"Why should we panic? We've got a great team. ... It doesn't happen, so who cares? There's always next year. It's not like it's the end of the world.
-Manny Ramirez, Boston Red Sox
I've had to put writing on the backburner for a few days, and there was a lot to write about. And I'm glad I actually held my tongue (fingers?) because I was able to calm myself down and get perspective on something that I'll write about later.
In the meantime, I wanted to talk about Manny Ramirez and the above quote.
There are a lot of pundits and fans who are really pissed off at Manny for saying that if they don't win, who cares, it isn't the end of the world. There are a lot of people pissed at him, because he makes a shit ton of money and he should have a more go get'em, let's win attitude.
But as a mom who recently watched her son exhibit the WORST case of bad sportsmanship ever, I'd like to take a second and thank Mr. Ramirez for putting things in perspective.
It is not the end of the world if they lose.
It is not the end of the universe, the end of all existence as we know it.
It is not the end of the Red Sox, or your life.
It is just a game.
My son lost his fucking MIND when his team lost for the first time. It took DAYS for us to get it through his head that he didn't suck, his team didn't suck, the coaches didn't suck. It was and is just a game. Days of discussion, debate and virtual therapy to teach the kid that it is just a game and there is always next week. It is just a season, and there is always next game if you are in the middle of a season, and next year if you've made it to the playoffs...
The quote above from Manny is 100% right, and it is what we try and teach kids like Geoff right from the start when they are learning the ins and outs of team sports. I think Manny may have come off as not caring, but in reality, dude is coming off as someone grounded in reality. And that is what matters. Not crying on TV like LaDanian Tomlinson a few weeks ago when the Chargers lost. He'll give it his all, for sure, but in the end...
it isn't the end of the world.
While I personally applaud Manny, others are freaking the motherfuck right OUT over his statement.
I'm really tired of the sentiment of fans that athletes OWE them the victory. The other day Tim Wakefield was virtually run out of town on a rail because his pitching performance was the epitome of suck. I think statistically, he was the 2nd winningest pitcher on the team this past year and without him, they probably would not even BE in the playoffs facing possible elimination this evening.
Manny has the right attitude. It's just a game, not the end of the world. I think that it may have come out of his mouth a little awkwardly because the man doesn't have the greatest grip or command of the English language sometimes.
His heart is in the right place, his mind is in the right place, and I think if more people just recognized it as just a game and not the mandatory sacrifice of everyone's first born child when the home team loses, life would be a lot easier.
And if anything matters, I hope his momma recognizes that her son has the right attitude.
Disappointment when they lose is to be expected. But you, accountant guy at some firm in Brockton... you, some marina worker in Beverly... you, some secretary for a law firm in Boston, you public safety officer in Worcester... you aren't playing, getting paid, winning or losing.
It's no skin off your nose if they lose.
It is fine.
And next year if you are a true fan, really truthfully a fan, you'll be right back out routing for the home team with your crackerjacks and peanuts (barring any sort of bad allergy you might have).
I think if people got as outraged about Darfur as they are about some overpaid sports guy, I think the world would be a much better place.
That said -- good luck to the Sox. I remember what it was like when they never won shit and never made it out of the gutter, much less to the ALCS where they lost or won or anything... let that just be a sobering reminder to people. It could be worse.
And on that note, Manny being right, Manny being Manny, Manny being a jerk, however you perceive Manny, please know that it is just a game and for crikey chrissakes, let it go.
That is all.