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It Always Ends in a Loss

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Offline  It Always Ends in a Loss
#1

Posted: October 02, 2019, 12:35 PM Post
Posts: 1229
Kyle Whelliston was a sportswriter during the 2000s, and he's probably most famous for a blog called The Mid-Majority. Whelliston traveled to hundreds of college basketball games over the course of almost ten years, and, in his own words, wrote "more about philosophy than basketball" and "more about losing than winning." The unofficial motto of the blog was, "It always ends in a loss" because "mid-major" college basketball teams are at a nearly insurmountable disadvantage given the economic structure of the game.

I was thinking about that this morning, given another tough postseason loss, and I wondered, if someone told me, "The Brewers are never going to win a WS in your lifetime," would I still watch? I think the answer is yes. At the end of the day, baseball is a sport that allows us to live in the moment and enjoy the day-by-day struggle of creating something cool and beautiful, and that creation can't be dependent on victory for its validation. After all, Milwaukee isn't New York or LA, and the financial structures of baseball make it unrealistic to expect a championship. Not only that, but some of the most fun players I've watched as a fan (Carlos Gomez comes to mind) played on bad teams, and I wouldn't trade that sense of joy for the pressure-cooker of Yankee stadium, regardless of the titles that might come with it. I just wouldn't.

I feel like all I can ask is that this team try its hardest to put a good team on the field. That the guys play together. That they demonstrate the kind of human values that baseball, like literature or film or ballet or whatever, can show us. This team did that. Last year's did too. So did the 2017 team, and even that 2014 team that just fell apart at the end. I don't think 2020 will be any different. I'll be waiting for whatever magic CC and Stearns and the full TEAM produces, and I think it will be something to see, however it ends. Glad I know y'all will be along for the ride. I'm ready to get the hot stove going today, folks!

Go Brewers!


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Offline  Re: It Always Ends in a Loss
#2

Posted: October 02, 2019, 12:39 PM Post
Posts: 11884
No, I would not. I would find a new team. If you literally told me we would NEVER win the World Series...yah, can't say it would be fun to watch then.


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Online  Re: It Always Ends in a Loss
#3

Posted: October 02, 2019, 12:42 PM Post
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The Brewers have been about as good as you can reasonably hope for about the last 10 years. I accepted a long time ago this team would never win a championship in my lifetime, but I never thought I'd see them make the playoffs 4 times in 2005. I remember sitting in Wrigley at the end of 2007 watching us choke away a game in September as they caught us, turning to my friend and just saying "We're never going to see this team make the playoffs, are we?" It wasn't doom and gloom as much as a genuine feeling we both had.

So I still feel like I'm never going to see them win a championship, but just feeling that way doesn't really dictate the direction of the franchise - at all.


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Online  Re: It Always Ends in a Loss
#4

Posted: October 02, 2019, 12:44 PM Post
Posts: 4712
Location: Madison, WI
Right, if I knew for sure that they weren't going to win then what's the point. Now, you know you're in an uphill battle and long shot, etc but there is always a chance you'll get on that run and pull it off, like they almost did last year. If I know the whole time that no matter how good they get that somehow they're going to lose it would kill the 'hope'. IMO, winning a title in an underdog/cinderella type way is a much more gratifying title than what the Yankees, Alabama, or Duke basketball does. So when one of them does pull it off it'll be all that much more fun.


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Online  Re: It Always Ends in a Loss
#5

Posted: October 02, 2019, 12:48 PM Post
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My dad was about 10 when the '57 Braves won the World Series. He still talks at least twice a year about my grandfather getting corporate tickets to one of the games and taking his older brother instead of him, like I haven't heard the story before. It drives him crazy to this day because my dad was your typical 50s kid baseball fan, ran his own simulations with trading cards etc. and my uncle was a total dork with no interest in sports. My dream has always been the Brewers getting in and getting to take my dad. I was so damn close last year, I can't tell you how much it hurts. I am running out of time. We had a blast at the LDS and NLCS but man, I was so close.


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Offline  Re: It Always Ends in a Loss
#6

Posted: October 02, 2019, 12:54 PM Post
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There are no circumstances that would turn me against the Brewers. My loyalty runs deep, and switching teams are not even words in my vocabulary.

It irks me when people even say they have more than one favorite team in the same sport. To me, that is impossible. One team, period.

Would it suck if I knew they would never win the WS? Yup, but I watch the games, win or lose. As much as I want to win it all, I enjoy the daily grind too much to quit on my team. Would it suck if they made it to the world series, and I already knew they couldn't win? Yup, but I'd watch anyway, in total agony.

To me, having the Brewers on is comfort. I love when winter turns to spring and knowing that in a short time, the Brewers start again.

My answer is yes, I'd still watch, and the Brewers will always be my team until they close the stadium doors permanently, or I kick the bucket.

"I'm sick of runnin' from these wimps!" Ajax - The WARRIORS


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Offline  Re: It Always Ends in a Loss
#7

Posted: October 02, 2019, 12:56 PM Post
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In every sport there is only one champion at the end of the year. Unless you're a fan of the Boston area teams, you're only likely to see your favorite team win it all once or twice in your lifetime. That has nothing to do with budgets, management, market size, whatever. It's just a numbers game. Basing your fandom on winning titles is setting yourself up to be disappointed after just about every single season is over.


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Offline  Re: It Always Ends in a Loss
#8

Posted: October 02, 2019, 1:20 PM Post
Posts: 1116
Location: Wisconsin
I resigned myself years ago to the fact that the Brewers were unlikely to win a World Series in my lifetime. I know what it's like to root for a team that wins a World Series because in my early years I rooted for my Dad's favorite team, the Yankees, even when the played the Braves (my other favorite team) in the 57 World Series when I was 5 years old. My Dad grew up on Staten Island and was headed to a Yankees minor league spring training when Uncle Sam called him to WW2. By the time he got out of the service he was married and on the old side to start a professional baseball career. But he starred in the industrial leagues that were around in the Milwaukee area those days, and his name is on a plaque at Miller Park as a member of the Milwaukee Sandlot Hall of Fame.

Anyway, I have rooted for teams that have won World Series, an NBA title, NCAA basketball titles, a mythical college football title (pre playoff days), and four Super Bowls. So, I've learned that having your favorite teams win championships is great, but they don't change your life. The chase is an important part of the fun. Once you celebrate the title, there is an empty feeling because there are no more games to look forward to, and thoughts move on to the next season. Once your team wins one, you want two, and so on. Packers fans know how that works.

Bottom line, I'm going to root for teams with which I have some affinity (geography or alma mater), even if their chances of winning ultimate championships are limited. With the Brewers, I enjoy being able to go to the games with my daughters (my wife doesn't care to go) and hoping that the Brewers will be in contention for a title, and maybe win one some day. But, I wouldn't and couldn't arbitrarily pick another team to root for just because that phony adopted team has a better chance of winning a title.


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Offline  Re: It Always Ends in a Loss
#9

Posted: October 02, 2019, 1:28 PM Post
Posts: 11884
I think there is a difference between accepting they may never win it all and literally knowing they never will.


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Offline  Re: It Always Ends in a Loss
#10

Posted: October 02, 2019, 1:50 PM Post
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It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart.

https://mason.gmu.edu/~rmatz/giamatti.html

That is why it breaks my heart, that game--not because in New York they could win because Boston lost; in that, there is a rough justice, and a reminder to the Yankees of how slight and fragile are the circumstances that exalt one group of human beings over another. It breaks my heart because it was meant to, because it was meant to foster in me again the illusion that there was something abiding, some pattern and some impulse that could come together to make a reality that would resist the corrosion; and because, after it had fostered again that most hungered-for illusion, the game was meant to stop, and betray precisely what it promised.

Of course, there are those who learn after the first few times. They grow out of sports. And there are others who were born with the wisdom to know that nothing lasts. These are the truly tough among us, the ones who can live without illusion, or without even the hope of illusion. I am not that grown-up or up-to-date. I am a simpler creature, tied to more primitive patterns and cycles. I need to think something lasts forever, and it might as well be that state of being that is a game; it might as well be that, in a green field, in the sun.

"I wasted so much time in my life hating Juventus or A.C. Milan that I should have spent hating the Cardinals." ~kalle8

Twitter: @MKEHiker
Website: http://www.mkehiker.com


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Online  Re: It Always Ends in a Loss
#11

Posted: October 02, 2019, 2:16 PM Post
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BruisedCrew said:
Anyway, I have rooted for teams that have won World Series, an NBA title, NCAA basketball titles, a mythical college football title (pre playoff days), and four Super Bowls. So, I've learned that having your favorite teams win championships is great, but they don't change your life. The chase is an important part of the fun. Once you celebrate the title, there is an empty feeling because there are no more games to look forward to, and thoughts move on to the next season. Once your team wins one, you want two, and so on. Packers fans know how that works.


Brett Favre talks about this exact thing after Super Bowl XXXI in the America's Game special. As Holmgren was giving the championship speech, Favre was in the shower thinking about how empty it felt. He talks about thinking "Is this it?" and realizing there were no more games.

Rodgers had a similar thought, I remember reading an interview of him being on the bus right after, leaving the stadium, and thinking to himself "I hope this isn't the only thing I do."


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Offline  Re: It Always Ends in a Loss
#12

Posted: October 02, 2019, 3:46 PM Post
Posts: 1229
It's possible that nobody was ever as right about anything as Giamatti was about baseball in that bit of writing.

The season is a novel in the dirt, and, when it's over, it can only be bittersweet. Maybe it's just a matter of how bitter and how sweet.

I hope Billy Beane gets his this year.


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Offline  Re: It Always Ends in a Loss
#13

Posted: October 02, 2019, 6:59 PM Post
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when I was a kid, I was SURE that there would eventually come a time that the Brewers would be champs in my lifetime, and then I realized "wow, this might not come to be".

I've witnessed the Packers win two superbowls, which was awesome.

Badgers got to the NCAA title game. Talk about heartbreak. How did a non-blue blood like UW get there (and almost pull it off??!!)

Bucks are poised to be a contender for the NBA title like.....right now (FINALLY!)

and the Brewers have a GM who has us in the playoffs for back to back seasons for the first time since 1982 (which makes me lawl when people talk about firing him)

So.... yeah, I've accepted that it might not happen. But I could Never, ever find myself ditching the team or rooting for someone else.


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Online  Re: It Always Ends in a Loss
#14

Posted: October 02, 2019, 7:01 PM Post
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Cool Hand Lucroy said:
I hope Billy Beane gets his this year.


Me too and it's not looking great.


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Offline  Re: It Always Ends in a Loss
#15

Posted: October 02, 2019, 8:22 PM Post
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OldSchoolSnapper said:
BruisedCrew said:
Anyway, I have rooted for teams that have won World Series, an NBA title, NCAA basketball titles, a mythical college football title (pre playoff days), and four Super Bowls. So, I've learned that having your favorite teams win championships is great, but they don't change your life. The chase is an important part of the fun. Once you celebrate the title, there is an empty feeling because there are no more games to look forward to, and thoughts move on to the next season. Once your team wins one, you want two, and so on. Packers fans know how that works.


Brett Favre talks about this exact thing after Super Bowl XXXI in the America's Game special. As Holmgren was giving the championship speech, Favre was in the shower thinking about how empty it felt. He talks about thinking "Is this it?" and realizing there were no more games.

Rodgers had a similar thought, I remember reading an interview of him being on the bus right after, leaving the stadium, and thinking to himself "I hope this isn't the only thing I do."


I'm with them. When I think about the Brewers hypothetically winning a World Series it will make me happy for about an hour, if that. When I wake up the next morning, absolutely nothing about my life will have changed for the better or worse. Life will just go on as it as every day before that.


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Offline  Re: It Always Ends in a Loss
#16

Posted: October 02, 2019, 8:51 PM Post
Posts: 12094
Long ago I realized the fun is the journey. If they do win it all in my lifetime, sure I'll enjoy it, but wake up the next day feeling kind of sad that the season is over. It won't take long for the sting of last night's loss to fade and I'll turn my attention to their building for next year. That's why I hate the idea of a team going into an extended rebuild. Seasons are precious. At 67, who knows how many I have left. I want my teams competing. This Brewer team competed right down to the last out of the season. I was thoroughly entertained.


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Offline  Re: It Always Ends in a Loss
#17

Posted: October 02, 2019, 9:44 PM Post
Posts: 8569
RoCoBrewfan said:
when I was a kid, I was SURE that there would eventually come a time that the Brewers would be champs in my lifetime, and then I realized "wow, this might not come to be".

I've witnessed the Packers win two superbowls, which was awesome.

Badgers got to the NCAA title game. Talk about heartbreak. How did a non-blue blood like UW get there (and almost pull it off??!!)

Bucks are poised to be a contender for the NBA title like.....right now (FINALLY!)

and the Brewers have a GM who has us in the playoffs for back to back seasons for the first time since 1982 (which makes me lawl when people talk about firing him)

So.... yeah, I've accepted that it might not happen. But I could Never, ever find myself ditching the team or rooting for someone else.


For sure, all of that. But you're avoiding the question, others are too. Would you ditch them if you knew for a fact they would never win the WS?


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Offline  Re: It Always Ends in a Loss
#18

Posted: October 02, 2019, 10:05 PM Post
Posts: 3780
FVBrewerFan said:
For sure, all of that. But you're avoiding the question, others are too. Would you ditch them if you knew for a fact they would never win the WS?

Nope.

but it's not like every guy suddenly forgot every piece of advice he gave


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Online  Re: It Always Ends in a Loss
#19

Posted: October 02, 2019, 10:37 PM Post
Posts: 18936
82brewcrew82 said:
FVBrewerFan said:
For sure, all of that. But you're avoiding the question, others are too. Would you ditch them if you knew for a fact they would never win the WS?

Nope.


My guess is I would probably lose interest in baseball entirely. What would be the point if you knew they were never going to win a championship? It would be like watching 162 spring training games every year.


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Online  Re: It Always Ends in a Loss
#20

Posted: October 02, 2019, 10:59 PM Post
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The Weatherman
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I did not have any fun watching the WC game which made me realize I need to stop taking this stuff so seriously. Attending Felix Hernandez' final start last week was way more fun. Ultimately I just want to be entertained...there are ways to do that other than chasing a championship which is nearly impossible. Even the Dodgers can't win a championship and their fans are probably bored of the postseason at this point...I'm sure there will be plenty of empty seats at Dodger Stadium tomorrow night. Meanwhile there are about 10 perennially bad teams whose fanbases go insane when they make the playoffs once a decade. 54,000 at the A's game tonight...and the Rays will certainly have huge crowds for their playoff games. The fans want more postseason baseball!!!

Eventually American professional sports leagues are going to get smart and realize that there is entertainment value in making the bad teams compete for stuff...if not promotion/relegation then at least put the bad teams in a tournament for the #1 draft pick.


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