Another A's failure, another long night
Sometimes I wish I wasn't a sports fan — at least not one who lives and dies by his teams.
I don't have this feeling very often, but I had it when my Oakland A's were eliminated from the baseball playoffs — again — by the Detroit Tigers — again --in the decisive fifth game of the series — again.
I sat downstairs watching the game, and when the final out ended the A's season, it was hard to swallow.
I sat there listening to the commentators slobber all over the Tigers.
No use going to bed because I wouldn't sleep.
I sat there in disbelief as this wave of pure depression washed over me.
I'm not one to turn off games that aren't going my team's way.
I'm not one to shrug off tough losses and say there's always next year.
I am one to sink into despair.
Before anyone thinks I need to be talked back off the ledge, I don't. I hate heights.
It's been about two weeks since Oakland's season ended, and I'm OK.
I still find myself thinking I can't believe the A's aren't playing anymore, and feeling they should, but I did get off the couch that night and eventually went to bed.
Unless you are a die-hard sports fan, you cannot understand the amount of emotion invested in a team, and when they lose it can be hard to take.
I keep thinking I'm too old for this, but there is no age limit or restrictions for fans.
This is how busy my wife and I are sometimes that it wasn't until a couple days later she asked me if Oakland won.
She knows how seriously I take this, so she understood what I was feeling. Then two seconds later, she got on with her life.
For all the cheating, corruption and bad acts that permeate the sporting world, it's great entertainment, and a great diversion.
If we didn't have sports, what would we think about, the government shutdown?
I'm not the only one who goes through this with their teams.
I have a friend who still talks about the Nebraska-Penn State football game in 1982 when the Nittany Lions got a touchdown even though the player was out of the end zone. You can even buy a T-shirt mocking the call.
Sports fans have long memories. Ask them where they were when their team won or lost a big game, and they'll be able to recite the game play by play.
There's the joke about the guy who can't remember his wife's birthday but can recite baseball stats from the turn of the century.
I can remember my wife's birthday — she shares it with John Lennon.
I'm enjoying watching the playoffs. I don't have any of that gut-wrenching anxiety I had when Oakland played, which I guess is good.
Right now, I can't imagine going through the ups and downs of another 162-game season next year with the possibility it could end the same way for Oakland.
Sports fans also have short memories, and I know myself.
As the weather turns colder here, my attention will turn to Arizona, where the A's will gather in February for spring training.
Seems like a long time from now, but in a few months I'll be ready for another season, no matter how painful it might end.
Patrick Murphy, of Humphrey, Neb., is a former assistant managing editor of The Telegram.