My Aunt JoJo was never one to mince words. She spoke her mind on a number of subjects, and lately I've been thinking a lot about her views on my obsession with sports.
"Why do you care so much?" she'd yell at me. (She wasn't angry. She just spoke loudly and passionately.) "You think they care about you? You think [insert athlete here] cares about what you're doing?"
The athlete in the above statement could have been anyone, though I remember references to Patrick Ewing and Boomer Esiason specifically.
Believe it or not, I was much more obsessive of a sports fan back then than I am now. And in the early 1990s it was the Knicks that were the object of my obsessiveness (probably a result of a combination of their [relative] success, the Mets' and Jets [very] lean years, and the baseball strike).
I remember the day I quit the Knicks, and took Aunt JoJo's words to heart. It was 1995 - Game 7 between the Indiana Pacers and Knicks, and Patrick Ewing missed a layup that would have sent the game into overtime. I still haven't seen this layup, my break with the NBA was so complete. After living and dying through the 1994 season, I saw most of the 1995 season, but I was working right outside Madison Square Garden the night of Game 7. We were listening to the game on the radio. (I tried looking up the video of the play on youtube, and found nothing. I think I'm happy saying I still haven't seen the missed layup after 14 years.)
Anyway, I watched people pouring out of the Garden with my head laying on the display counter feeling like someone had punched me in the gut. I watched those people, and they didn't look terribly disappointed. Or at least anywhere close to as disappointed as I was.
And I decided that probably felt better than the way I felt.
I resolved to take other things in life more seriously. Over the next few years, the NBA lockout and Patrick Ewing's involvement in the Atlanta strip club scandal helped me fully separate myself from the NBA, but I just couldn't cut ties with the Jets and Mets. (I get into the Rangers when I watch them, but I find hockey just doesn't stick in my gut like the other sports.)
But the point here is, I'm starting to feel that way about the Mets and Jets. I'd like to think it's not so much the losing as it is the way the team is (teams are, really) losing. I'm not getting the feeling anyone cares.
Dropped pop-ups, baserunning errors...these are the types of basics that are supposed to be givens with Major League teams.
I still love baseball. I love watching a random game on a summer night. I still love football. I still want the Mets and Jets to do well. I'm just feeling a lot less angst when they don't.
I'm also feeling a lot less inspired to write about these teams. So I think I'm shutting down the blog. Something happened after I hit five years - maybe it was the way the 2009 season was heading, but I don't think so. It started even in the early part of this year. I guess there were just other things on my mind.
That said, those other things on my mind might become my new writing passion - and therefore I might spend my time writing about things like family life, sports in general...maybe just some kind of humor about day-to-day life. So stay tuned, if you don't mind, for information about a new blog that I'm thinking about starting up. And thank you for five years of reading what I have to say.
This is not a good-bye forever, just a see you later for now. Because, as Aunt JoJo might say, "Why do you care about how many doubles David Wright hits? Do you think he is writing about how many diapers you change?"
Or, to answer her question, "Why do you care so much?", I might now answer, "I don't think I do." And if that's the case, I can't justify having you come back to this space every day.