Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Did I Mention I'm Every Team That I Root For's MVP?

Time for a humble brag.  I get to because I suck at most other things in life.

I've been to ten sporting events, college and professional, and not one time has my team ever lost.  Last Sunday, my record jumped to 10-0 and 5-0 for the Tigers.  Just my being there for the team is really all they need to win.  It's a fact.  It's science.

January 1996: San Antonio Spurs at Detroit Pistons.  Grant Hill was in his second year with Detroit and already an NBA all star.  I was at the Palace of Auburn Hills because our high school basketball team was invited to play one of our rivals, Hale.  Hale ended up beating Atlanta, but in my first pro game ever, the Pistons eked out a 99-95 victory over David Robinson and the Spurs.  1-0.

To be fair, my 10-0 record is a little inflated.  I was a Pistons fan way back when, but I don't follow the team anymore and don't care for the NBA.  I've got two others, which one could argue that I'm either  8-1 or 8-0.

May 3, 2003: Some NL team at Chicago Cubs.  My 23rd birthday happened to coincide with my brother in law's bachelor weekend.  We got to see Sammy Sosa and the Cubs take on a team and win.  Don't remember the score, either.  2-0.

I used to be a Cubs and White Sox fan as I watched games on WGN in the summertime as a teenager.  By the time I went to the Cubs game, I only went because I was with a group, but I still enjoyed seeing Wrigley Field and all. 

August 2004: Kansas City Royals at Detroit Tigers.  My first Tiger game ever.  I had never been to Tiger Stadium, but this was my first of five games I attended there.  I went with my roommate and watched Dmitri Young hit a solo home run and the Tigers went on to win 4-1.  3-0.

October 31, 2004.  Michigan State at Michigan.  I was working on a Congressional campaign for Dr. Joe Schwarz.  It was the final weekend of the 2004 Presidential campaign, and I was going door-to-door in Tecumseh, MI, when after we finished, I was invited to attend the game.  Couldn't pass up my first time ever inside the Big House.  It was a beautiful day, too.

Almost regretted it at first.  Michigan State built a commanding 17-point lead headed into the fourth quarter.  I was surrounded by Spartan fans, too.  Michigan rallied to tie the game at the end of regulation.  Michigan went on to win in a classic that took three overtimes, capped off by Braylon Edwards' dramatic touchdown catch that sealed the deal for the Wolverines.  I don't remember the score.  But I remembered how much fun it was.

Added bonus: I was seated behind the endzone where both teams had to run the ball in to score, so I had a better view of what happened than most others there. 4-0.

It behooves me to mention I'm one of those "State of Michigan" fans that roots for all Michigan schools.  So even if Michigan and Michigan State are hated rivals like Sunnis and Shi'as, I'm sort of like, well, I'll give a political answer to who should win in a head-to-head matchup.  But every other team they play, I root for the Wolverines AND Spartans.  This day, I was a Wolverine fan.  Fair weather?  Go ahead.  You could say this counts as a loss, too, but I wore a Michigan shirt.

July 2007: New York Yankees at Detroit Tigers.  My second Tigers game.  I don't remember much about it beyond the Tigers winning the game. Don't even remember the score.  I do remember Curtis Granderson hitting an in-the-park home run, though.  5-0.

December 12, 2010: Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions.  My first Lions game ever!  You'd think my obsession with a bad football team that I'd have gone to a game by now.  Nope.  Not even to the Silverdome.  The Lions started the game with their third string quarterback, Drew Stanton.  Matthew Stafford was in his second year, but was headed for injured reserve after aggravating an injury to his throwing shoulder.  I was all about rookie defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.  Every time he made a play, the energy at Ford Field was so palpable, the crowd chants "SSSSSSSSSSSUUUUUUUUUUUUUUHHHHHH."  I think I feed off that as much as Suh does.

The Lions won 7-3.  Aaron Rodgers was injured on Green Bay's last drive of the first half and was replaced by Matt Flynn.  A lot of people were trying to take away credit from the Lions because Rodgers went down, but they seem to neglect to mention the Lions PLAYED THE WHOLE F@#KING GAME WITH A 3RD STRING QUARTERBACK.  

This game was pivotal.  The Lions came in 2-10, badly needing a win to show progress after another embarassing Thanksgiving Day loss to New England.  They closed out the season winning the rest of their games, going 6-10.  They even started 2011 5-0, which technically was a nine game winning streak that carried over from the year before.  Meanwhile, Green Bay also never lost a game again and went on to win the Super Bowl, establishing Rodgers as an elite quarterback.  6-0.

December 2011: Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions.  For the first time in twelve years, the Leos were in control of their destiny for the playoffs.  I thought this would become an annual tradition with me and my brothers-in-law.  This game I actually got to see Stafford, but not Suh as he was serving a 2-game suspension for the infamous "stomp" on a Green Bay Packer in the weeks prior.

The Lions had a 20-point lead in the third quarter, but Minnesota with their third string quarterback, managed to rally and make a game of it.  A blown call that actually benefited Detroit (for once) saved the Lions and the game.  Defensive End Cliff Avril should have been flagged for being offsides, but the referees didn't catch it, and the Lions stole the game by less than a touchdown.  But come on, the Lions were screwed out of twelve calls for every bad one that went their way that year.  Get over it, Drew Sharp.  7-0.

September 27, 2012: Kansas City Royals at Detroit Tigers.  I finally got to see Doug Fister at Comerica Park.  I'm like a hipster music snob in this sense: I knew about Fister before everyone else.  Well, he was "my Tiger" before a lot of others, and I had the jersey to prove it.  I donned The Doug Fister Jersey in the final regular season game at Comerica and watched him set the AL record for nine consecutive strike outs, just one shy of Tom Seaver's MLB record of ten. I don't remember the score, but I remember being so stoked the whole time I was there.  8-0.

April 29, 2013: Minnesota Twins at Detroit Tigers.  I took a date to this game.  I did not have a fun date.  I did get to see a little of Max Scherzer build on what's become an epic season.  The Tigers won 4-3.  It was great that they won, but my night didn't get much better.  9-0.

August 18, 2013: Kansas City Royals at Detroit Tigers.  Oddly enough, my third time seeing the Royals, I was a bit nervous as the Tigers dropped five of their last seven.  But Scherzer was on the mound again, and pitched another gem, going eight innings and giving up two runs.  The Tigers won 6-3.  I was with my sister's family and my aunt.  After the game, my nieces got to run the bases, and I snapped a ton of photos from the field including mundane shots of the dugout.

The grounds crew yelled at me to stay off the field; I didn't notice my right foot touched the grass, but now I can say I was on the field.  Technically.  10-0. 

So there it is.  I'm obviously a good luck charm of sorts.  I should be paid to sit in and watch these games.

One could argue that I should only be 8-0 since I'm not much of a Cubs or Pistons fan, or be 8-1 because the Michigan State loss.  But I still say, based on my attendance records, the Tigers should pay me to attend games.

World Series MVP?  Metrichead.

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