Yelling about sports is one of the five best things about them. We can’t control the game or its events in the slightest. We’re put into an uncomfortable scenario where something is affecting our emotions, and yet we can’t do anything about the outcome. So, we have to yell. It’s all we can do. We simply must yell.
The yelling is cathartic. We are trained from birth to change our circumstance with action (or at least try), and yet here are sports. Sports are sitting there on a TV or 200 feet away from us in our stadium seats. We would get arrested if we tried to change the circumstance. Yelling is all we have.
Rockies fans have done their fair share of yelling this season. Of any season in my Rockies fandom, I can honestly say 2018 has taught me more about yelling and about being wrong than any other. It’s taught me how long these seasons are, and how two weeks can feel like a lifetime and a blink all at once.
The most consistent yelling is usually when the lineup is posted. An easy way to get your yelling muscles warmed up is to get mad about a photograph of a printed sheet of names. The lineup has caused ire probably 92% of games so far this year, yet they have not lost all of those games. They haven’t even lost half, if you want to get technical about it.
All of this yelling we’ve done, all of this emotion we express at the events we cannot change, appears to have done very little to stop the Rockies from winning. In most other seasons, you’d see the cracks in the shell, then people would yell about the cracks, and then the cracks would flood the hull and the Rockies would finish with about 72 wins. It was consistent, if not fun. It at least allowed those doing the yelling some cathartic reassurance, which counts for something.
But this year the Rockies have skipped stepped three. The cracks showed, the yelling started, the yelling continued, the yelling has not stopped, and yet the team has continued to win. We seem to be yelling with all of our might, and they just don’t care.
This isn’t to suggest that those yelling want to be right. On the contrary, they’re yelling in the hope that they’re proven wrong. But usually, when proven wrong while yelling, you stop yelling. This year, the yellers haven’t exactly been proven wrong. The offense hasn’t been that good! The bullpen looks like an overspend! The Rockies appear to be mishandling several position player prospects! All of these things are right. The rage is seemingly justified. So shouldn’t the Rockies be losing? Shouldn’t my dry, scratchy throat have a reason?
Obviously, the rotation has been incredible, which may be one reason they keep winning. But even with that, the Rockies have been outscored by eight runs, which means they should have a losing record. They should be losing! Now, I’m not good at math, I had to take STAT 201 twice just to graduate college (I failed once, which in stats measurements means I’m 50% good at math). But even though I’m not good at math I can see this team has been annoying. I’ve yelled at them! People who are good at math usually say things like “no need to yell friend, the math will make sure everything is okay”. But the math is wrong! How can I trust math ever again? The math is also yelling.
So I’m yelling, the math is yelling, surely people with ELWAY53 in their twitter handles are yelling, so why are all of us wrong?
We’re wrong because of the very reasons we’re mad in the first place. All this math is just an attempt to claim control — or at least knowledge — over the events. Pythagorean wins, ZiPS, Steamer — it’s all handfuls of sand trying to move the beach. It’s right a lot; we wouldn’t yell about them if they were wrong most of the time. But in this effort to hold control over the events, we force out pre-anger. We yell about what hasn’t happened yet because it will surely happen. And when it does happen: Aha! It happened, just like we said. Like when a kid playing his music too loud blows his speakers. We told you, kid. We told you this would happen.
Part of the fun is being wrong, obviously. The Rockies remain in the race and fun to watch. That is good enough for me, if I’m being honest. But we’re wrong because we’re trying to be right in the first place. I don’t know if that makes sense, seems like it doesn’t. But also, maybe it does.
The Rockies are laughing in the face of our yelling. Which is fine, I’m having fun anyway, even without the cathartic assurance I was promised when I accepted the yelling into my life.
Maybe I’m getting the best of both worlds now.
Maybe I get to see the Rockies win and I get to see my yelling justified. I, like Marie Antoinette, am having my cake and eating it too. I get to see Ian Desmond ground out just like I said while also seeing the Rockies win — maybe with a Desmond walk-off home run! — just like I wanted. I’m both right and wrong. I’m in some kind of nirvana.
So this all leads to a hypothesis, or maybe it’s a theory: Are the 2018 Rockies the perfect team? Both justifying the rage while also remaining entertaining and in the race?
I posit, through the evidence I’ve presented: Yes. Yes they are.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some yelling to get to.