I throw this question out to people all the time:
If you could pick one of two scenarios, which would you select?
1) For the next 10 years, the Ravens make the playoffs EVERY YEAR ….. but, they never win a Super Bowl …..
2) For the next 10 years, the Ravens win no more than 5 games, in each season, except one ….. where they win 10+ games and their second Super Bowl in team history…..
It seems most people will choose #2, hands down. But, is that really enjoyable as a fan? Last year, was it fun to know the Ravens were out of contention after week 12?
For me, it’s all about the ride and the enjoyment of the season. Sure, this season ended on a down note. But, from the season’s first week until last Sunday’s loss, the Ravens’ season was a joy to watch. It gave us something to talk about and all of us anxiously awaited each Sunday, because it meant something. The 2008 season was a lot of fun for fans, and that is what we desire and demand from the hometown teams, right?
When the season is over it’s over. I know that sounds like a Yogi-ism. But, even after your team wins a Super Bowl the celebration eventually wears off and the remaining feeling is that of an enjoyable season.
Consider this – were New York Giants fans still jumping for joy, in June ….. after winning the Super Bowl, last February? No, it was a fond memory at that point. It’s always about the ride. And, whether your team wins or loses in the playoffs, you surely had some fun over the course of the season, right?
This point brings me to the New York Yankees and the fact they spend so much on payroll. As usual, someone says, “but they haven’t won a World Series, since 2000.” So what! If you’re a Yankees fan, you have enjoyed nearly 95% of the 1300 games played, in this time span.
When September rolls around, Yankees fans are wondering “who’s pitching tonight,” while keeping an eye on the out-of-town scoreboard and the ever-changing standings, in the AL East and Wildcard races, respectively. Yep, it’s all about the ride and enjoying your team.
Admittedly, it’s a little different being an O’s fan, where we haven’t played a meaningful game in the second half of the season for more than a decade. Our September is devoted to seeing prospects take the field and waiting for the painful season to end.
Just remember, it’s always about the ride. And, while the Ravens season ended in abrupt fashion, on a blustery night, in Pittsburgh …… the ride was a helluva one.