Wednesday, June 6, 2012

When In Drought

I want to take my mind off the news from Wisconsin, so you know what that means. I just spent the last 30 minutes determining a new arbitrary historical drought to root for/against (personally, I'm in the camp that roots against) now that the Mets have finally gotten a no hitter. I've done a little research and it turns out, there aren't a whole lot of great options. I'm really bummed because, not only was the Mets' streak completely meaningless, but the flukish streak really bothered the team's fans. Anything that can be attributed to random chance but invokes existential angst in a team's fanbase is good by me.

The comparable streak that immediately came to mind was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers not scoring a touchdown on a kickoff return, but they got their first in the 2007 season after 32 years of existence, so that one's out. Otherwise, I couldn't find much great in that vein. I don't really want to root against a team like the Pirates to make the playoffs, because that's depressing. Or the Cubs with the pennant - I want this to be totally meaningless. Teams can win championships without no-hitters or kickoff returns (both the Mets and Bucs have overcome these stupid droughts and won), so in real terms these streaks are meaningless. I briefly considered rooting to continue the streak of consecutive seasons Chargers fans talk themselves into winning the AFC followed by the team flaming out early, but that was too subjective and not really a drought. And as droughts go, Tebow's virginity is too hard to corroborate.

No, I want an existence-long drought, and I want it to define a team and its fans, like the Mets' and Buccaneers' streaks did. I looked around and one in particular sticks out, though I don't think it's on the national radar yet. The Padres, who came into the league in 1969, are the only team currently without a no-hitter. At first, this shocked me because the Padres play in a massive stadium that skews toward pitchers, but then I realized that this is just a crazy fluky statistic anyway and that there's no logic to it whatsoever. Even more impressive for the Padres, they are also one of two teams (the Marlins being the other) that have never had a hitter hit for the cycle, an equally inane baseball fluke.

People need to know about these droughts. We need the blogosphere to pick up the story. Let's make this a movement. Maybe hashtags on Twitter. Anything. I need my fix.

Therefore, be it resolved: whenever a Padres hitter has 3 of the 4 hits required for a cycle we will root for him to strike out. And when a pitcher is nearing a no hitter we'll do our best to jinx it. I want conjecture about the pressure facing every player with a chance to end these streaks. I want cutaways on Sportscenter whenever it gets close. I want a montage of failures or maybe some of those fun stats where we see how many players have left the Padres and gone on to hit for the cycle or throw a no-no. In short, I want my Mets streak back.

It's been 43 years and counting. Let's keep this one going a little longer.

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