I want to write about things which go bump in the night. I want to embrace that certain time of year where we all yearn to be scared for some primal reason that we might not ever understand. I want to discover the next horror movie or book or comic or tv show I should be watching in order to get my fix during this month.
I want to talk about all of those things, but I am forced to focus on a different sort of horror this year. The sort of horror that haunts you as it unfolds, but then sticks with you for the remainder of the week… only to happen again and again. The truest horror for any sports fan.
The horror of the wasted season.
That’s what I’m dealing with 4 weeks into the football season this year. The Miami Dolphins have already fired their coach. This was a team some people thought would not only go to the playoffs, but could/would compete for some glory. A team that was 8-8 last year and whose personnel had gotten better (in theory at least).
Instead it has become the dysfunctional party we all know and love for the better part of a decade. And I can take a team being bad IF (and that’s a big IF) there is a chance for light at the end of the tunnel. IF there is a way for this to be a temporary measure. In fact, that’s basically what this last Baseball Season was for me. For the first time I don’t think I watched a full Atlanta Braves game. Oh, I still kept up with them on a near daily basis, still read the articles, read the blogs, watched at the trade deadline to see what moves they made.
But I knew this season was going to be bad. I knew there was almost 0% chance of them being in any race other than one of the poorer records in all of baseball. And I can deal with that. Next year needs to be better, and then the year after they should be in the hunt for a playoff spot (if the powers that be are to be believed).
Here’s the difference with the Dolphins, I go through this every 3 or 4 years with them. They either get a new coach or a new system or a new “something” and suddenly they are the vogue pre-season pick to do grand things. You’d think that after falling for this multiple times over the better part of a decade I would have steeled myself from such stupidity, but NOOOOOO, I am clearly a glutton for punishment. I buy in. “This is going to be the thing that pushes us up to the top, just you wait and see.”
Only to watch it all crumble and die on the vine.
I mean, our head coach was fired on Monday. And as much as I think that was the right move for the team at this point, what do I honestly think is going to come of this season? We’re 1-3 with a schedule that I thought we could be at least 5-1 after 6 games. Our next two opponents are weak (compared to us though they might be world-beaters). So what is realistic? 4 wins? 5 wins over the course of a season?
And don’t think me “fair-weathered” here. I watched every game of our 1-15 season. I will watch every game of this season. I’m just tired of the same things happening over and over and over again.
And the worst part is that I’ve dragged my wife down on this ship with me. She could have found a nice guy who liked deflated balls and won Super Bowls, but she got someone who liked the team from south Florida.
We joke in the house about when will we get to see the sailboat – meaning, when will one of our teams win the big one. But right now we are still like Wilhem from Mallrats…
Still looking for that damn boat.
John McGuire is the author of the supernatural thriller The Dark That Follows, the steampunk comic The Gilded Age, and the novella There’s Something About Mac through the Amazon Kindle Worlds program.
He also has a short story in the recently released anthology Beyond the Gate, which is free on most platforms!
He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com.