CURSE OF HIGH EXPECTATIONS

Stephen Green argues,

If the Cubs or the Red Sox win the World Series, or even manage to win their respective pennants, it would be the worst possible thing to happen to baseball fans in Chicago or Boston.

Why? It takes away the “wait ’til next year” hope.

Not to mention the curse of high expectations, suffered by those such as myself who are fans of teams where Failure is Not an Option. Because I moved frequently growing up and got interested in different sports at different times, I’m a fan of the Dallas Cowboys, Alabama Crimson Tide, and the Atlanta Braves. For fans of those teams, merely beating a couple heated rivals during the regular season and getting into postseason play is not enough. Winning a national championship is the only measure of success. So, the Cowboys, Tide, and Braves have been dismal failures since 1995, 1992, and 1995 respectively. Most sports fans would be happy with five Super Bowl trophies, twelve (mythical) national championships, and twelve straight division titles. Not us.

Cross-posted at SportsBlog

FILED UNDER: Sports
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Lasting Magic says:

    Maybe so. However as an Anaheim Angels fan, I still pinch myself about the magical post season last year. And if it never happens again in my lifetime, well, I can bear witness that it happened once.

  2. Bryan says:

    Actually, the Braves have to be the worst of that bunch, since they’ve been to the postseason how many times over the last decade? At least the ‘boys won three in the span of a few years.

  3. James Joyner says:

    Yeah. But at least we’ve expected the Cowboys to suck the last couple of years. This year is turning out to be a pleasant surprise.

    I find the Braves frustrating, but would certainly rather be a Braves fan than, say, a Florida Marlins folllower. Even if they win it all this year–thus two titles in seven years–they’ve been pitiful most of the stretch where the Braves have dominated. Unfortunately, MLB’s postseason format favors teams with a couple of hot pitchers rather than a solid overall organization. MLB, much more so than any other sport I can think of, has a wide disparity between what works in the regular season vs. the playoffs.

  4. BTD Greg says:

    James, are you feeling the pressure of Parcel’s success yet? I even heard someone in Dallas say the other day that 15-1 is still possible. Um, yeah. Nothing like lowering your expectations of failure.

  5. James Joyner says:

    BTD,

    Not too much pressure, since almost no one thought this team would make the playoffs this year. Realistically, given the 4-1 start, I think the team can go 10-6 or even 11-5, which is much better than the 7-9 I was expecting. They’ve beaten the Giants on the road and the Eagles at home, and should win at least one with the Redskins.