The Players Will Forget, Fans Never Do.....
Sigh....where do I start? Watching my boyhood favorite baseball team endure yet another crushing loss in a playoff game was tough. Unlike a lot of people, it didn't make me angry---though it did make me a little sad.
The Atlanta Braves coughed up a 10-run lead to the St. Louis Cardinals before even coming to bat in the deciding Game 5 of their best of 5 series. They ended up losing 13-1. Unfortunately, it wasn't even that close.
Without getting to deep into the details---I'll say this: It's a game Braves fans and Social Media likely will never forget. It's also a game the players---will definitely forget.
Things like this live on due to the proliferation of Social Media. You'll see memes on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and plenty of people laughing about them.
When the 2020 season kicks off---you can bet all of that will come up again, especially when the Cardinals and Braves play.
Lounge chair analysts will say the Cardinals and the inning will be in the Braves heads. They'll say the Braves will be freaked out, intimidated even.
Um, no, they won't.
Professional Athletes have very short memories for a reason. They have to. Could the Braves use what happened to motivate them? Maybe....but they won't be dwelling on it. Sports by the nature of what they are can't and will never be totally predictable. Not one single person could have anticipated a full-on meltdown in the 1st at-bat of Wednesday's game. If you say "Well, it's Atlanta Sports"---you're full of shit. You can't possibly know.
Don't get me wrong---what happened added another layer to Atlanta's perception as a totally jinxed Sports town. There was plenty of this on Social Media:
Yup, that's right---a reference to the Atlanta Falcons meltdown at the Super Bowl. Two years after the fact and it's the best people can come up with. What's even stranger---if you watched the Falcons play at Houston this past weekend, you heard this game/score come up as something "In the Falcons Heads"....
Really? Do you think a professional athlete sits there in the time leading up to a regular season---or playoff game for that matter and says "Bruh, 3-years ago we had a huge lead and lost, I can't focus because of that".....??
Do you think Freddie Freeman will walk into the Braves Spring Training Camp in February and say "I don't think we can compete or win the World Series this year after what happened in that playoff game"....??
Do you think at least half of the Braves fan base will say "That last game of last season is going to be in their heads all year"?
Yup....you can count on it.
That folks is the difference between players and fans. Players understand shit happens. They know sometimes things spiral out of control and there's nothing they can do to stop it.
Do some athletes perform better under extreme pressure than others? Of course they do. That's why you can't predict outcomes when it comes to those situation.
Me, I find it alternately laughable and embarrassing to here people in Atlanta whine about being cursed, complain about always losing, that they are jinxed. I got news for ya, it doesn't work that way.
Yeah, sure, sometimes bad things happen. Sometimes they continue to happen, but I hate to tell you, there's no legitimate reason, nothing that says there is a "Curse". Curses aren't real things---they are perceived coincidences.
Though I should add---the fine people of Atlanta and their sports fans have had an awful lot of "Perceived Coincidences"....enough to last a lifetime...