I am an unabashed, unapologetic fan of the Atlanta Braves. For the second year in a row, we won the National East Division, and I hope to see something like this from 1992 again:
And of course this from 1995:
One thought that I have always found interesting is that fans consider themselves as part of the team, and you can tell by the way I said “we won” earlier in this post. We are part of the team, in our hearts. I never disparage someone for loving sportsball or which team they support (though I do like to joke my favorite football team is whoever is playing the Dallas Cowboys this week).
Whoever you root for, may you and your team win so that you can experience that great emotion – unless it comes at the cost of another Atlanta Braves championship!
Hope is a funny thing, to which any baseball fan (or sports fan in general) can attest. I have been a life long fan of the Atlanta Braves, and was lucky enough to be a teenager in the 1990’s when the Braves began a 14 year span where they won the National League Eastern Division title every year. We (because as a fan, yes I am part of the team) only won one World Series, and in the years we didn’t win the World Series we always hoped we would win the next year. You see, we knew we would be back in the Series next year. Every year.
But that wasn’t hope, not really. You see, hope is a matter of degree – it is one thing to hope to win the World Series, and quite another to hope your team will even make to the Series to begin with.
And it’s yet another level of hope that your team will make the playoffs, have a winning season, or even manage not to end in last place.
Hope is about degrees. What I hope for is not what you hope for. As I sit here watching one of the worst seasons the Braves have had during my lifetime, you most likely hope for something else. Perhaps you hope for tickets to a Broadway show. I hope that in a year or two we’ll be back on top. Such is our lot – to hope for happiness.
But hope is about degrees. As I type this, I’m sitting on my couch and watching as the Braves play a game against one of the best teams in the league; it’s Memorial Day.
Think about that for a moment: today is Memorial Day, and I am hoping my Braves can pull off a win against the Giants.
On Memorial Day.
Hope is about degrees, and while I sit here hoping that the Braves will win, I can’t help but be reminded that men and women have given their lives to protect our country. To protect other countries. To protect life. These men and women fought. And what did they hope for? I cannot say for certain, but I would guess that as the shells fell and as the bullets flew these men and women who fought, these men and women who died, most likely just hoped to see a loved one again. They hoped that their fellow soldiers survived long enough for a medic to arrive. They hoped not only to survive but to win a desperate fight.
They hoped their sacrifices would not be forgotten.
I hope the Braves win today, and that’s okay. It’s okay because those men and women fought to be sure I could be free. They fought so you could free.
They fought for people from other counties that spoke other languages.
They fought so we could hope and enjoy the little things.
So yes, I hope that the Braves win, and I remember that my ability to hope for such a minor thing as a baseball game victory is owed to the brave men and women who came before. Thank you for your sacrifices that I might live a live free of tyranny and oppression.
Image courtesy Wikipedia
“You got to have fun. Regardless of how you look at it, we’re playing a game. It’s a business, it’s our job, but I don’t think you can do well unless you’re having fun.”
If you were to ask me who my favorite football team was, my first instinct would to be to ask who the Dallas Cowboys were playing this week. In all honesty, though, if I lived in Chicago I would ask who was playing the Bears, or in San Francisco who was playing the 49er’s. I’m a strange bird for whom picking on someone is my way of showing affection, and I’m just not a big football guy. I grew up in a baseball family.
Every year, though, I look forward to the Super Bowl. I joke about watching it only for the commercials, but the company is the real appeal. I know some good people who are always ready with a joke, and I love to watch them scream at the TV and each other. This year was no different. Phil’s disappointment over the loss by the Patriots this year aside, even he had a good time. The game was fantastic and well played – the food was very good as well. Our host, Mary, did a great job. Even Monica’s baby was cheering.
This is my third and final football post of the year (maybe I’ll post another next Super Bowl), and what I want to say is this – to all my friends, thanks for the camaraderie and laughs.
Now, when is Spring Training? The Braves have some atoning to do for the September collapse last year!