The Coach and I were driving to a party the other night, and as we listened to the sports talk station, the topic of discussion turned to the fact that the University of Hawaii baseball team has started its season with a 1-12 record.
Ouch. We’ve been followers of UH baseball for years, decades even, and one of the guys on the team is the son of friends, so we feel for them. As they say in the islands: pua ting.
Naturally the speculation is all on whether and when those poor boys will be able to turn things around, and how much longer before people start asking about the coach and his contract. Before the season started they had been expected to do well, in their conference and overall, even given a challenging and competitive schedule. So far it hasn’t turned out that way, and it’s getting painful for fans to witness.
Like the proverbial train wreck: too awful to watch, but too fascinating to look away from.
The Coach commented: “You know, I’ve been through that before. We won the national championship my freshman year, but by my junior and senior seasons we were one of the worst teams in the country.
“And you know what you do when that happens?” he posed.
“Keep playing?” I ventured to guess.
“That’s it. There is nothing else. You just keep playing. What else can you do? What’s the alternative? Quitting? Walking away?”
I’ve been dwelling a bit on that rhetorical question — “What’s the alternative?” — myself lately, as well as finding myself in deep sympathy with those poor baseball players. And Rory McIlroy, who I feel a little less sorry for, because of all the, you know, wealth.
My own dilemma exists on a much smaller scale, of course, but it’s distressing nonetheless. I expected to have a different experience here with this blog: more productive, more consistent, more — I don’t know if this makes sense — helpful, somehow.
But I seem to be in a bit of a slump, and no end in sight. Yet I know there’s nothing for it except to … keep playing. So far, I am; I try my best to show up and at least practice most days, even if there hasn’t been much in the way of actual product to show for it.
And I offer my thanks for your patience, my dear readers (all four of you), as I travel through this dry spell. I’m thankful you’re not some virtual team owner who has the power to not renew my contract. Because that would probably be worse than any slump.