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.