Thursday, October 30, 2008

To the Tampa Bay Rays

Dear Tampa Bay Rays Fan --

I'm so sorry.

I know all too well how you are feeling this morning.

The morning after playing in the championship game.

And losing.

It hurts.

It hurts beyond all hurt.

To have lived a magical season. To go this far. To show all the doubters that you were for real. To have conquered every challenge just one game at a time. To give it your all. And to make it to the championship game. To get the tying run on base. (the winning basket). To still think it's possible. To have it in your grasp. So close you can see it. To be so close to winning it all. Winning. It. All. Only to have it slip right out of your fingers.

I know the deflated feeling. The feeling this morning of not really having slept very well last night because you dreamed about the loss all night. And then waking up this morning to find out it wasn't a dream. It's so depressing.

It's so hard to go from feeling so very excited -- the top of the top -- to feeling so distraught -- the low of lows -- the "I'm so upset I can't really talk about it or I'll throw up" feeling. Really. Throw up.

And the replays of the game. Those replays just won't go away. ESPN just plays them over and over and over. And you can't get away from it.

People say "Oh wait until next year. We'll be back! There's always next year." But it makes you wonder if that magic was only a one time thing. And will you be able to get that same mojo again?

Now Rays Fan, the sickening depressed denying pain that you are experiencing this morning will not completely go away. But it does subside a little bit. And maybe one day, you can watch a highlight video of the season. And all the great plays. And all the great wins. But you still won't be able to watch that last game. Or that final out.(three point shot by Mario Chalmers). Because that, dear Rays Fan, will hurt forever. And every time you see it, you will still want to just throw up.

And there will be a day when you really don't think about it. Until out of the blue, you will be somewhere (like Disney World) and see someone wearing a "Philadelphia Phillies World Series Champions" (or Kansas Jayhawks National Champions) tshirt. And you will really want to sock them in the face. But you will just look at them and smile sweetly and say "I hate your shirt!"

Oh Rays Fan. I know how you feel.

There's always next year.

A University of Memphis Tiger Fan

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