October 20, 2006

Walker Percy, the Cards, the Tigers

Someone once said that they always checked the sports pages first because there you can read of success, at least for some. Everywhere else is failure and bad news. It's a habit I should get back into.

 An interesting thing about the Cardinals and Tigers is that during the regular season both had gotten off to tremendous division leads and then seemingly relaxed in their prosperity. They were in a sense victims of the Percy doldrums -- their games became one ordinary "Wednesday afternoon" after another. Percy said that bad news takes us out of the ordinariness of a Wednesday afternoon and the Tigers and Cardinals both managed to manufacture their own bad news by losing a slew of games in August and September. Both played under .500 ball in September and nearly died in terms of making the playoffs.

Percy says that near-death experiences are galvanizing; afterwards you not only appreciate life but in an odd way can throw it away. Everything afterwards is, in a sense, gravy.
So it seems not so surprising after all that the two worst playoff-bound teams in September, two teams who almost lost their (mid-season) playoff birthrights, ended up triumphing.

No comments: