I spend a great deal of my time thinking about sports thinking about losing. That's what happens when you root for teams like the Mets and Dolphins and find yourself pulling for Tommy Fleetwood on the weekends. I think about whether it's better to put up a fight—to go toe-to-toe all game long only to have deserved glory swiped from you at last possible moment—or whether it's better to never show up at all. On one hand, you have the moral victory, and on the other you can just turn off the game in third inning and go live your life.
I still haven't decided which hurts less to be honest, but on Thursday afternoon Auburn baseball—who also crashed out of the College World Series like this last summer—provided yet another compelling case for Team Just Walk Away. Viewer discretion is advised (unless you're Bama fan, in which case happy birthday and Merry Christmas):
The horror show begins in the bottom ninth of this all-Tiger SEC Tournament matchup. Leading 3-2 with LSU runners on second and third, Auburn is in a bit of jam, but it's nothing that a ground ball or two can't fix. Then the unthinkable happens. Auburn's pitcher puts one in the dirt. The catcher blocks it to hold the runner at third, but loses sight of the ball and, in his desperate attempt to find it, accidentally kicks it down the first-base line. Seemingly in slow motion, the tying run comes into score as Auburn's first baseman comes sliding over and, with plenty of time to work with, rushes a throw that squirms by the catcher (AGAIN!), bouncing agonizingly toward the Auburn dugout as LSU walks off the whole damn enchilada.
So yeah, I've spent some time thinking about this loss too. There's no moral to this story. There's no justice or justification, despite what LSU fans might tell you. There's just pain. A dark, all-consuming cloud of hurt that can be dulled by with booze, Advil, sex, sleep, and time, but will never, ever heal. I have no wisdom to impart and my shoulder is not one to cry on, but I can say this: Next time you meet someone who says they don't watch sports, think twice before calling them the idiot.