Tuesday, July 14, 2009

To Live and Die in L.A.

I used to be worse.

I used to watch Dodger games with the tension reserved for sitting in a dentist's chair. Good plays? No reaction — they were to be expected.

Bad plays? Big reaction — cussing, yelling, hitting the occasional piece of furniture. My dog would run away cowering.

One day, Mrs. Orel put her foot down. She was beginning to dread gametime because, quite frankly, I was being an asshole.

The point was driven home during football season. A television at our health club was showing the Patriots game. A personal trainer — an employee of the club, mind you — was vociferously rooting for the Pats.

I didn't see this, but my wife says she approached him.

"Could you please just lower it a decibel? I can hear you through my headphones."

He turned on her, yelling.

"What's your problem? I'm watching the game!"

That person is no longer an employee of the club.

I don't want to be that guy. So, I've learned to relax. After all, watching a game should be as fun as playing it. Defeat is simply an uncontrollable outcome, not a personal shortcoming.

I still live and die with the Dodgers, but with a different perspective now. Losses may feel like the end of the world, but it isn't difficult to find something much more real to worry about. One click to CNN.com usually does the trick.

Some things haven't changed. It's still easier to get to sleep on nights the Dodgers win. Dodger losses still cause countless what-if scenarios.

But my dog is a lot happier.

8 comments:

Neeebs said...

Orel: MY solution is that when the Dodgers implode, I turn the channel, then check back much later. I can't stand the implosions either. But, then again, that's probably why I follow this blog. I guess I can be labeled a "fanatic."

Ken said...

Neeebs i do the same thing. My reasoning is that I am jinxing them.
When I'm at the stadium and stressed, I have to take a smoke, and I don't really smoke. Anything to take the edge out.

rbnlaw said...

Having lived through some of the recent implosions, I can identify.
I remind myself that it is a long season and this loss shouldn't matter. Truth is, we've become spoiled in less than a year. Last year at this time, we were chasing Arizona (!) for the lead and our offense was mediocre.

Add one guy with dreads, and look, we're all acting like Yankee or Sox fans.

I should also add that being a lifelong UCLA fan has also prepared me for implosions. Football more than basketball.

Mr. LA Sports Fan said...

Good thing losses aren't happening much this season, eh? For me, it ends up affecting how I feel the next day. I wake up after a loss, and everything just seems worse than it is.

Dusto Magnifico said...

I couldn't agree more. Wins are nice, losses are like being amputated.

Were always looking for explanations of why we lost like somehow were going to prevent that in the future... but when we win, we celebrate.

I love being a fan, I love the dodgers, but I think I'd love it more to know that my input, my time when they win or lose, is worth something more to the team. I guess we all want to be a part of the action more than just as a fan.

A little part of us will always have that dream... pitching at Dodger stadium or hitting a game winning home run. hell, just sitting in the dugout, gametime, in uniform would do it for me. Maybe Tommy comes by and slaps you on the back and gives promising words of encouragement.

maybe, Just once. To stare down a big league pitcher. To stare him down, and just as he goes into his windup, wink. Make him think you know something he doesn't. That's what I wish for. Chance to squint at a sky so blue that it hurts your eyes just to look at it. To feel the tingling in your arm as you connect with the ball. To run the bases - stretch a double into a triple, and flop face-first into third, wrap your arms around the bag.

Ben said...

I use a two part method:

a) 162 games
b) even the early games matter

Taking from b) this would mean that the late games (especially when we are leading the division) are JUST AS IMPORTANT (NOT MORE) than the early games of the season.

Yes, I tell myself this, but I still find myself turning off the tv when they blow a lead...just so I can keep my girlfriend from seeing that side of me.

And, as always, we could be Nationals fans (but I don't see how).

LAangel said...

i dont watch sportcenter when the dodgers loose lol i think thats funny

Dusty Baker said...

At almost 40, I have grown up in a lot of, if not most, ways. Yet I still act like a child who didn't get his way when we lose. It ruins my evening and the next day as well up until game time the next day. I won't look at the sports page. How childish is that? I can't even read the sports page after a loss. Yet, it's the truth. I can read SoSG, though, which eases the pain.