It had been quite a ride for the Houston Astros, but by the time Rafael Devers finished rounding the bases for a three-run homer in the sixth inning of Game 5 of the American League Championship Series, it was obvious even to the die-hard fans it was within an hour of coming to an end.
With that in mind, I got ready to put Spring to bed hoping for the best but not really expecting it.
Always the Astros’ optimist, she offered up a proposal for me in getting to bed on time.
“If I go to bed now, then do I get to stay up for all the Astros’ World Series games because we only have to win three more games to get there?”
I wasn’t sure if I should laugh or cry.
Of course the inevitable finally happened about an hour after she reluctantly went to bed.
When I woke her up with the news the next morning, I was expecting the worst.
Instead I got the unexpected.
“Well, we beat them last year and we’re going to beat them next year, so it’s OK.”
At lunch a few hours later, she asked for my phone. When I looked over, she was checking on the Rockets’ upcoming schedule.
She checked off when they would be playing LeBron and when they would get the chance to knock off “those cheatin’ Warriors.”
Apparently her backup plan is in full effect.
That type of thinking got me to reminisce on my days as a young sports fan.
If the Cowboys are going 1-15, then they must be due for a win.
If the Astros are down by nine runs in the first inning, they still have plenty of time to catch up.
If the Rockets are 20-35, they’re going to shock the world.
Next season is always going to be better.
It also made me think kids really do have the better perspective when it comes to sports.
Enjoy your favorite teams while not getting overly stressed. If they’re going to lose, it’s going to happen whether you think the best or the worst.
Optimism is a good thing, even if it’s not always realistic.
And when the ride of a season is over, remember it for what it’s worth before figuring out the meaningless parts of sports you can turn your sights on next.
Sometimes the season will end with the Astros winning the World Series. Usually it will end well before that.
Just enjoy it all for what it’s worth — a little diversion from the real world.
Sometimes that message is best provided from a 10-year-old girl.
As the Astros were making this year’s playoff run, Spring had written the inspirational message for the week on our refrigerator board. It is usually some sort of quote about being positive and helping others. She had changed it up this time.
“The Astros are going to win the World Series again” was written when I walked out the door to cover the Panthers on Friday night. I thought about changing it but decided to give it a little rest.
On my way out the door the next day, I took a glance at a slightly different message changed only by two words.
“The Astros are going to win the World Series again…in 2019.”