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Having an allegiance to a sports team is stupid. I am stupid for doing it. It's like rooting for Clorox to do well on the stock exchange or something. But I grew up with a love for baseball. Not because my parents forced it on me. They were quite indifferent. I wasn't one of those babies decked out in cutesy merchandise, an unknowing billboard for a privately-owned company that's somehow allowed to appropriate my home town's name.
No, I chose this. Or at least I continue to choose it. I love baseball. I love the Dodgers. It's an irrational, one-sided relationship that consumes much of my time and energy. But, oh, that first trip to Dodger Stadium as a child. That was a magical experience. It could have easily been Candlestick Park, you know. Instead of a warm summer's day in the City of Angeles, it could have been a cold, wet, foggy night one some horrid peninsula. One unsuitably cold for penguins.
I am a Dodger fan because of proximity. Had I grown up an hour or so north of where I lived as a child, I might be wearing a black and orange San Francisco Giants ca-- Sorry, I just vomited in my mouth a little bit.
Anyway, I've been a Dodgers fan for over two decades, and it's been a generally depressing experience. Oh, sure we had Hideo Nomo. Nomo was just the best. And there are other highlights too probably. But there's so much heartache involved with loving sports. Only one team's fanbase is happy by year's end. Chances are it's not you.
The Dodgers are coming off two consecutive division titles. This should make me happy. They have a star-studded roster and a payroll higher than Mount Everest on crack cocaine. But, as Brad Pitt once said, "If you lose the last game of the season, nobody gives a shit."
The last time the Dodgers celebrated a championship, I was swimming around in a womb.
It could be worse. I could be a Cubs fan. Cubs fans have died of old age and never seen their team win a World Series. My grandmother, among them. She loved the Cubs so dang much. Come to think of it, maybe this affliction is her fault. Maybe there's baby pictures of me in a Cubs shirsey somewhere. Dear god. I can almost picture it so vividly there almost certainly probably are. Maybe. Or not.
Anyway, videogames. We're here to talk about videogames, right? (Good lord, did I ever bury this lede.) They are a good way to fantasize. I can boot up by copy of MLB The Show and construct a team of my choosing, put all the high profile players I like on one roster and pummel everyone in my path. I can set up a tournament and try my hand at the playoffs. Do what my Dodgers, in reality, couldn't. It's a nice bit of escapism. A bit hollow, but it's something. It doesn't take the sting away so much as it gives my overactive mind something else to think about while I pine away for next year.
"Wait 'til next year!" goes the famed unofficial slogan of the erstwhile Brooklyn Dodgers.
There's a World Series going on right now. I sure hope the Royals win, too. Because the alternative would be untenable. You know, because of my irrational hatred of the Giants. (Is it irrational? They've hurt me so.) So I'll just sit here on the couch and ignore reality. The Dodgers are still hitting home runs. The Dodgers are still winning games. Andre Ethier is in the starting lineup. Nah, that would break the sense of immersion. Nobody would believe that these days.
It's on the television, you know. Just like the real baseballs. And it looks almost sort of real in sort of creepy Heavy Rain kind of way.