As I begin to take stock of 2006 and look ahead to 2007, the thing that probably most stands out from this year is sports. 2006 was, by far, the most important sports year for me in nearly two decades, as my Detroit Tigers - the team I've lived and died by (mostly died) since I was ten years old - made it to the World Series after twelve straight years of losing seasons and a 19-year drought from any post-season play. It was an amazing season from a team without any stars, with tons of young players that will be good for years. Even though the end of the season was disappointing and a bit heartbreaking, it did not undo the immense joy that following the team brought me this year.
Most of the end-of-year sports stories I've seen in the last few days haven't highlighted the story of the Tigers like I think they should. They're a medium market team from the midwest, so any hopes of them being recognized properly were probably moot. Still, it was disappointing, for example, to see SI.Com's Top 26 Games of 2006 name seven baseball games out of the 26 (including its #1 selection, when Barry Bonds hit home run #715), none of them were Tigers games. The playoff game victory over the Athletics - with Magglio Ordonez's home run in the bottom of the 9th inning clinching the Tigers' first World Series appearance in 22 years - was the most memorable baseball game I've ever seen, and the fact that it didn't even rank above, say, a game between the Yankees and the Rangers on May 16 is just plain ludicrous.
All of this is to say that it's nice that at least The Onion is giving the Tigers some love:
Cardinals apologize for winning World Series
Here's an excerpt:
Calling Friday night's victory on baseball's grandest stage "a terrible mistake," members of the St. Louis Cardinals issued a formal apology for making the playoffs, winning the World Series, and depriving baseball fans everywhere of a season featuring the kind of heartwarming, storybook ending to which they have grown accustomed in recent years.
"I'm still struggling to understand how this could have happened," said a sober Tony La Russa during a press conference following Game 5. "It seemed all but certain coming into this series that we were going to be a part of something truly special, that we would easily put the finishing touches on a magical season that inspired millions of fans around the country, but instead we somehow ended up winning."
"It's disappointing, to say the least," La Russa added. "We were rooting for the Detroit Tigers just like everyone else."
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