Baltimore Sports: Remember to Enjoy the Great Seasons


Oct 5, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Baltimore Orioles players celebrate their win in the locker room after defeating the Detroit Tigers in game three of the 2014 ALDS baseball playoff game at Comerica Park. The Orioles move on to the ALCS with 2-1 win over the Tigers. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

It was very easy to feel a bit gloomy after the quick departure of the Orioles from the American League Championship Series. And Baltimore sports fans felt the same way at the end of a pretty average 2013-2014 NFL season, as the Baltimore Ravens failed to make the playoffs.

But local fans need to realize they do have it good. Remember the great Orioles season this year. It really was special. And even though last football season ended with a thud, remember that the previous season ended with the Lombardi Trophy being hoisted under the Superdome in New Orleans.

It is very easy to forget as sports fans. We move along quickly. A winning season could be followed by a mediocre one. And a 162 game season, as well as nice three-game ALDS sweep ends with four straight sub-par games. It is the nature of sports. Rise and fall. It happens.

I have said it before, but maybe it bears repeating, that I feel like I have a special appreciation for sports.

I grew up in Central Illinois as a fan of the Chicago Cubs, and I still root for them as my National League team to this day. They last won the World series in 1908. 1908…..that was eight years BEFORE Wrigley Field became their home park. That is a long time ago. And not only have they missed out on the whole shebang the past 100 years, they have not even appeared in the World Series since 1945. A handful of division titles in 1984, 1989, 2003, 2007 and 2008 are all I have seen as a fan. You think that waiting since 1997 or 1983 is long, try waiting 106 years and running.

My football team growing up was the Chicago Bears. If we didn’t have 1985, Ditka, the Super Bowl Shuffle, Jim McMahon and Mike Singletary, we really would have had nothing. Looking back at the Dick Butkus and Red Grange days is awfully hard as a fan.

I do always have my University of Illinois to root for. No, not the football team, as they have been consistently bad for 50 plus years, but at least I had some good basketball teams to enjoy. Then again, the 1989 “Flying Illini” squad and the 2005 Deron Williams led team were two of the highest finishing teams on the Sports Illustrated list of the “Best Team Ever Not To Win A Title.” In fact the 2005 team finished first on that list. But is that a list you want to win?

So the moral of the story is be a fan. Enjoy the game. Enjoy the experiences. But don’t let the quick fall from grace or the disappointing finishes get you down. Remember to enjoy Anquan Boldin, Joe Flacco, Steve Pearce, Torrey Smith, Nick Markakis and all the other players that gave you some great memories. It is a much better memory to have and enjoy than just focusing on things like those last three games in Kansas City.