelers lose the Super Bowl to the Packers thanks in large part to turnovers.
  2. The Eagles put together what is deemed a "Dream Team" by a certain former Longhorn, but fail to even make the playoffs.
  3. Sid the Kid returns only to leave again with no word on when - or if - he will be able to play again.  Along with him are a plethora of other marquis names.  The Pens are struggling just to dress a full team and are in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2006.
  4. Penn State.  If I need to expand on that for you, you may need to crawl out from under that rock you're living under.
  5. Todd Graham in his freshman year as head coach of the Pitt Panther football team, with their bowl game ahead of them, takes a job with ASU and informs his players via text message.  Not that anyone is sad he's gone, but the pure douche-baggery of the move sent shock waves through us all.
  6. Pitt sports fans got no relief once basketball season started.  Normally a NCAA powerhouse, having lost only 11 times at home in the past nine seasons combined, they've lost three at home already and are 0-2  in conference play (maybe worse by now, this was as of the January 2nd when I stopped even pretending to pay attention).
  7. For those Pennsylvania pro basketball fans, the only team to follow are the 76'ers, but their season was cut dramatically short by the NBA lock-out.
  8. The Pirates flirt with success for the first time in nearly two decades in 2011, but are dashed once more on the rocks of mediocrity.
  9. The Flyers are doing fine, but I hate them, so that's actually a bad thing.
Now add it to yesterday's expulsion of the Steelers in the first round of the playoffs by the 10-point underdog Broncos and one would have to be a little worried about what space-time continuum I disturbed in coming here.  But, what is worse than simply losing the game is the drama surrounding it, most notably the injury of the running backs coach, Kirby Wilson, who was badly injured in a house fire the Friday before the game.  There was a strong air of mystery surrounding the fire right from the beginning, but, whatever happened notwithstanding, it is tragic.  This is a small market town - people know the Steelers, the Pens and the Pirates.  You see them around town or end up interacting with some of them here or there (well, I don't, but people who actually leave their house do).  As an example, my hairdresser is friends with Coach Kirb.  It means that fans take both the teams' successes, failures and drama personally.  In good times, that's all great.  In times like these, these inevitable dark days, it turns ugly, like family dynamics sometimes do.  Therefore, if in some weird way I brought any of this down on the teams housed in this state, I should be expelled violently from here - and I'm sure there would be no shortage of people willing to do the deed.  The only thing to redeem me is to have the Steelers come back and claim that 7th Lombardi next season.  If only parenting solutions had been that clear cut and easy maybe I would have never felt the deep loss that drove me here...

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