Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Which is worse?

So, I can't remember if we've had this conversation before, but it's something I was thinking about as I was lamenting the loss of the Pats earlier this week. As a fan, is it better for your team to get to the Championship and lose, or for them not to get there at all?

I can only go with what I've experienced so that's how I'm going to approach this. Focusing on the local teams.

Case Study # 1 - The Dallas Stars from 1999-2000. The Stars had come off of winning the Stanley Cup the previous season and there were fall-off expectations that just didn't happen. After some hard-fought series, they made it back to the Cup finals to meet the Devils and a chance at back-to-back titles. They fell short and I remember thinking that it was the worst feeling being so close and yet so far. This was a little smoothed by the fact that they had won the season before, but I remember being bummed for a while. Fast forward to the present where the Stars haven't made it out of the first round for ever... and I get frustrated when they lose, but I almost expect it and it doesn't seem to hurt as much as a fan. So, Getting there and losing - 0, Not getting there at all - 1

Case Study # 2 - The Dallas Mavericks in 2006. I don't need to recap and won't cause Andy and Jenn still haven't visited our house since Andy and I played NBA on my PS3 the day of the finals and we lost to the Heat... I still haven't watched a full NBA game since and am not sure if I ever will... so, I'd say that was horrible. GTAL - 0, NGTAA - 2

Case Study # 3 - The Dallas Cowboys since 2000. I am more personally invested in this team than in the Mavericks, but again, my expectations have been set that if they make the playoffs, they will probably lose in the first round. At least that is how it had been until this year. I couldn't believe when they lost to the Giants when I felt like they were a shoe-in to make it at least to the NFC game. It was very disappointing and worse than the botched snap game. GTAL - 0, NGTAA - 3

Case Study # 4 - The Texas Rangers since team creation. They have never been there, and I haven't been convinced that they have an actual plan to get there so they never disappoint. GTAL vs. NGTAA - Push

So, based on my research, I'd rather not get that close and lose. I'm officially a sports snob who has to win the whole thing or I'm disappointed. Man, I used to hate people like me when I rooted for North Texas and the Patriots of the early 90's and winning more than they lost was a successful season.

So, how do you feel? Would you rather get to the dance? Or be left at home?


rus said...

As a big fan of a historical champion (the Cowboys) and a perennial loser (the Rangers), I'll say that it is much better to get close than to not get there at all. The next time the Rangers do anything in the playoffs will be the first time. That is much worse than what the Mavs have done over the last few years: build up a winner, but choke at some point. Remember when the Mavs beat the Jazz in the playoffs for their first playoff win back in 2001? Calvin Booth, putting in a jumper from the offside? That was awesome. I just wish for that moment for the Rangers.

Chris said...

I'm with Rus on this one. Yes, the immediate pain of losing the Big Game is greater, but the sum total of knowing that your team is perfectly average (or worse) and is going nowhere is worse. Losing a championship hurts for a moment, but fan hopelessness and apathy kills.