(That's not me... it's one of my former colour commentators Brendan Wagner, now at NewsTalk 650 in Saskatoon. I scalped the picture from his Facebook page. It pretty much sums it up.)
The Riders' Grey Cup loss is haunting my leisure time.
- Sunday night (after the game) I had a dream that I was interviewing Matt Dominguez, and asked him if he was going to return next season (after more than a full year off). He gave a confident "oh yeah." The dream flashed forward, and there was #88, back in green. I was watching from the sideline, knowing what was about to happen before it happened, and of course, Matty blew out his knee, again.
You won't believe these next ones if I told you, but they are honest-to-goodness true.
- In Fantasy Football, I was trailing by one single point, 230-229 going into Monday. My opponent had no one playing, while I had New Orleans Saints RB Reggie Bush. I knew he was listed as 'Questionable', but all indications were that he'd play, maybe in a limited role. So do I drop him for another Saints RB on waivers and risk losing Bush to free agency for the final week of our regular season and playoffs? I thought I'd wait it out, but finished supper, turned on the TV, the game was starting, didn't see Bush, grabbed my cell phone, saw I'd missed a text from one of our other league members, saying "You better pick up Mike Bell if you wanna win. Bush is OUT!"
No way. Too late.
I lost, by one point.
- Saved the best for last.
On a normal day at work, I'm in early in the morning, and am usually home by 1:00, 2:00 at the latest. First thing I usually do after grabbing a bite if I don't have a broadcast is play one game of Madden. It's Monday. I'm up 24-21 late in the fourth quarter, controlling the ball, and the clock. I've got the biggest wind I've ever seen the video game have, and it's right at my back, a little left to right, but almost straight. I think, 'I wonder how long of a field goal I could make?' I plan to try a long as time expires... I take a knee on the 41 yard line and they call their last time out with 10 seconds left. I pound it through the uprights from 58 yards out, looked like it would have been good from at least 65. It's 27-21. I hammer the ensuing kickoff through the endzone to make sure they get it at the 20. There's 7 seconds left. One play... I've got my Prevent Defense... Anquan Boldin runs a corner route, catching it over one of my DB's at the 20, and go figure, he's gone. 27-27. NO WAY... they're going to kick the point after and win 28-27. Same score as Sunday. But for the first time I've ever seen in my video gaming career... the computer SHANKS the extra point! The strong wind was into their face and had shifted across a little, but still. I win the coin toss in OT, but get stopped, have to punt, and they kick a 42 yarder INTO the wind to win. Yes, on their second kick. Are you kidding me?
I keep running it through my mind. I saw the flags fly before the kick had even gone wide. You knew it was against us when the officials in the endzone are all tossing flags. I try to visualize what I would have done had we won the Grey Cup on a missed FG, but that just makes it worse. Then I remember the feeling. Hands behind my head, elbows covering my face just enough so I could see that second attempt... and staying like that for a few minutes after Duval knocked it through. Around me there were groans, disbelief, Tonya Cherry taking my picture saying 'This is going on the GX facebook page." She later tried telling me 'It's only a game.' No it's not, I said. It's a way of life. My good wife asking me if I'm going to cry. Women.
I'm sure I do take sports TOO seriously. Really the Riders are the only pro sports team I get THIS worked up about. I'm a Leafs fan, and back in High School I'd get pretty wrapped up in their playoff runs... I guess they haven't been back to the playoffs since high school for me, maybe that's why I'm not as die hard? I was always the "crier" when we'd lose out of hockey provincials in Bantam or Midget. I got choked up when Gretzky retired, and still do when I watch the DVD. My mom tells me, and I remember, hiding in the basement and crying for an hour when Gretzky and the LA Kings got knocked out of the playoffs by the Edmonton Oilers in the 1992 Playoffs. I was 6, gimme a break.
What can I say, I'm a sports freak, so I guess I'm in the right business.
The next thing that'll make me lose my marbles are the SJHL & MJHL Playoffs... AND, for those who don't know yet... becoming a dad after the season, in mid-May. Maybe that'll change my perspective on things like these!