29 Sep 2011
Cam Charron for Nucks Misconduct, reflecting on the Boston Red Sox ‘collapse’:
So, what did we learn? That the 2011 Red Sox are the biggest chokers of any team in Bill Simmons’ lifetime? Nope. We learned that no matter how much money you sink onto players or analytics, the game still has to be played, and for this reason, it will never cease to be interesting.
Money is a powerful motivator and past performance is a fairly reliable measure of future performance, but, no matter how much money is involved and how well your team has performed before, it can all be for naught if the game isn’t played well. It is not a matter of anything so fickle as love or fate; it is a matter of sport.
What matters is the game that is being played in the right now. All the goals that were scored prior, all the home runs, all the touchdowns. None of that matters anymore, because every single game starts with the same score: 0-0. And if you can’t beat the team in front of you in the right now, then all your past successes are meaningless.
That is what keeps fans coming back to their favorite teams, regardless of whether win records and past performance: the game still has to be played. The results are not set in stone so we bring ourselves, our hopes and our prayers, into the sport. We can hope, beyond hope, that our underdog will overcome and we can pray, beyond prayer, that our favorite will stay strong.
I do not follow baseball with any fervor so it was not until last night that I understood the recent string of losses by the Braves and the Red Sox, but I found myself in front of the TV watching these teams struggle to win their most important games of the season, the games being played in the right now. If they could win this game, the one being playing on this field, it would not matter if these teams had fallen from greatness. They would, if only for the briefest of times, been heroes.
The Red Sox ‘choked’; the Braves ‘choked’; the Vancouver Canucks ‘choked’ in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. They lost and history may never let them forget that, but the teams have to, because the past is always prologue. The most important game is the one they are playing right now.
On October 6th, the Canucks face the Penguins in their first regular season contest since they ‘choked’.
The past is prologue. Focus on the game in front of us, on the right now.
Game on, Vancouver.