With less than a week left in the first decade of the 21st century -- only the second full decade of my life -- and just slightly more than two years left until the end of the world, I've been reflecting on my decade in sports. I long ago came to the conclusion that I'm not athletic and my teams are terrible, but, upon additional review, I'm not even sure Enron had a worse decade than me. My sports-decade has been one big fucking facepalm, so much so that it was worthy of that crappy alliteration.
In March of 2002, I won the St. Margaret Mary three-point shootout. I was, theoretically, the best eighth grade three-point shooter in the city that attended a Catholic grade school*. Sometime after that, the Creighton Bluejays upset fifth-seeded Florida in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. I was riding high.
[*Not actually what that means at all. There was also an all-star game and kids weren't allowed to participate in both events. Most of the actual good three-point shooters played in the all-star game with the actual good players, so my final-round total of five points (out of 20 possible points) was good for the win. But I don't care what you think. Fucking ERIC CROUCH presented me with my plaque at the awards ceremony and it still hangs over my bed at my mom's house. What's that saying you guys use here? Fuck and yes.]
Eight months later, I was cut from my high school's freshman basketball team and ended up running cross country for four years, convincing myself that it was a sport. (You don't play a cross country meet -- you fucking COMPETE in a cross country meet!)
Four months after that, Creighton* -- ranked in the top 20, sporting a shiny six seed in the NCAA Tournament and led by Kyle Korver, the best pure, non-poetry writing shooter in the country -- lost to the Central Michigan Chippewas in the first round. The fucking Chippewas. The Jays wouldn't win an NCAA Tournament game for the rest of the decade, only getting back to the Big Dance twice.
[*The NCAA Division I basketball team that I root for. Why don't I root for a real team? I don't know. I like being miserable I guess. Last year, my birthday was labeled the most depressing day
About seven months after that, I vaguely remember something called Steve Bartman. What I remember more clearly is Alex Gonzalez shitting himself* and botching a ground ball, as well as Dusty fucking Baker leaving Mark Prior in too long. After that NLCS loss to the Marlins, the Cubs wouldn't win another playoff series in the decade**. Also in the decade, Cubs General Manager Jim Hendry -- a former Creighton baseball coach who took the team to its only College World Series appearance in school history -- would throw the main ingredient into his already scrumptious batch of fail by signing Milton Bradley. Hendry obviously thought Bradley's upside was greater than his two main deterrents -- that he was injury prone and that he had a temper. The board game manufacturer went on to both injure his knee and get suspended within the first 10 games of the season.
[*Not related to Moises Alou pissing on himself.]
[ **However, the Rays would go to a World Series. The Marlins would win a World Series. The Cardinals would win a World Series. The Twins would win as many playoff series as the Cubs. And the White Sox would win a World Series. Oh, and I think the Red Sox won a World Series.]
And then there's the Chiefs. One of those years they won 13 games, so I guess that was cool. For the whole decade, the Chiefs made the playoffs twice, losing to the Colts in the Divisional Round (2003) and the Wild Card Round (2006). They have won nine games over the past three years. Last week's home game against the Cleveland Browns was blacked out, a results of the Chiefs' only non-sellout of the decade. Just a couple weeks ago the Chiefs and Creighton won games on the same day for the first time in nearly four years.
So, I'm going to pop a bottle of champagne right now because I just can't wait any longer for a fresh start. I hope all of you who cheer for real teams get DUIs on New Year's Eve.