Want it, need it, gotta’ have it.
Basketball season is coming to a close. And by that, I mean it is only a matter of time to watch my beloved North Carolina Tar Heels not show up, throw out an 0-fer from three point land to get pasted in the NCAA Tournament and close out the hoops year. Oregon State? Please, from all appearances that avenue shut down about six weeks ago.
Where do I look for healing? To Pat Casey and the boys. I’m going all in. I am putting everything I have of my sports heart toward the diamond. Nothing less. From here until the end of the season, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you Beavers.
BaseballAmerica.com? Every day. USA Today/Coaches Poll? Every Monday. Why? Because when the outlet to the mundane routine of everyday life plays out, I search out my obsession. Sports. The flavor to fuel my appetite will come from Oregon State’s drive toward another title.
When the sun comes up, I will be thinking about who OSU is playing this weekend. Where they will be playing, what the team ERA now stands at, who is the hottest hitter. What did Casey say about the last series? I’m on it as if hanging on every breath. Because I need someone to come through. My sports palate has run dry. Hopes and dreams have run amok as my favorite teams continue to fall by the wayside.
But Beaver baseball revives my wishes of another championship. In the last eight years, UNC won two NCAA basketball titles and Oregon State won back to back College World Series. What is wrong with wanting more? Since greed is in overabundance in the sports world, can’t I throw a little out there?
I will overreact when they lose. My bewilderment will be unnecessary. I will be disgusted for a few hours. With each loss, rather than looking ahead I will tread in the waters of doubt. Rants on Facebook of disappointment will overtake rational thinking. Reservation takes command over belief. Dismay, disgust, discontent.
In each victory, the celebrations will be minor. Remembering how I hate losing more than I like to win. Winning is more relief than heartbreak. Each win will have me thinking of 2006-2007. The dog piles. Casey almost leaving but staying to continue the success story. The OSU car flags will be riding high on my SUV with every victory.
Ah yes, the ebb and flow of passion. You see, this is how it is when you are putting all your chips in the middle. The peaks and valleys are what makes sports junkies tick. One moment you are up, the next you are down. But the pitfalls make the mountain summit of winning that much more precious.
After sweeping Texas State last weekend, OSU split two games with San Francisco. Their 15-game winning streak was snapped (longest streak to open a season since 1986), but after taking the second game in that series they head in to conference play on a positive note. This weekend, the third ranked Beavs travel to Tucson to take on the defending College World Series champion Arizona Wildcats. The Cats are ranked 20th by Baseball America with a record of 15-5. And even though the season is slightly past the early stages, as a fan I will approach each game as if it were the last. Not easy giving your whole heart.
So as the Beavers roll through the season, I will lavish in every victory. Yet with each loss, my heart will sink. However, I will never lose sight of the big picture. I, as well as all of Beaver nation will forever treasure those CWS dog piles from a not so distant past. Yep, everyone in the middle. Wouldn’t want it any other way.