Sports make me sad.
I grew up a fan of Cleveland sports, so that's to be expected.
I even adopted the Jacksonville Jaguars as my new team when the Browns left town.?Needless to say the situation hasn't improved much.
With no NHL?team in Cleveland, I follow the Pittsburgh?Penguins and, well, things have not gone smoothly this postseason.
All too often I end up asking myself why I love sports, when the end result is usually the urge to throw things.
I asked myself that during the Final Four when Ohio State blew its lead against Kansas. Most recently I found myself asking that Sunday watching my beloved Penguins get throttled by the Flyers in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
It just seems that far too often sports bring me nothing but misery and sadness. Expectations get raised up, then reality comes crashing back down.
Let's face it. I was simply born in the wrong area of the country to be a sports fan. In my lifetime here is a list of the major championships I've been able to celebrate along with my teams: One Ohio State football national championship and one Penguins Stanley Cup - I wasn't really into hockey yet when they won their first two Cups in the early '90's.
Little did I know when I was about 9 years old and saw the movie Major League for the first time, that would be the closest I would ever see to Cleveland winning a pro sports championship.
Why do I allow myself to experience the misery that inevitably comes season after season?
Maybe the best I can hope for is to just enjoy the excellence in each sport without the emotional attachment.
I have to admit, even after my Pens got embarrassed, it was fun to watch a Kings-Canucks hockey game, that was played at a high level with down-to-the-last-second drama. And at the end of the game I didn't feel the need to throw a brick through my television. That was a nice feeling.
A week ago, watching the drama unfolding at the Masters was simply captivating. I was pulling for Bubba Watson, but if he lost there wouldn't have been the sense of gloom that typically comes with an Ohio State bowl game or Buckeye basketball tournament game.
Watching great teams and great performers for the pure love of the game is nice, but who am I kidding? The emotional attachment needs to be there. And going through the misery, and punching random walls out of frustration, makes things that much sweeter on the rare occasion things do go our way.
I think back to June 2, 2007. The day I consider the best sports day I ever experienced. I got to be in Columbus to see my alma mater win a state baseball title, then drove straight to Cleveland and joined the crowd outside the Q, watching on a jumbo TV as the Cavs beat the Pistons to move on to the NBA Finals.
I think to how amazing that party in the streets was. Running around high-fiving random strangers because how overjoyed everyone was.
I think to 1999, 2007 and this past March. The three times Ohio State made the Final Four and how amazing it was each time to see them earn the trip, cutting down the nets.
I think of every time Ohio State football beat Michigan. Especially the 2006 game, standing arm-and-arm with friends singing Carmen Ohio.
I think of Game 6 of the 1997 ALCS and Charlie Nagy and Tony Fernandez.
I think to the two occasions I was able to celebrate championships and how special those celebrations truly were seeing my teams finally win.
With modern sciences, I figure I got about 70, 80 years left. I'm willing to bet at least once during that time, there will be a championship parade through downtown Cleveland.
I think ahead to that day and what it will be like and how emotional it will be for Cleveland fans who have experienced the drive, the fumble, the shot, Jose Mesa and the decision, and who's best hope for a title might be in arena football. How all that will be forgotten once that elusive title comes to Cleveland.
As few and as far between as they are, I think to all the special moments, championships or not, that I've had a chance to see.
And that's why I love sports.