It's always a difficult time, as baseball season winds down and football season cranks up. I sit on my couch, alternately rooting on one local team, while wishing for the humiliation of the other. I was pleased and happy to see the Oakland A's bring another American League West championship to the crowd at O.com stadium, though why no one considered the naming rights for this facility would have been better suited by calling it "A.com stadium" is beyond me. Maybe that Overstock thing worked well with the Oakland, but I still feel it was a missed opportunity.
Meanwhile, back on the gridiron, I returned to school on Tuesday morning, fresh from the Monday Night Football drubbing of the Raiders courtesy of my Denver Broncos. I searched for someone with whom I could converse about the details of the precision with which the Silver and Black were dismantled. "Didja see the game?" I asked one of my fifth grade tough guys.
"Yeah," came the dispirited reply.
"Pretty tough loss, huh?" I waited to rub it in, if ever so slightly.
"Yeah. But you guys have Peyton Manning."
I wasn't prepared for this loop of a retort. "Right," I paused, "So?"
"You guys have Peyton Manning." It was the defense for having no defense. The Raiders were yet another notch in the side of the helmet that will one day reside in Canton, Ohio. A decade of learning that "commitment to excellence" may just be an aphorism around the Oakland Raider clubhouse, the youngest in their fanbase are starting to turn.
Not so the fortunes of the Athletics. This is a green and yellow bandwagon upon which everyone seems to want to crowd these days. Those black t-shirts with the pirate on them are giving way to the "green collar baseball" sportswear kids seem to favor on our playground these days. In this way, I suppose, baseball has once again showed is unifying potential. Where football tends to arouse bitter feelings and bursts of passion, baseball is a love affair that just goes on and on.
Into October and beyond.