I joke a lot about how much sports hurts me. It may come across as selfish. After all, everybody hurts… sometimes. Every sports fan – apart from those who follow Real Madrid, Barcelona, Golden State Warriors, New England Patriots, Bayern Munich, and a few others- experience adversity on a yearly basis. So what makes me so special?
As it turns out, quite a lot.
On the eve of the World Series, I can’t help but reminisce about what a bloody brutal this year has been. It was coming home, until it wasn’t. Liverpool were marching through Europe, until they were physically and metaphorically slammed against the turf by Sergio Ramos. The Los Angeles Dodgers were the best team in baseball, until Yu Darvish decided to mend the Sports Illustrated prophecy machine.
So here I am, a broken man. Just 12 months ago, I was blindly hopeful, nay, convinced that this was the year. It’s been a quite massive fall from grace. Here’s how it happened…
Indie Rock Band The National have a pretty inspiring song, “Mr. November,” of which the chorus is “I won’t fuck us over, I’m Mr November.” It was supposed to be the Los Angeles’ Dodgers anthem. Yu Darvish didn’t get the memo. The Dodgers were so close to winning the World Series. Then, Game 7 happened. The midseason acquisition turned in his worst game of the year at the worst time possible, allowing five runs in 1.2 innings. My downward spiral into depression followed.
Wasn’t too bad, actually. That is, until December 22nd. Liverpool gifted Arsenal three goals after leading 2-0 at the Emirates, eventually scraping a 3-3 draw. Just remember, Simon Mignolet was Lorus Karius-ing before it was cool.
Usually, I get hurt by just one loss per month. This time, it was three. First, the Reds lost 1-0 to Swansea (yes, the Swansea who got regulated at the end of the season.) Then, they fell 3-1 to West Brom (yes, the West Brom who got relegated at the end of the season.) And then, for the final arrow through the heart, Philippe Coutinho left Merseyside for greener pastures and fantastic paella (presumably).
Me after Coutinho left (colorized, 2017.)
Decent month. Mediocre and angering draw against Tottenham for Liverpool. Still recovering from Dodger loss, though. Also, Lonzo Ball hurt his knee- yeah, I can do basketball- which I guess was annoying, or whatever.
Saturday, March 10th was a horrible day. Liverpool had been on fire, and Mo Salah was achieving godlike status by doing things like this:
I was confident. Too confident. I foolishly made a bet with a friend (and Manchester United fan) that Liverpool would triumph when the two teams faced off at Old Trafford. The terms, you ask? Whoever lost would have to wear a shirt of the opposing team. Liverpool fell 2-1 in a truly toothless performance, and I felt the disgusting fabric of a United crest against my skin. I cried in the shower for many days after.
On the Liverpool front… what a month! We absolutely demolished Manchester City in the Champions League Quarterfinal, and looked like one of the best teams in Europe. Good thing that lasted!
This month was all about how bad the Dodgers were. Coming off an almost-world-series-win, they absolutely should have been better. Then, they lost two games to the dreadful Miami Marlins, and it all went downhill from there. Nice one, lads.
I was so hyped for the Champions League Final. At last, a chance for Liverpool to cement themselves among Europe’s elite once more. I was full of glee, as were my blogs.
One Sergio Ramos wrestling move later, and I was bundled up in my bed, tearful and broken once more.
THE ONE GOOD MONTH. Liverpool signed Fabinho, the Dodgers heated up, and England… they were good! Lord Harold of House Kane and the lads were tearing up powerhouses such as Tunisia and Panama, and the internet was having a field day:
It started oh so well… it was actually coming home!
‘So the cross came on in and I just nodded it in, like. Proper brave I was’ pic.twitter.com/izAG24G29k
— Manon the Post (@ManOnThePost) July 7, 2018
Then, it wasn’t.
I was still in a state of depression from July. It was not good.
A confusing 30 days. Being a Liverpool fan was sort of maybe good. The month started well with a 2-1 win against Tottenham and a tough win at Leicester. A demolition of PSG put me on top of the world. Then we looked rubbish against Chelsea, twice.
Here we are. Please let this be a better year.