So, the Cards are down 2-1 in Houston. The Rams are going to Indy without Martz. The Blues have won just one game.
Is there a worse day in STL in the recent past?
How you answer that question is the reason that I love St Louis sports fans: no win can take us too high, no loss can take us too low.
I grew up in Chicago, and there were only two types of Chicago sports fans. Pessimistic or optimistic. The Optomistic guys were Cubs fans, Walter fans and latter day Bulls fans. The Cubs were always one more pitcher away from making it happen. Sweetness just needed a QB who could make the opposition secondary back up three more steps. And the Bulls? Well, most of us didn't get into the Bulls until after Michael got Scottie. And then we learned to love guys like Cartwright and Paxon and Oakley (who we had hated up until then). But the Bulls after MJ and Scottie were Da Bulls. No one could beat them. Ever. Not even against a mini MJ coached by a mini Ditka. Positivity.
The pessimists were guys like my dad. The Cubs were the Dubs (still don't understand that one). The Bears were bums. The Bulls were great with MJ, but they'll never make the playoffs again. The Sox? Well, the Sox sucked. Besides, no one actually rooted for the Sox anyway, so they fit right in with the pessimist Chicago fan.
In reality, I knew one Sox fan and I felt bad for him all the time. As a teenager, we'd catch the train to Chicago to go to Sox games because you could easily sneak in (and we were suburbs kids - not exactly the most street savvy folks in the world, so you know security was light) and you could easily get the burned-out beer hawkers to sell you giant cups of beer. Try that on the north side and you'd end up walking around the outsidse walls of Wrigley sober.
What does that all have to do with the STL fans? Simple. I love STL fans because we both the pessimistic fan and the optimistic fan. The Cards win game one: World Series Champs shirts are being printed. Lose game two: obligatory "let's trade Edmonds" calls all over talk radio.
Holy crap, this is fantastic: the Chicago pessimist and the Chicago optimist live in the same body in St Louis. This is the only place where someone can spend a wad of cashe on a sweet Majestic "Rolen 27" jersey and then cover the name with tape and print in "Broken 27" in the same season.
Our heroes can get no higher, our goats can stink no fouler.
On Thursday, sitting in right field, I saw a stat on the jumbo that listed the career leaders for home runs in Busch Stadium's history. On top of the list was Ray Lankford. I couldn't help but laugh, because as many times as that guy helped the Cards win games with big ol' bombs, he got traded as a deadwood-Dave. But when he comes back to town as a Padre? Standing O.
I love these fans.
As far as we go with the future of our teams, I am still an optimist. The Cards have not played their last game at Busch - they are coming home at the very least. All we need is a spark. I thought Edmonds' catch on Thursday was it, but I was wrong. But it is still out there somewhere.
The Rams? Well, they're dead on Monday. But Sunday is at home. And Sunday at home is golden for the Rams.
The Blues? Well, it's gonna be a long season. But we have some wins coming our way. Hopefully we can regain our confidence in guys like Weight and Jackman and Cap'n Drake and Tkachuk. Maybe we can learn to love guys like McClement, Backman and Walker.
All I do know for sure is that our wins will be euphoric and our loses will be like days in the gutter.
Damn I love you people. St. Louis sports fans are the greatest roller coaster in the world.