Pain. It is a staple of the human existence. And for us sports fans, it happens often. Whether it is an untimely injury, a bad loss, or simply a bet gone wrong (always remember to gamble responsibly), sports can put us at our highest of highs and lowest of lows.
This week, the Bucketheads Connor Lemons and Justin Golba are talking about the most pain sports has caused them. This is strictly emotional and not physical.
Before we get into that, we can take a peak at last weeks results. The boys debated which freshman in this highly touted class would get average the most points. Connor said Bruce Thornton and Justin said Roddy Gayle.
It was a close battle, but Justin’s pick of Roddy Gayle garnered the most votes. Side note, Bowen Hardman leading the freshman in points would be amazing.
Here are the updated standings:
After 51 weeks:
(There have been two ties)
Now let’s leave the past in the past and simultaneously bring up the past. I think that made sense. Anyway, here is the this weeks debate.
What is your most painful memory as a sports fan?
Connor: The 2014 NLCS (Giants over Cardinals)
If you’re a baseball fan, you’re quite familiar with the “even year magic” the San Francisco Giants stirred up in the early 2000’s. The Giants, powered by San Fran lifers like Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval, and Madison Bumgarner, won championships in 2010, 2012, and 2014. Three titles in five years is almost unheard of in Major League Baseball, but the Giants were a force to be reckoned with during that decade.
What was fun about those Giants teams — as much as it pains me to say it — is that they also seemed to have a few random stars on each team that made the difference in winning a title or not. Marco Scutaro, Pat Burrell, and Michael Morse are a few guys who didn’t play by the bay for very long, but sure made a difference while they were there.
After defeating the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2012 NLCS (and then sweeping the Detroit Tigers in the World Series), the two historic franchises squared off again in 2014. The Cardinals were the champions of the NL Central, while the Giants won the NL Wild Card — the best record amongst second-place teams. St. Louis had just lost in the World Series to the Red Sox the previous season, and had all the motivation in the world to get back and win their 12th World Series title.
The Giants... had other ideas. Madison Bumgarner locked up the Cardinals in game one to win the opener, 3-0. The Cardinals tied the series up 1-1 with Kolten Wong’s walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth in game two. The Giants won game three on a walk-off throwing error from Cardinals’ lefty Randy Choate, winning it 5-4 and taking a 2-1 series lead. The Giants also won game four 6-4, pinning the Cardinals behind their ears leading into a huge game five in San Francisco.
In a rematch of game one starters Adam Wainwright and Bumgarner, the two teams battled to a 3-3 tie in the ninth inning. Right-hander Michael Wacha came in from the bullpen for St. Louis, and promptly served up a walk-off, three-run home run to Giants’ first baseman Travis Ishikawa, sending San Francisco to their third World Series in five seasons.
Ishikawa’s homer was the first time a National League team had hit a walk-off homer to send their team to the World Series in 63 years. It was the first walk-off hit in the NLCS since the Giants walked-off the Cardinals in the 2022 NLCS.
It was only Ishikawa’s third home run of the season, and he wound up hitting a whopping 23 homers over his eight-year career. He finished his career with a .255 batting average and a .712 OPS — all in all, not a very good baseball player. He would retire one year later at age 31.
But that’s what makes baseball beautiful sometimes, and that’s even more of a reason that 17-year old me was so devastated sitting in my room. I thought this guy sucked? I thought he was downright stinky? Well, that stinky hitter shoved it right up my you-know-what.
Justin: 2007 — the entire year
Yeah. This one brings back the good stuff.
So let me add some context. I am a Reds, Penguins, Cleveland Cavaliers, Browns and Ohio State fan. Also, when the Reds aren’t good, I also root for the Guardians. That matters for this answer.
We can start with Ohio State. This was the year I learned just how awful the state of Florida is. As I am sure everyone reading this remembers, the Ohio State basketball team lost to Florida in the 2007 National Championship game, even with Greg Oden giving a monster performance. Also, Ohio State football was dismantled (and that might be a nice way to say it) by Florida in the 2007 BCS National Championship game. Still shed a tear thinking about Ted Ginn Jr. So in 2007, Ohio State went 0-2 in National Championship games.
Then, there was the Cavs. It was the LeBron James playoffs. The Cavs, who were basically LeBron James and friends, made an unlikely run through the Eastern Conference and all the way to the NBA Finals against the Spurs. This was peak Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker and the Cavs were swept. Justin’s teams were now 0-3 in championships.
And the Browns. The Browns who have been garbage my entire life but by the grace of god, the went 10-6 in 2007. And they missed the playoffs. All because the Colts were 13-3 and sat Peyton Manning against the Titans in the final regular season game.
Enter the Penguins, technically in the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs. But the season started in 2007 so that is where the pain begins. The Penguins have been my main beacon of hope when it comes to sports success and I have seen them win three Stanley Cups. However, this one did not go their way. They lost to the Red Wings in six games. Michigan strikes again. But not often of course.
And now the Reds. This is not really a Reds story because they didn’t make the playoffs, but Cleveland did. And of course they lost in seven games to the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS and Boston went on to destroy Colorado in the World Series, which one can assume Cleveland would have done as well.
Justin was 0-for-6 in the postseason in 2007. Not great.
Whose pain was more painful?
This poll is closed