Mrs. 500 Level Fan and I returned Tuesday from 11 wonderful days in Ireland.
The weather was amazing. The food was fantastic. The people were unbelievably friendly and laid back.
And the beer….well, it goes without saying that the beer was unreal.
But the trip was beautiful in another way that I didn’t truly realize until I got back.
Let me explain:
The Irish don’t really care about baseball. Hurling, Gaelic football, Rugby, and Soccer are their big sports. As such, there wasn’t any Opening Week coverage in the papers or on the TV. While most of our hotels had WiFi internet access, I was basically limited to checking the scores of games. I rarely checked Twitter, and didn’t read any of the other Jays blogs or news sources at all. I knew the Jays were struggling, and that was it.
When I finally turned on my phone and re-connected to the world on Tuesday afternoon, the Blue Jays had just lost 7-3 to Detroit to fall to 2-5.
And that loss ended the world for many.
Being away for 11 days made me forget just how annoying and irrational Toronto sports fans can be. By 4:30 PM on Tuesday, Twitter was full of the following:
“This season is over”
“The team is a bust”
“R.A. Dickey is overrated”
“At least the Leafs are OK, cause the Jays suck”
To which I can only respond: are you people serious?
By my calculations, on Tuesday afternoon the Toronto Blue Jays had played a total of seven baseball games. Let me repeat that – SEVEN! The last time I checked, the Blue Jays play a 162 game schedule, meaning that 4.3% of the season was complete.
Now, let’s talk about context. Let’s assess what Toronto’s start would look like in other sports.
For example, the NHL plays an 82 game schedule, so in hockey terms, the Jays start would equate to a record of 1-2.
In major soccer leagues, like the EPL and Spain’s La Liga, it would be maybe 0-1-1, or one point through two games.
In the NFL? 4.3% of a 16 game season is less than one game, but let’s round up and say a team would be 0-1 right now.
So what does that mean? Well it means that if the same “this season is over already” logic was applied to the following teams after 4.3% of their respective seasons were over, people would look like idiots:
– In MLB last season, Cincinnati started 3-6, Oakland started 2-4, and San Francisco started 2-4.
– In the NHL last season, the LA Kings started 1-1-1, the Canucks 1-2-1, and the Rangers 0-1-2.
– In European soccer this year, Tottenham began 0-1-1 (1 point), Arsenal 0-0-2 (2 points), and Real Madrid 0-1-1 (1 point).
– In the NFL, the Colts, Seahawks, and Packers all lost their first games.
And what do those 12 teams have in common? All nine of the North American teams made the playoffs, with San Francisco and LA winning titles, and each of the three Euro soccer teams are currently holding down Champions League places for next season.
So smarten up Jays fans. There is a long, long way to go.