Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Less is More - Champs are Overrated!

As I was watching ESPN on Sunday before the Red Sox/Cubs game, the guys were talking about how Cubs fans are still faithful even after 100+ years without a World Series win.

Why is that, you ask?
It's like a life application...everyone loves a winner, but aren't the losers and underdogs more fun to watch sometimes?
When I watch Little League games, for example, I always root for the small guys (think the little Hawaiian guys) because they always seem like the underdogs, and it's always fun to see them excel and beat the odds.

I guess that's why I have such a soft spot for guys like the Cubs, the city of Buffalo, the Detroit Lions (why do I keep coming back to these guys?), the Cleveland Indians, and the like. Over time, I have come to change my mind on the graces of being in a city with constantly winning teams. It's like the bulk of the pressure is put on the winning teams and it's way more sweeter to see the guys with the drought to step up and sweep everyone off of their sport-loving feet.

This is why I'm here to talk about why sometimes winning isn't exactly everything...

As their product says: "Less is more." ...Well, at least it was like, two years ago.

Let's take a look at the four major sports--I'm not counting MLS because they've only been around for a little over 10 years and still growing--and see which teams have the most championships:

MLB: New York Yankees - 27 (SHOCKER.)
NHL: Montreal Canadiens - 24
NBA: Boston Celtics - 17
NFL: Green Bay Packers - 13 (This includes pre-Super Bowl stuff)

These four teams are responsible for creating dynasties among the players and within the management. If you come from a city that doesn't do as well as these guys, you most likely hate them for the name and how many times they grace their presence in the postseason.

The one bad thing about having a team with a drought is beginning to see the people come out of the woodwork and say they've been fans forever just for the sake of partying during the playoffs. It happens in a lot of places. I guarantee you that if the Washington Nationals make the playoffs (which would honestly make me wet my pants), everyone in the DC area is going to be running to the streets either going, "WE'RE ACTUALLY GOOD," or... "YES, PARTY!"
Aside: The latter is just from what I've seen when the Phillies won the World Series in 2008 after a city sport drought lasting for 25 years and people who didn't know any players except for maybe Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Cole Hamels were out at major street corners dressed like Frylock from Aqua Teen Hunger Force jumping on SEPTA buses, throwing beer, and climbing poles. [<-- Wow, that was a sentence of Biblical proportions right there.]

At any rate, it's nice to always see someone new in a championship game. It would be kind of boring to see teams like the Lakers or the Celtics or the Yankees or the Steelers (yeah I went there) or the Cowboys or the Packers or the Bears every year in the championship game. Sometimes you're lucky and get two teams that have never been there before. Unfortunately, some people don't give a flying flip and the ratings suffer (see my previous post about this). If people throw the word "curse" around the games, then people will most likely watch. Just think of the Red Sox back in '04 when they came back from an 0-3 deficit against the Yankees and later made a clean sweep to their first title in 86 years. I was the happiest 14-year old girl alive because I bet money on that postseason. See, I guess even then I was softee for the fighters.

...No, it's not because of the movie Rocky taking place in Philadelphia and he was an underdog against Mr. Carl Weathers, just to get this out of the way.

Another point I want to bring up is if there are a lack of personnel changes throughout the years of a dynasty, things get old and boring rather quickly to just about anyone living outside of the city. I think even Joe Buck himself wouldn't be able to come up with anymore zingers for his favorite teams. Maybe that's another day and another blog post. But anyway, diversity always keeps something fresh, and seeing the same team winning all the time would honestly suck. Plus, when they sweep a team in the finals it's even more boring.

Finally, the novelty of it all is always rewarding and such for people not involved. Just watching a bit of history take place and seeing the carnage that luckily isn't occurring in your area is always nice. Another thing, it's not like there's any pressure when they don't win or don't even make it to the playoffs. Like people say, "There's always next year." There's also the video gamer's point of view where you have unlimited continues--you just have to start from the beginning of the level.

When you're not a winner, you have nowhere to go but up, so the sky's the limit. When you win a bit too much, you have to stay at the top or you'll fall from the sky and look absolutely stupid doing so.

This is why being a loser is so much more awesome. Life can be full of surprises. Winning can't always get those surprises for you.