I do, however, have some sport confessions to make this week. These items have plagued me for years and now I feel the time is right to release them into the universe. Perhaps, then, I can be free of the shame, embarrassment, and guilt that each has brought to me. I will arrange these confessions by sport, and tonight I begin with baseball.
Cincinnati is only three hours from Hyden, and an hour from Lexington, so it is the closest city that has Major League baseball. From that fact alone, I grew up a Reds fan. However, I am fairly certain I would have chosen the Reds had I not lived close to them. My decision on what team to pledge an allegiance to largely consisted of answers to the following: (a) Do I look good in the team color? (b) Do they have cool players? (c) Do they win? (d) Do they have a cool mascot? The answers to those questions must be put in the context of the 1970's as that is when, as a boy, I chose my home team. Answers: (a) With my skin tone and black hair, red looks stunning on me; (b) Cool players? The Reds of the mid 70's were the greatest ever: Johnny Bench, Pete Rose, Ken Griffey, Dave Concepcion. Let's just say that most packs of bubblegum cards were full of Cincinnati Red's players; (c) In the 70's Cincy was known as the Big Red Machine and won back to back World Series, so yeah, they won, a lot; (d) OK, I have no answer here. The mascot is not a good one. There is nothing catchy about being the Red Stockings, but three out of four ain't bad.
|(Not cool. Sort of creepy.)|
I have never seen the home team win a game. Ever. I have been to at least 10 Cincinnati Reds games, and they have gotten beat in all of them. This home team curse doesn't just involve the Reds. Oh no, my friends, it is much deeper. I have seen games in Tampa, Philadelphia, and Atlanta. Tampa lost. Philly lost. Atlanta lost. To add salt in the wound, the games have not been even close ones. The home town has been pounded into the ground by the visitors. Strangely, in the 10 games I have seen, 5 times the visitors have been the San Diego Padres who routinely have one of the worst records in all of baseball. If anyone out there reading this is a Padres fan, you are welcome.
|(She has to go to the right to go to the left)|
|(I bet he cussed after this was taken.)|
I have now cleansed myself of baseball demons. There are no more uglies in the baseball closet. To recap, my apologies to the Reds and to any coach who asked me to hit a ball into a certain field or to run into left/right field, and if you see a fly ball coming near me, please push me out of the danger zone.