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 Post subject: 20 Years of "Those Games" -- The Fan Perspective
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 7:52 pm 
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Fellow Fans of the PBC,

I'm sure there are a lot of posters here who don't care about hockey. It's a baseball message board, after all. But last night, in the last and deciding Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, the Toronto Maple Leafs led the Boston Bruins 4 to 1 with a little over 11 minutes left in the third and final period of the game. That's a huge lead. In fact, no NHL had ever squandered a three-goal third period lead to lose a Game 7. But the Maple Leafs proceeded to do the impossible. They allowed a rebound goal with around 11 minutes left. Now it's 4-2. Then, with the Bruins' goalie Tuuka Rask pulled, Boston tallied another goal with about 80 seconds left. 4-3. Thirty-one seconds later, Bruin Patrice Bergeron banged the puck past Leafs goalie James Reimer to tie the game. 4-4. Overtime. Finally, a mere six minutes into the first OT period, Bergeron dropped the guillotine on Toronto with another rebound goal. Game over. Series over. Season over.

How does this relate to us Pittsburgh Pirates fans? Well, the Toronto Maple Leafs are a proud Canadian "Original 6" NHL franchise with a terrible recent history. In the last 25 hockey seasons, the Maple Leafs have failed to qualify for the playoffs in 12 seasons (hard to do in hockey, where more than half of the teams get to the post-season each year), failed to win a single playoff series in 18 seasons, failed to win two playoff series in 21 seasons, and failed to reach the Stanley Cup Finals in each of those 25 seasons. The Maple Leafs haven't won the Stanley Cup since the 1966-67 season. In hockey, this is an epic run of failure. And this year, with fairly low expectations, the Maple Leafs managed to lift up their fans and crush their hopes and dreams yet again by losing in unprecedented fashion. Sound familiar? (*cough* unprecedented second-half collapse by the Pirates *cough*)

Here's how one Maple Leafs fan describes the "gut punch" he received last night:

http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-trian ... rantland33

Excerpt:

Maple Leaf fans got to experience one of Those Games. Again.

In the aftermath of a collapse like Monday’s, people outside a fan base have a strange compulsion to want those inside it to rank the night. Where does the Bergeron game rank compared to the Roenick game, or the Momesso game, or the Fraser game, or the Gelinas game, or the Gretzky game? Can you make a list?

It sounds like fun, but it misses the point. Games like Monday’s aren’t something that a sports fan wants to organize like library books on a shelf. That’s reserved for the good stuff, where you want to argue and debate and relive all the little details. You don’t rank Those Games, because that would involve thinking about them.

Those Games don’t get neatly filed away. They get tossed into a messy pile somewhere in your sports fan psyche. They’re the landfill in your backyard. You still know they’re there. You’ll walk by them every day. But you don’t want to wade in and look around. Why would you? No good ever comes from it.

Every sports fan can recognize Those Games, and some of us know them better than others. Cubs fans, Vikings fans, Clippers fans, fans of any team from Cleveland, Bills fans, and a handful of others. We know who we are. We’re in the club. Given enough time, fans of every team will eventually get to play tourist at one of Those Games. But we seem to live here.

This year will mark the 10-year anniversary of the week that two of the most famous Those Games played out within days of each other. You don’t even need to describe the games. You just need a pair of names: Aaron Boone and Steve Bartman.

Red Sox fans and Cubs fans used to sit at the head table of the club. The Cubs are still there. The Red Sox got out, and they won’t be coming back for a generation or two, if ever.

And that’s the beauty of all this, the one saving grace that gives you the will to go on. There is a ticket out of this club, and we all know what it is: When your team wins a championship, you get to take a torch to your team’s pile of Those Games.

That’s where the hope comes in. It’s knowing that sometimes you get the Bartman game, a kick in the groin that serves no purpose beyond reminding you that you’re in the club and that sports will never make you happy. But sometimes you get the Boone game, that one last failure to toss on the pile before the big bonfire. Redemption might be coming, even if you don’t know it yet.


My take:

And that's where we come in, folks. We've slogged through more than TWENTY YEARS of "Those Games," which began with the true gut punch thrown by Francisco F*#%@ing Cabrera. We've tried to believe in the Freak Show, we've tried to embrace the potential of Chad Hermanson and Kris Benson, we've tried to love the likes of John Van Benschoten and Bryan Bullington. We endured 100 losses the year our mecca of baseball, PNC Park, opened for us. We hung in there through more rebuilding cycles than you can shake a Bonifay or Littlefield at. We rooted for Matt Morris when he was acquired. We admired Freddy Sanchez's batting title in a year that saw the Bucs drop 95 games.

When you hear me criticize a move or complain about a decision, my words carry with them the weight of TWENTY YEARS of "Those Games." But I still have hope. I still follow each game. Because, as Sean McIndoe wrote, there is "one saving grace that gives you the will to go on. There is a ticket out of this club, and we all know what it is: When your team wins a championship, you get to take a torch to your team’s pile of Those Games."

So come on Cutch, Marte, A.J., and Russell. Come on Hurdle, Huntington, Coonelly, and Nutting. Let's burn Those Games and dance in the ashes. And there's only one way to do that.



Win the whole f*ckin' thing...

Your Resident Overly Emotional Fan,

J_C_Steel


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 Post subject: Re: 20 Years of "Those Games" -- The Fan Perspective
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 9:23 pm 
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I'm just sick of losing to the brewers. And I think Pedro needs to ride the bench!


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 Post subject: Re: 20 Years of "Those Games" -- The Fan Perspective
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 9:30 pm 
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Get Locke the hell out of there!


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 Post subject: Re: 20 Years of "Those Games" -- The Fan Perspective
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 9:36 pm 
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Clevelandsux wrote:
I'm just sick of losing to the brewers. And I think Pedro needs to ride the bench!


Your whining about Pedro is getting old. Who do you want to play 3b? McDonald? Harrison? Give it a rest!

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 Post subject: Re: 20 Years of "Those Games" -- The Fan Perspective
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 9:46 pm 
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Animal wrote:
Who do you want to play 3b?


BRING BACK BIXLER!!!

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 Post subject: Re: 20 Years of "Those Games" -- The Fan Perspective
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 9:48 pm 
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I'll whine all I want! The guy stinks! Hitting below 200. So bite me!


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 Post subject: Re: 20 Years of "Those Games" -- The Fan Perspective
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 10:11 pm 
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Pedro strikes out a bunch and olays a shit ton of balls at third base. Led to the second run. Why do I bring this up?




FREE JORDY MERCER!!!


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 Post subject: Re: 20 Years of "Those Games" -- The Fan Perspective
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 10:15 pm 
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I thought Ryann represented the bottom rung of the ladder. I was wrong.


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 Post subject: Re: 20 Years of "Those Games" -- The Fan Perspective
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 11:29 pm 
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You got that right BBF. I don't know how some guys can even call themselves fans! It seems like some "fans" are almost joyous when some guys do poorly!

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 Post subject: Re: 20 Years of "Those Games" -- The Fan Perspective
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 11:29 pm 
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Why did take grilli out?

Can mercer play 3rd?


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 Post subject: Re: 20 Years of "Those Games" -- The Fan Perspective
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 11:33 pm 
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Animal wrote:
You got that right BBF. I don't know how some guys can even call themselves fans! It seems like some "fans" are almost joyous when some guys do poorly!


I want the team to win! Pedro is not at a major league par level! He's got to be the worst starting third baseman in the majors. He's is the weakest bat in our line up! He needs to be sent to AAA.


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 Post subject: Re: 20 Years of "Those Games" -- The Fan Perspective
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 11:35 pm 
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Do you know anything about how the game works????????? :roll: :roll: :roll:

Oh my! as Dick Enberg used to say.... :lol: :lol: :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: 20 Years of "Those Games" -- The Fan Perspective
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 11:35 pm 
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buccosfan77 wrote:
Pedro strikes out a bunch and olays a shit ton of balls at third base. Led to the second run. Why do I bring this up?




FREE JORDY MERCER!!!


Thank you!


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 Post subject: Re: 20 Years of "Those Games" -- The Fan Perspective
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 11:49 pm 
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Leaving too many runners on base!


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 Post subject: Re: 20 Years of "Those Games" -- The Fan Perspective
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 12:12 am 
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When McDonald hits a laser that any other night would be a double but Roid Rod robs him, it's not likely your night. I have an awful feeling about the upcoming top of 12th.

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Reflexively, obsessively and tastelessly submitted,
No. 9
Obsessive proponent of situational bunting and 2 strike hitting approaches, reflexively pro-catchers calling good games and tasteless proponent of the value of a RBI.


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 Post subject: Re: 20 Years of "Those Games" -- The Fan Perspective
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 12:15 am 
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The Mercer fanboys may get their wish. Booth speculating that McDonald may have received an injury.

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Reflexively, obsessively and tastelessly submitted,
No. 9
Obsessive proponent of situational bunting and 2 strike hitting approaches, reflexively pro-catchers calling good games and tasteless proponent of the value of a RBI.


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 Post subject: Re: 20 Years of "Those Games" -- The Fan Perspective
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 12:16 am 
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I love it when I'm wrong. C'mon. Finish this shit off already.

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Reflexively, obsessively and tastelessly submitted,
No. 9
Obsessive proponent of situational bunting and 2 strike hitting approaches, reflexively pro-catchers calling good games and tasteless proponent of the value of a RBI.


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 Post subject: Re: 20 Years of "Those Games" -- The Fan Perspective
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 12:22 am 
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Hell yeah!

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Reflexively, obsessively and tastelessly submitted,
No. 9
Obsessive proponent of situational bunting and 2 strike hitting approaches, reflexively pro-catchers calling good games and tasteless proponent of the value of a RBI.


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 Post subject: Re: 20 Years of "Those Games" -- The Fan Perspective
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 12:22 am 
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I was thinking Pedro would go yard vs. Fiers, but who cares? Just as good.

God bless the stupidity of the Brewers Skipper.

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 Post subject: Re: 20 Years of "Those Games" -- The Fan Perspective
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 12:24 am 
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Hey, Milwaukee ... #$%* you.

/s Andrew McCutchen

Loved the ending.


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