I couldn’t watch the Mavs/Lakers yesterday, for a few reasons. It was my daughters 4th birthday so my day was spent at the Shriners Circus. (Which by the way put my 3 year old niece to sleep. I give it a strong C+ in terms of entertainment value.) But even if I were home with absolutely nothing to do, I wouldn’t have watched the Mavs game. I personally can’t stand to see that many Laker “fans” filling the AAC, it aggravates me. Also, the national ABC crew would most likely spend the entirety of the game going gaga over their precious Lakers and I couldn’t bear to listen to it. I also knew the outcome of the game before it even started. As the quarter by quarter updates poured in on my phone yesterday, I read them in between a mediocre juggling performance and an average acrobatic routine. The scores were too close for comfort going into the 4th quarter. As I snuck an apprehensive look at each update, I knew deep in my heart that there was no way that the Mavs would win this game. My pessimism and my gut feeling were proven right……… again.
There’s been a lot of talk around DFW lately debating whether or not it’s a “baseball” or “football” town. For me personally, it’s been a basketball town since 2003. That’s when my basketball passion went through the roof. I was a sophomore in college in San Marcos, just north of San Antonio. I remember watching our boys drop 84 points in the first half vs. Sacramento that year. I would spend those Western Conference finals surrounded by Spurs fans and was sent in a rage after watching our season end at the hands of Steve freaking Kerr. At that point, Mavs were my love. All my email and important passwords were Mavs based. I bought up anything Mavs related that I saw at the store. I start spending unhealthy amounts of time in the Mavs chat rooms, remember those?
Since the 2000 season, the Mavs have been represented in the playoffs. It’s become a regular and expected occurrence and maybe something that I’ve taken for granted. My depression timeline was mostly set on the day that Dirk retired and trying to plan for that dark abyss. But in my oversight, I never planned emotionally for what’s taking place right in front of our eyes; a season of being on the outside looking in. And worse off, the Spurs are on one of their New England Patriots-esque tears through the western conference. Yuk.
Of course, there’s always next year. There’s some potential excitement in the midst with the hopes that Cuban and company can sign some players and build another solid team to compete in 2013-2014. But that feels like an eternity away. There’s so much of this season that remains.
I’ve been on the fence for most of the season with my Mavs; never really knowing which side to fall on. But much like one night in college where I tried hopping a fence and landed on the other side without bracing myself at all, I’ve fallen face first on the “Mavs are done” side. My head hurts. My heart hurts. Throughout the past 10 years, at this point in the year I’ve always had something to look forward to in regards to my sports teams. I could always count our Mavs being in the playoffs come April. We always had a chance.
With the loss to the Lakers yesterday and in the fashion in which it was lost, I’m tossing in my towel……officially (Here’s the part where I would play some sad/slow music and film a white towel flying slowly through the air and landing on an empty floor at the AAC). Mavs have shown that they can play well against the good teams, but just can’t beat them. That leaves us as “slightly better than mediocre”. Which basically makes us this years Shriners circus.
Throughout this season, I’ve written a few columns on reasons to remain optimistic about these Mavs. There was a few times where it looked like the team may have had it figured out. But about the time I was sucked back in, I was slammed back into reality with a last second loss or some ridiculous OJ Mayo turnover. So it’s best for me if I just reduce my expectations to finishing 10th in the west.
But of course, Mavs could rattle off 6 straight wins…………. NO!!! Stop it Tony!!! Its over! (this is the part where I’m trying to run on the court and retrieve my white towel but my friends are holding me back as a I’m crying and kicking and screaming). In my head I try justifying holding on to Mavs hope by comparing this season to Game 2 of the 2011 finals. I thought we were done. I turned the game off for the benefit of preventing a likely heart attack and took a shower only to come out and see that we were storming back. Then I’m reminded that that was a different team.
Here’s to next season and hoping we can make Dirks last few seasons in Dallas memorable. This year, I’m rooting for the CBA!
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