I went to my very first postseason game ever yesterday, and it wasn’t even for the Phillies.
Granted, that would have been hard to do, considering they were effectively eliminated months ago. (Though, officially, it’s only been a couple weeks.)
But I digress.
Yesterday I went to the Nats-Cardinals game – Game 3 of the NLDS, and the first postseason home game for the Nationals – and I cheered for the Nats.
It didn’t feel right.
It didn’t feel natural.
It didn’t feel as intense.
But it did feel like the lesser of two evils.
If my Phillies weren’t in the same division as the Nats, I wouldn’t have thought twice about rooting for the home team. But they are, so I did.
The Cardinals, however, killed our posteason last year, and I can hold a grudge with the best of them.
Even so, my Nats cheers just weren’t heartfelt, and I tried to explain it to Husband.
“I feel dirty. I don’t like cheering for a division rival.“
Husband understood. He didn’t try to convince me otherwise, and he nodded (without explicitly agreeing) when I rationalized.
“I can’t root for the Cardinals; they beat us last year. And it’s not like the Nats beat out the Phillies for the division. We were never really in the running.“
In the end, though, my reasoning – sound or not – didn’t matter. The Nats lost to the Cards, and I realized the only slight silver lining of not having your own team in the postseason: I wasn’t sad about the loss.
Last year, when the Phillies were in the NLDS, my emotions were tied up in each and every game. And I cried when we lost the series.
This year, I won’t cry either way. I’ll cheer for a good game, and get goosebumps when I see all of the “Legends are born in October” commercials. And I won’t be emotionally drained by the end of the month.
But truth be told, I’d always rather be in the running and risk the heartbreak, than not be in the game at all.