On “The Choke”

Recently, my Indians loyalty was called into question, the person commenting that I was a bigger football fan then a baseball one. This is undoubtedly true. Ohio State football vacillates between being the most important thing in my life and the fourth most important thing in my life. Though, actually, it may be sad that I actually rank the importance of things in my lifesd1, but that’s another topic for another day. In actuality, I’m a pretty huge baseball fan. I’ve been a good, honest, and loyal Indians fan the entirety of my life. However, it is pretty hard for me to wear these loyalties on my sleeve, as I’m pretty sure that the Cleveland Indians are what destroyed my trust and faith in people.

Let me explain.

I was a young lad, no more than 10. I was playing lots of Madden, using mostly the Cowboys (because my father had already declared the Browns “his” team and they had Daryl “Moose” Johnston on them. By far my favorite NFL player of all time). Kurt Cobain (my favorite artist of all time) had recently killed himself. And OJ burst onto the scene in a white Bronco. But I was mostly in a good mood because The Crow came out (which means that Big Empty and Black Hole Sun came out) and The Lion King was released. The Lion King still being the only film I’ve ever seen that got a standing ovation.

Anyhoo, with all that going on, I had reason to be excited. And the spring brought even more excitement, with an April opening of the brand-spanking new Jacob’s Field. Like any, normal, twelve year old boy from Cleveland, this filled me with great joy. And hot dogs. But mostly joy. It was an exciting time. Toward the middle of the summer, I started hearing noise about a proposed players strike. I didn’t pay it any attention. Because, you know, I was ten. What did I know about “strikes” and “labor agreements” and “collective bargaining”? Nothing.

Then, in July, I got the greatest gift ever. Tickets to the game on my birthday! I remember distinctly hugging my paternal grandmother and jumping up and down like an excited little kid. I was going to see the Indians play on my birthday! So it was cool. Plus, the fact that the Tribe was actually doing well that year, and were poised to finally win a World Series, something that I had waited for my entire life. Then, the unthinkable happened. The players struck. In my infinite optimism, I decided that the strike would last no longer than a week, and the game for which I had tickets would still be played, and I would be able to spend my birthday at the ballpark.

As we all know now, that’s not at all what happened. The World Series got canceled. And a little boy in Cleveland had his heart shattered into millions of tiny little pieces. Because the Indians had so effortlessly toyed with my feelings, I decided to make a stand right then and there. I would not visit the beautiful Jacobs Field until after my 22nd birthday. I figured that if I gave the Indians the best 11 years of my life (up until that point at least) the least they could do is give me 11 back.

Then 1995 came. The Tribe made their first World Series since 1954, facing the Atlanta Braves. Now, everyone in Cleveland thought that this might be the year, but by now my bitter 12 year old self knew that the Tribe would just flirt with us for a while, lead us along for a while, make us buy them a few drinks and leave us alone in the hotel room. And by “alone in the hotel room” I mean “Crying watching the highly overpriced pornography while masturbating.”

Of course, I didn’t know anything about pornography or hotel rooms back when I was 12. That’s more me projecting my current thoughts onto a 12 year old Adam. Not that I’ve ever paid for hotel room pornography. Or cried while masturbating.

Anyhoo, the same thing basically happened in 1997. Though I was a little less bitter, and a little more open to the idea of Cleveland winning. More like she gives you a fake number and tells you to call her tomorrow. And its like some big dude named Wallace (I mean, seriously besides The Wire every dude named Wallace has sorta scared the shit out of me) answers and you hang up all quick. Then you forget about *69 and he calls you back and bitches you out for a while. That pretty much sums up how I felt about the 1997 Indians.

Then came this year. This was the year. I knew it. It was probably one of the best, if not the best, video game Indians I’ve ever played with. My strike was over. They tied for the best record in the AL. Plus, we had Kenny Lofton back! And our own tv station! It was TRIBE TIME BABY!

And then…

(22:43:28) YoungerSpyKnot: Seriously, when in the hell did Westbrook start looking this good?
(22:43:40) ditriech: mvp 2005?
(22:43:55) YoungerSpyKnots: In easy mode.
(22:44:35) ditriech: against the rays
(23:00:08) YoungerSpyKnots: shitshitshitshitshitshitshitshit
(23:00:48) ditriech: ok. so we should have sent kenny?
(23:01:07) YoungerSpyKnots: I don’t disagree with the decision to hold in a non-elimination game.
(23:01:13) YoungerSpyKnots: But it’s balls to the wall.
(23:02:35) YoungerSpyKnots: I hate this universe.
(23:03:33) YoungerSpyKnots has signed off.

(23:34:32) BucknutOhBama: so with our leadoff hitter batting like 180, our best hitter being nothing but an automatic strikeout all series, and our two aces pitching four their worst four games of the season, we still took this to seven games
(23:35:59) ditriech: yes
(23:36:02) ditriech: good us
(23:36:04) ditriech: but still
(23:36:23) ditriech: always the bridesmaid, never the guy taking pictures of the bride having sex with a big black guy
(23:36:31) BucknutOhBama: i’m actually just saying if all of our best players don’t all choke at once…
(23:37:10) BucknutOhBama: now watch us score 3 runs in the 9th and then lose
(23:37:30) ditriech: or, you know, win
(23:37:35) BucknutOhBama: no
(23:37:40) ditriech: and force me into drinking when I have to work at 9
(23:37:41) BucknutOhBama: this is cleveland
(23:38:00) ditriech: right
(23:38:04) ditriech: good point
(23:38:15) BucknutOhBama: when someone shouts “THIS… IS… CLEVELAND!!!” the effeminate Persians kick us into the bottomless pit
(23:39:37) ditriech: you know, its sad I was thinking pretty much the same thing
(23:41:20) BucknutOhBama: so much for those world series tickets
(23:41:44) BucknutOhBama: my family can keep them as reminders of the good things that happen to everybody else

Fuck you Indians. Fuck you up your stupid Asses.

Or at least that’s what I was thinking. Until I read this. Granted, it is from a Yankees blog. But still. That’s pretty much the last thing I needed to read ever.

I’m going to drink now, because I don’t know what else to do.

See you next year Tribe. I love you.

sd1 We all do it. I’m just honest about it. (back>

3 thoughts on “On “The Choke””

  1. I’ll be the first to agree that the timing of the leak is rotten as hell, and that if the Indians looked like they would have made it to the series, they would have waited until then to leak.

    But I think being angry about the timing of the leak is missing the point. It’s like refusing to wear a condom during sex because you’re catholic. It’s not really about birth control being a sin. It’s because the second sin feels so much better without the first sin.

    So, are you really pissed that it was leaked during the final game, or are you pissed because the leak was another demonstration of how dirty the game can be, and another example of how it’s not a sport but a business? I think it’s called “displacement.”

  2. Both really, I think I’m upset because of the leak’s timing, and how the game has moved away from “sport” to “business”. I don’t know. I guess I’m just growing up in that way, but I really want to hold on to my youthful belief that sports are really just sports. Its pretty much why I like college sports more than pro sports and the Olympics in general.

    Then on the other hand, I honestly believe that this might be more of “gamesmanship” by the Sox that crossed the line. I mean, it was “haha” gamesmanship when we had Danielle Peck or whatever her name was sing the National Anthem, but to make a national story out of a guy using HGH to “get us back” is in poor taste. Classic example of bringing WMDs to a knife fight. I don’t know. I could be totally wrong on this though.

    ION, the fact that there is a Security guard in my mall crusing about in a Segway pisses me off too. So maybe I just get pissed off a lot.

  3. So now you blame the Sox… Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t it the SF Chronicle that broke the story? Regardless of the timing of the leak itself, the paper that ran the story (and regardless of whether or not it was Mitchell – he’s certainly not the only person involved with the investigation that knew about Byrd, or, frankly, the only person with a grudge against the Tribe) bears a large portion of the responsibility for the timing. Or would you prefer it not come out at all?

    Fuck the Sox, fuck the SFC, fuck Mitchell – how about fuck Byrd, for being so monumentally stupid?

    Oh, and fuck Segways. Though that’s not to say we shouldn’t get drunk and then go on a Segway tour of the Mall. They make us wear helmets, it’ll be okay.

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