Before you send me a snarky email, yes, I know this column is filled with first-world problems.
Oh, how lucky I am that one of my biggest concerns this week was the poor performance of my favorite sports teams. But just because these things don’t matter in the grand scheme of things doesn’t mean I can’t get upset about them.
Last week was the worst seven-day stretch I’ve ever experienced as a sports fan. No, I did not spend the necessary time researching that and confirming it but I am 1,000 percent confident I’m correct. Because I cannot remember any other period like this one.
The Atlanta Braves set the tone last Monday when they blew what should have been a series-clinching victory against the St. Louis Cardinals. Instead, it was a 5-4 loss in extra innings.
They played again Wednesday evening. That game effectively ended much sooner and with far fewer dramatics.
Atlanta gave up 10 runs (!) in the top of the first inning. That total made some history but I can’t bring myself to look it all up. I was shocked to see that score. Thankfully, I was distracted during the early stages of that game.
I was off last Wednesday afternoon so I went to see the new Joker movie. Fantastic film, by the way. I highly recommend it for the older audiences out there. As the previews were wrapping up, I pulled out my phone and checked the score.
It was around 5:15. I figured the Braves might be getting ready to take their first at-bats by then. When I saw they were down four or five runs and still only had one out with the bases loaded, I shut off my phone and forgot about the game. I knew it was over then, so I might as well enjoy my movie.
When the Braves choked away what should’ve been a victory Monday, I knew they would not make it past the NLDS. You cannot give a team like the Cardinals a chance. The Braves left the door cracked and, on Wednesday, the Cards kicked it open.
That was the most disappointing loss any of my teams suffered last week.
Now, for my Dallas Cowboys. Oof.
After starting 3-0 and looking like a Super Bowl contender, the Cowboys are now 3-3. They lost to the Saints in a game they should have won, even with their lackluster performance that night.
Last Sunday, they went from getting hammered by the Packers to nearly coming back and winning. The same thing happened again this past Sunday when they played at the winless New York Jets.
I expected Dallas to win all of those games. Instead, we’re back to the same point we seem to reach every season: Jason Garrett should be fired. I’m not holding my breath on that, though.
So, Dallas started Justin’s Week of Misery with the loss to Green Bay and finished it this past week at the Jets. There was the Braves series loss to the Cardinals sandwiched in between, along with another game I can’t believe didn’t end the way I expected.
And, for this game, I was actually in attendance and standing on the sideline watching it all unfold. So, this one hurts a little differently than those other losses.
One day, I will have to explain to my kids, if I’m ever fortunate enough to have any, how No. 3 Georgia, which had been cruising all year, lost to a not-so-great South Carolina team. I don’t know how I will summarize it for them.
Even more, I don’t know how I could explain to them how Kirby Smart, who hopefully will have led Georgia to multiple national titles by then, was outcoached by Will Muschamp, of all people.
But it happened. Somehow. Even if I don’t want to think it did.
As Rodrigo Blankenship prepared to make his final, ill-fated field goal attempt of the day, I looked at a reporter standing right next to me.
“You know he’s gonna miss it, don’t you?”
“Nah he’s got it.”
“No, he doesn’t. It’s just been that kind of day.”
And then the kick went wide left.
For me as a sports fan, it was just that kind of week.