Cities and Bulls

Listgod.com did it, so we’ll do it too. The 2005 Year in Cities [at least one night must be spent in each]:

1) Chicago, IL
2) Alexandria, VA
3) Washington, DC
4) New Haven, CT
5) Rome, Italy
6) Buenos Aries, Argentina
7) Seattle, WA
8) Madison, WI
9) Farmington, CT
10) Fairfield, CT
11) Chadds Ford, PA

Bill Simmons writes today about the Pats losing and mentions the Bulls “heroically fending off the Pacers in the 1998 playoffs…” What? Am I missing something here? The Bulls didn’t heroically fight off the Pacers, they beat them and everyone knew it. Right everyone knew that?

He goes on:
Because no word exists to cover these scenarios, I'm tapping into my inner Don King and proposing "swaggerability," a cross between swagger and invincibility. Over the past three seasons, the beautiful thing about the Patriots wasn't how they kept winning, but how their fans remained absolutely convinced they would win. No matter what the circumstances, no matter how many injuries piled up, we believed Belichick would unearth the perfect plan, Brady would come through and so would Willie, Brown, Vinatieri and everyone else. The reason we believed this was because it kept happening. In other words, they gave us no reason not to believe it.

And Simmons nails it right there. Maybe to the outside observer the Bulls were being fought tooth and nail to the death by the Pacers in 1998, but I remember that Game Seven. I didn’t even watch in fact because I knew the Bulls were going to win. And I wasn’t going to miss out on something to watch the Bulls win. Which is the complete oppiset of what sports is really about… usually you put life on hold, like meeting up with friends, to watch a game because the game will only happen once and you just never know (take Sunday’s Colts/Steelers game for example). But in June of 1998 I knew the Bulls were going to beat the Pacers and go onto the NBA Finals and win the Championship for the sixth time.

But if you never experence that with a team, you never can know that it existed. And there are very few teams that this rings true for, but here’s a quick list:
* Late 1990s Yankees (until Rivera gave up that blooper in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series)
* The Bulls of the 1990s with Jordan
* The Patriots of early part of the 21st century (until this weekend)
* The Oliers in the 1980s, I’m sure the Islanders too
* Those Celtic teams…
* USC (until they lost to Texas)
All these teams left you waiting for them to win… ‘oh they’ll pull this out’ and most of the time they did (in fact the moment when they didn’t changed everything for their fate as Simmons points out; the Yankees have found new ways to lose games since that 9th inning in November of 2001, and I'm sure we'll see from USC now. Pretty much any three year period of college football proves this 'theory').

So it’s just sort of interesting… it’s a feeling that I can’t really explain unless you’ve rooted for these teams at some point. If you lived in these cities when they were at their hight, you’ll also know what I’m talking about. But that feeling of invincability… there was no way a team lead by Michael Jordan would ever lose. None.

Finally, if you’re Irish you’re probably realted to this guy. And therefore I’m probably related to you.

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