Great Expectations

on September 2016 | in Sports | by Dario Passarelli | @PapaDart | with No Comments

I spoke earlier this week of those special feelings you get when even your highest expectations of an event are met and surpassed. Well, today on the other hand, we’ll talk about those feelings of nothingness when your low expectations are met. But before we get into all of that… HELLO Team North America. WoW! I couldn’t even catch my breath for the first two minutes of that game; in fact my heart is still pounding. Within the first 30 seconds, future Maple Leafs superstar Auston Matthews scored what has to be the best play of the tournament. You follow that up with a breakaway that turned into a penalty shot; a missed penalty shot sadly. Then you throw in a little fake shot, to a pass in the slot and Vincent Torcheck with a nice, nifty move and it’s 2-0. Already. They only played for 1 minute and 35 seconds and all that happened. Thank you to both teams for putting on a fabulous game of hockey. It’s a real bummer to see Team North America is now out of the tournament as I was really looking forward for a semi-final match up with Canada. But sadly that isn’t happening and it put me in a sombre mood which – oh no, I feel a segue (pronounced seg-way) coming – made me think of the Toronto Blue Jays. A few weeks ago I wrote that it was Time to Panic and unfortunately, the Blue Jays have not proven me wrong. They did finally win a series this month, taking 2-out-of-3 from Seattle and are still in good position to get a Wild Card berth. Yaaaawwwwnnnn.

For some reason I am not overly excited about it. I’m not underwhelmed by it either mind you. I still hope they can flip the switch, regain their form and have a deep playoff run. But right now they are playing to that low level of expectation I had and (this is going to sound weird) but I haven’t felt the urge to emotionally invest in this team. I still want our beloved team to do well and win a world series, but can’t seem to put the effort to get excited about this team just yet. I’m not sure if it is because I feel they won’t be successful or because I have found other things that have grabbed my attention and deserve it more. Take a bow Toronto FC, World Cup of Hockey, Team North America and yes, take a bow Mr. Auston “19-year-old kid from Phoenix who will set this city on fire when he takes the Leafs to the promised land” Matthews. (Note to Editor: If I randomly include the name Auston Matthews in future posts, especially those that have nothing to do with hockey and specifically nothing to do with Auston Matthews, then please remove all references of Auston Matthews, otherwise some people will feel I “may” be a tiny bit biased when it comes to Auston Matthews)

Now it may seem that the Blue Jays did turn a corner recently, albeit a small corner, with winning 4 out of 7 on the road. Visiting Anaheim and Seattle is usually a difficult trip for them so we shouldn’t complain. Well we shouldn’t complain, but I am going to anyway, specifically on 2 points. The first is that those games in Seattle were more like home games weren’t they? Thank you again travelling Toronto fans, you never cease to amaze me! Secondly, when you win the first two games of both series, you wind up expecting to win more. This isn’t a fair criticism (mind you, neither was the first one really) but you still feel more disappointed than usual. Darn, those “expectations” go messing everything up again.

With their final 10 games coming against the Yankees (4) and Orioles (3) at home and then away to Boston (3) to end the season, their Wild Card fate is completely in their hand. The Red Sox are clearly kings of the East, so let’s not even worry about chasing first place. But they have to continue to win each series as the Tigers and Astros are closing in and they have an easier schedule. The good news in all of this (see, I still try to be positive) is that if the Blue Jays do make it to the playoffs, then more often than not, the winner of the wild card game actually beats the first place team. This makes the Conference Finals not that much of a long shot. Hmmmm, maybe it’s time to get excited about this team again.

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