JJ SAYS: In sports anything can happen
I was in a galaxy far, far away and dreaming about saving Princess Leia by the time the Warriors reached halftime of their Monday night game against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Of course, in my dream I was much younger, much taller and had much more hair. Too soon, my dream dissipated and I awoke to find that the Warriors’ lead was four points, and my dream had become a nightmare.
By now, everyone in our real galaxy knows that the Warriors blew a 31-point lead, setting a record for late-game ineptness in the process.
How can that happen? The Warriors are a far superior team than the Clippers in all areas from talent to organization. How can they lose like that?
The answer is simple — because it is sports. Games like the Warriors’ contest are why we keep score. I’m not a sports gambling man, so I don’t keep track of things like odds and point spreads, but I do know that the best teams usually win — but not always. That is why we keep following the Giants. To bring it down to the local level, the old cliché that any team can be beat any other team on a given day is true.
Earlier this season, the Vintage softball team was zipping along at the top of the Vine Valley Athletic League standings with a glossy 8-1 overall record, when it zipped boldly into Petaluma and was knocked off by the T-Girls, 8-1.
That, of course, is just the most recent local example of an unexpected outcome. It happens all the time in every sport.
Sometimes, unexpected wins happen because they are not upsets at all, but simply a case of underestimating the winning team. At other times, they happen because the lesser-talented team plays an exceptional game, or, conversely, the better team plays an exceptionally poor game.
Even a team that has little chance of winning can pull a shocker. For those players, one win can feel like a world championship.
We keep score for a reason. Otherwise, we could just put all the teams in a computer and let Alexa spit out the winner. The beauty of sport is that it is not played by computer, but players. Whether it is CYO, or NBA basketball, and all other sports, the contests are played by human beings, whether they be little guys or big guys.
Every individual and every team wants to win.
This spring, I’ve seen a lot of the so-called 10-run games stopped because of the so-called mercy rule. Not one of the losing teams went into those games thinking they would be beaten by 10 runs or more. They played their best and occasionally — admittedly, very occasionally — they not only competed, but actually won.
Occasionally, the Clippers can beat the Warriors in a playoff game.
(Contact John Jackson at email@example.com)