Because the Jays managed to meet the demands of Portnoy and Razzer (when they called up Adam Lind) the strike is officially over. But much like the ‘94 strike, there are some long-term ramifications. I can only speak for myself but I can honestly say I didn’t miss them that much. I was busy Saturday watching the Raptors and Habs find ways to lose home games they could have won so maybe that has a little bit to do with it. Still, I kind of enjoyed not caring that they apparently blew another winnable game on Saturday.
On the whole I hate bandwagon jumpers. I have been a Jays’ fan through thick and thin (mostly thin lately). I have seen the collapses (or “the collapse” as nothing comes close to ’87). I enjoyed the victories, the ’89 comeback, the almost comeback in ’90 (Brunansky never caught that ball!), getting to the play-offs in ’91, the faux-tomahawk chop and “Maldonado’s throw over everything” in ’92, and of course the “93-peet”. While I was there for the good I was also there trying to rationalize the John Olerud –Robert Person trade and the Pittsburg theft that brought us Orlando Merced. I have been exciting by a meaningless Jose Cruz jr. homerun in August of ’99 and put my faith blindly into the Buck Martinez era. All the while feeling resentment and anger towards those Johnny come lately fans who think talking Blue Jay baseball is repeating everything they read in the morning paper (and they are the reason Dick Griffin has a job).
But something funny happened on my one-day strike. I suddenly gained a little bit of understanding for the fair weather fan. There is much more to life than sports, but watching the majority of 162 baseball games, not to mention the hockey, basketball, football, futbol, etc, makes sports your life. And when your mood is dictated on whether or not your team won or lost there is something wrong. (Thank god I’m not a leaf fan) On the whole, life would probably be much more productive by not hanging on to every move your team makes. But on the other hand, not being a fan would have robbed me of some of the happiest moments of my life- the back to backs in 92-93, the Habs winning in 93, Team Canada Olympic gold in 2002.
For the bandwagon jumper these moments are also very exciting. They can not be as exciting because they didn’t live through every moment leading up to the victory, but they are still very exciting. Does the difference in excitement make up for the extra hours of dedication? I’m not sure. The sad part is I probably will never know. I am in too deep now, stuck in a place where I won’t be able to step away. And since I’m in that place, I ask that the Jays do me a favour. Please make the last 20 something years of stupid devotion pay off with a play-off berth. You know I deserve it.