Missing A Plot
It all started one night when I was watching a Sports Illustrated video and they were discussing whether the Houston Astros were 2017’s version of the 2016 Chicago Cubs. Obviously, SI got some things wrong with the segment such as our team being old and that we weren’t as tight-knit of a fanbase like the Cubs. But it got me thinking about it. Sure, we were having a strong start to the season and it felt like 2017 was the year we were going to win. After all, there was no one to compete with in our division.
Like the Cubs, the Astros were in a title drought. But the Cubs were nationally recognized around the country unlike us. What made the Cubs title great was because of the 108-year curse and the rain delay in an epic Game 7 that led them to victory. For us, our team was a strong contender to win in 2017. But we just never got the national treatment good or bad except for when we were just terrible from 2011-2013.
So in hindsight, us winning in 2017 would’ve been just another World Series champion, It’s great for the team and great for the city. But would it be nationally recognized as a top sports story in years to come? Probably not! How many people remember the Cardinals 2006 World Series run aside from St. Louis? What about the White Sox in 2005? We remember that. But that White Sox team hardly gets any respect.
It sounds like I’m saying that every champion doesn’t get respect. I’m not! But what I’m saying is that in order for a sports story to be spectacular and one to remember for years to come, there has to be another element besides a great team winning. That’s the Cubs winning is a big story because of the curse and rain delay.
That’s why the New Orleans Saints won the Super Bowl three years after Hurricane Katrina. Did 9/11 lead to the Yankees World Series run? In a way, yes! Do the Cleveland Cavaliers pull off a 3-1 comeback in the NBA Finals if Golden State doesn’t win 73 games? Who knows! Without this “element”, the story becomes bland itself.
So what was missing from our story was an element. 56 years as a franchise and no title is a start. But then again, the Royals waited 30 years before they won it all again and the Giants waited 56 years as well since 1954 to capture the title. Try waiting longer than that. We had one of the best offenses in history along with the Yankees teams in the past. But so did the Cleveland Indians in 1995 and they lost it all that year. Our MVP and the AL favorite to win it is 5’6. Ok! Well, that would be great as an individual story. What about the team?
Something else must be involved in the season that could lead to a big thing. In a way, Hurricane Harvey provided Houston with something aside from devastation: a means of escape. This is where my entry came in.