I couldn't escape being snake-bitten...not even in the World Cup.
You all know me, you know that I am a nomad of sorts when it comes to my sports allegiances. It's not my fault, I was born and raised in the Sooner State and because of that I am a fan of the entire state of Oklahoma. (Sooners, Cowboys, and the Thunder) Outside of that, my fandom takes me to Jacksonville for the NFL, Atlanta for the MLB, Philadelphia for the NHL, even to North London for Arsenal in the Premier League. I'm all over the map, I have my reasons for choosing these teams, but I'll save that for another post. Fact of the matter is this...even when it comes to international soccer, I have a team. That team is Holland aka Clockwork Oranje. See, even an international squad like the Netherlands has something in common with the other teams I commonly root for, and it is this.
They have the tendency of breaking my heart, again and again and again...
It has been estimated that over 700 Million people watched yesterday's rugged battle between Spain and the Netherlands as they fought for the illustrious World Cup. (By the way, did you see that dope ass Louis Vuitton case they brought the World Cup out in? I feel like I'd carry my Hennessy or MacBook Pro in it.) If you did happen to watch the match, then it was an interesting conquest. The Dutch basically decided, "We're going to go 1994 New York Knicks" on Spain and try and bully them out of their game. For 116 minutes, it worked. The problem was that the Dutch could not capitalize on their scoring opportunities. Two missed opportunities by Holland winger Arjen Robben and great defense by the best goalie in the world Iker Casillas helped the Dutch toil in infamy as Spain finally broke through with a pretty finish by Andres Iniesta. Spain 1, Netherlands 0.
That was the breakdown if you needed one. Here's the thing though...you don't know how agonizing that was to watch for me. I was sitting there with a group of folks at my boy Doc's house and true to form, I was the only one rooting for the Netherlands. Save from Rose, the contrarian yellabone, who always roots for the underdog, I was at this by myself. Also, since I'm somewhat loud and boisterous, everyone knew I was rooting for the Dutch. So then when Spain scored, I was ridiculed to the Nth degree and made fun of to no end.
Now, this is something I've gotten used to, and I wonder if I'm the only one that experiences this. If you remember, I'm a Braves fan. Yes, I know that we won the 1995 World Series, so I shouldn't complain. However, let me tell you something...you have no idea how agonizing it is to win 14 straight divisional titles (from 1991-2005) and have your heart ripped out over and over and over again when the games really matter. Its one thing to just suck ass like the Clippers, Lions, and Pirates. They just aren't good, and you lose interest. With the Braves, they stay good, really good in fact. Yet, over and over again they just stab you in the back. The Flyers are the same way, did it to me again this year in the Stanley Cup. Even Jacksonville, who's few highs seem to end with gut-wrenching lows. The agony continues.
Then you have my Oklahoma Sooners...who have a legacy of being a blue blood in college football, however, after winning the 2000 National Championship...being sky high and feeling on the moon, it has been one sucker punch to the gut after another. 2004 National Title vs. USC, 2005 National Title vs. LSU, 2009 National Title vs. Florida....loses to Texas, Boise State, and West Virginia still sting to this day. We've been good, but haven't been able to get back to the mountaintop.
Sometimes I think my life would be much more pleasant if my teams just sucked. All the teams I like are good, and because of it they usually make the playoffs. The problem is that by being good, and making the playoffs...they instill hope in my hapless brain. I invest my mind, body, and soul into this team, this group of athletes, and a fanbase that believes a championship is in reach.
Time and time again, heartbreak ensues. I'm a fan, and I love this stuff, but man losing like that on the brink sucks. Watching Iniesta put the ball in the back of the ole onion bag for Spain hurt my heart. I wanted to punch something, scream, and be silent all at the same time. I think I actually poured me a drink. Sometimes, I wonder if its all worth it, this fandom so to speak. Of course it is, hell I wouldn't have a blog otherwise, but I just want to tell you this stuff sucks sometimes.
I'll see you in 4 years Holland, looking forward to seeing you breaking my heart again. Thanks.
P.S. As a reminder, checkout the livest sports talk (and hopefully on the radio soon) show around, "The Unsportsmanlike Conduct Show" as we are live Wednesday's at 9pm Eastern at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/edthesportsfan! Download our podcasts if you missed the live show as well!