Tuesday, October 11, 2011

It's just a game

My wife is always telling me that. The Rangers will lose, I'll get upset, she says, "It's just a game." She's right of course, but when a team misses the playoffs by one game, it becomes apparent that every game matters.

My wife is a nice lady and doesn't say it during the playoffs because she knows that every playoff game is important.

In game 3 of the ALCS, the Rangers and Tigers were tied going to the bottom of the 5th inning. Miguel Cabrera hit a double to right that was just barely fair, scoring a run and giving the Tigers a 2-1 lead. Like any good Rangers fan, I was upset. About two minutes later, I got a call from my mom.

My sister's 5 year old son was at the hospital. He had some kind of abcess between the back of his throat and his spine and it was pressing on his carotid artery. I was stunned. She said he had strep throat and the abcess was caused by the strep. As we talked, the Tigers put up 2 more runs in the bottom of the 6th. Mom said she was waiting for my sister to call back and she would keep me updated.

The game was on, but I wasn't really watching as Cabrera homered to make it 5-1 Tigers. I didn't celebrate the run the Rangers got in the 8th to cut the Tiger lead to 5-2. As the game ended in a Tiger victory, my wife said "sorry." I said, "it's just a game." A few minutes later I got the call that my nephew was going into surgery to have the abcess drained.

As I drove to work, I thought about my nephew. He's 5 years old and has no idea what's going on. I thought about my sister who must be absolutely terrified. I thought about my mid-30s friend who has breast cancer and also lost her husband 10 days ago after his courageous 6 month battle with pancreatic cancer. I thought about my 44 year old sister-in-law who was diagnosed with leukemia last month. I thought about another friend who is in her early 30s and is getting treatment for cervical cancer.

Then I thought about the Rangers loss and my wife is right. It's just a game. A Rangers loss is NOT the end of the world. And even though it's just a game, when your team wins, it can be a bright spot in an otherwise dark day. I could use another Rangers win.

By the way, I just heard my nephew is out of surgery and all went well. He should be back to his normal unstoppable self in a couple of days.


  1. good story, and definitely helps with perspective and whats important. glad things worked out well for the little guy.

  2. I've had enough family health issues in the last 2 weeks to put any kind of postseason stuff in complete perspective.

    Of course, having the Dodgers not involved certainly helps, too.

  3. It's good to hear there's something positive in all this. It's tough to see the light sometimes. With all the crap that goes wrong, you have to just let it go and focus on the future - a really difficult thing to do sometimes, I know.

  4. Yes, in the end it is just a game. But just for a few hours, it's not your life, your troubles fade, other issues take a back seat. Just for a little while, all that matters is that next pitch, will he swing, will he connect, will they catch it, or will it just make it into that small hole in the defense, allowing your team, or maybe your opponent's team to remain alive for 1 more play, 1 more at-bat. The joy of a walk-off grand slam, or the agony of a ruptured Achilles, keeping the dream alive for 1, abruptly ending the dream for another. Yes, it's just a game in the end, but it also can be an escape from your worries, even just for a little while.

    I'm truly sorry to hear about your woes, my own clan has been struck with a loss this past Friday to Ovarian cancer. I'm glad to hear your nephew is on the mend. For me and my team, there is always next year. I feel for those facing uncertainty, for those who don't have another season left to them.

    Life is too short, enjoy the game while you can.

  5. My best wishes to your nephew and friend.

  6. It's good to be reminded once in a while that amongst the cards and the sports that we all are passionate about that life does continue, and not always for the good. Very glad to hear your nephew is doing well, and I hope that your friends and family that were recently diagnosed are able to beat their cancer.