It was bound to happen.
As Cocktail told us, everything ends badly, or else it wouldn’t end.
To be clear, I knew it couldn’t last forever. I knew I was due for some disappointment. I didn’t plan for the extra pain, the physical pain, to go with the psychological pain.
I attended the Rangers/Capitals playoff hockey game in D.C. on Monday night. The Rangers lost, 1-0. I have led a charmed life as a fan when I’ve attended games, particularly against DC teams. My history of attendance is a nearly unbroken string of amazing moments for my favorite teams.
When the Nationals first started playing in RFK stadium, I saw the Mets play them. There was a guy in my section screaming “Beltran, you suck!” basically the whole game. Carlos Beltran, for those who don’t follow baseball, was a multiple time all-star center fielder for the Mets. In this particular game, Beltran made several nice plays in the outfield, then hit an RBI double in the late innings (8th? 9th? Memory is fuzzy) to tie the game at 2, then made a spectacular running-sliding-no-way-he-did-that catch in the 10th to keep it tied, then hit a single, stole second, and eventually scored the winning run in the 11th inning.
At the new Nationals park, I saw Mets ace pitcher Johan Santana toss seven strong innings and provide all the run support he needed (2 doubles and 4 RBI) for the win.
In 2011 I got my brother (a big Jets fan) tickets to Jets/Redskins for his birthday. Similar to the “Beltran” game, there was a guy a few rows back from us yelling “Sanchez, you suck!” This guy was relentless for the first 3 quarters… and in the fourth quarter Sanchez shut him up.
In 2012 I saw the Diamondbacks ruin Bryce Harper’s home debut (good for Mets fans, always root against divisional teams). The next night I attended a Rangers/Caps hockey game.
This turned out to be the craziest, most intense, most dramatic, and downright awesome sporting event I’ve ever attended. It took until late in the 3rd overtime to decide, with Marian Gaborik going 5 hole to end it after, basically, two entire games worth of hockey. In this game, there was a guy screaming at Lundqvist the whole time.
Over the past year, I got tickets to the Giants/Redskins game on Monday night (thanks boss!) and attended with my brother and some cousins. The Giants pasted the Redskins.
A few weeks later, we had the band back together at Notre Dame/Navy (Irish Catholics who are ND fans? Yeah, we can be stereotypes) at FedEx field. Again, my team won.
I also made it to the Verizon Center for a Caps/Rangers regular season tilt this year. The Rangers won that one 3-1 en route to the best record in the NHL.
The point of all this is that I was feeling pretty confident going into Monday’s game. I was riding a loooong hot streak of attending games. I’m in the building? My team’s winning.
Look, I knew I was due. I told my boss I was due to see my team lose when he gave me the Redskins/Giants tickets. I can’t be too upset that my streak is broken.
Karma didn’t need to add injury to this insult though. In the third period, I was climbing over the seats to come back from a restroom break, slipped a little in an unidentified substance on the floor and banged my knee on the hard plastic armrest between the seats. The doctor says it’ll be 4-6 weeks of recovery time.
So yeah, like I said, everything ends badly. The series picks up again tonight, with the Rangers trailing 2-1 overall. Hopefully, they can end the Capitals win streak at one, and end it badly.