Tuesday, January 10, 2006

We're (not) the champions

Whenever a sports team I like has success, I become fatalistic. It is because they always fail. Except for the rare times the Cubs do well, it is not horrible last second failure. Rather, it is an almost-getting-there-but-not-quite failure. This year's Colts are my last chance to make this stop. If they don't, no team from this city will. Here is what has happened since 1994.

1994: The Pacers took a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals versus the Knicks. In Game 5, Reggie Miller scored 25 points in the fourth quarter. That season was a huge surprise to everyone because the Pacers had always either been bad or mediocre. They began playing well late in the season, and it carried over to the playoffs. But anyway, after Game 5, everyone in Indianapolis was going crazy because all the Pacers needed to do was win one more game. Well, in Game 6 at MSA, they stunk it up. Believe me, I saw it. My dad bought tickets from a scalper for an amount of money I won't reveal because I still give him crap for it. But they lost the sixth game, and went to New York and lost by four, so the series was over. This was my first experience in sports pain.

1995: The Pacers-Orlando Magic Eastern Conference Final series was frustrating this time because the Pacers should've won it in five games. Heck, they could've swept. In the first game, they were ahead in the first quarter by 15 or something, but lost. But instead, once again, they lost in seven. The fourth game was an unbelievable game. In the last 20 seconds or so, each team made two supposed game-winning shots, with Rik Smits actually winning the game. I lost my voice at that game. However, yeah, the Pacers got killed in the seventh game.

1996: The Colts were ahead of the Steelers in the AFC Championship game with four or five minutes left. I was running around the house screaming about the Super Bowl. Then Pittsburgh took the lead, and I realized it was my fault. The Colts had one chance left, and Jim Harbaugh threw a long pass into the end zone that Aaron Bailey caught...and let slip out of his hands as he was on the ground. I didn't move for about 15 minutes after that one.

1996: The Pacers were having a good season, then Reggie got his face broken by Otis Thorpe. Whereas they could've won the championship, or at least gotten killed by the Bulls later, the Pacers instead lost in the first round.

1998: Once again, the Pacers were one game away from the NBA Finals, but they lost the seventh game. This was frustrating because they finally beat the Knicks, but the Bulls had Jordan and Pippen. I remember Chicago winning the first two games, then the Pacers won the next two, and they alternated after that. Each team won its home games. In Game 7, the Pacers were ahead late in the game, but they blew it. Again.

1999: Jordan was gone. The Bulls were dead. The Pacers were playing a bad Knicks team in the Eastern Conference Finals. It was their turn. Then Larry Johnson made a four-point play, the Knicks won the first game and it was basically over right there. Before Johnson made me hate him forever and the Pacers led by three, I said out loud, "Well, they'll need a four-point play now, and that's not too likely! Yes!" Stupid, stupid, stupid.

2000: The Colts were good again. They played the Titans in the playoffs. The Titans won.

2000: The Pacers finally made the Finals, but they got to play the Lakers. Of course, the Lakers won, and I sulked. That's all I'd like to say about that.

2003: The Cubs were five outs from the World Series. They blew it. I cursed a lot. This was when Jared Bhatti said, "Well, maybe if you live another 95 years, you might just die right before you see the Cubs win."

2004: Patriots beat the Colts, part 1.

2004: The Pacers blew it against the Pistons in the sixth game of the Eastern Conference Finals. Ron Artest went crazy at the end of the sixth and ruined that game. He went crazy a few months later at the same place and ruined the season.

2005: Patriots beat the Colts, part 2.

I hope there's not a 2006.


Blogger Daniel said...

Other than the Cubs part Bradley, I feel your pain. It's this year or bust...

10:27 AM  
Blogger Daniel Bradley said...

It's their last chance with the full group of players, probably. I still say they need to resign James.

12:56 AM  
Blogger Lucas Sayre said...

why is it this year or bust? anything to back that up?

1:10 PM  
Blogger Daniel Bradley said...

Because in my mind, this year's Colts are one of the best NFL teams talentwise of this era or any era. James makes the offense what it is. A lot of teams have a really good quarterback and a couple really good receivers. But James makes Manning, Harrison, Wayne and others better because he is both a great running back who can also be used to pass to. He's as good now as he was before he hurt his knee. With the NFL the way it is, they're going to lose players. Polian is the best GM in football, and they need to win it with the players he's put together.

5:00 PM  

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