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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Now Serving # 94

When your online alias is Kimota94, and the 94 doesn't indicate that there were 93 Kimota's before you, it just might be significant when you reach post # 94. As we just did. (Yes, "we." Clearly I'm not in this all alone.)

1994 was an amazing sports year for me in more than one way, but I tend to only think about the obvious one. The Big One. The one that was epitomized by the sign proudly displayed in Madison Square Garden on June 14th, written as if by my own hand but actually prepared by (clearly) a kindred soul:

NOW I CAN DIE HAPPY

When Lord Stanley's Cup was paraded around that sports complex late in the evening that June night, I knew I'd never again die inside quite the same way when the hockey playoffs (or, even worse, hockey season) ended badly for the Rangers of New York. Those who don't live and die by a sports team, any sports team, just have to accept that some of us do. I accept that most of you eat vegetables because you like the way they taste. If I can make that leap, you can do likewise.

But while that incredible, momentous, incomparable event highlighted 1994 in the sports world (the Rangers were even ESPN's Top Story of the Year), it wasn't the only thing happening to make me happy.

The loss of the end of the baseball season (and entire post-season) was somewhat traumatic, but it also meant that my beloved Jays would continue to wear MLB's crown for another year, since no one could dethrone them following back-to-back championships in 1992 and 1993. No post-season meant they were the champs for another year. It did! Really!

And while never the biggest NFL fan in the world, I have had a 'favourite' team for many years, they being the 49ers from San Fran. I always prefer teams that provide an exciting passing game, and between first Joe Montana, and later Steve Young, that team could sure put on a show! As luck would have it, Young lead the 49ers to a SuperBowl win at the end of their great 1994 season (the Bowl itself was in early 1995, if I remember correctly, but still!)

So clearly 1994 was a year for the ages, at least in my neck of the woods. I don't think I've ever had another year like it, and probably never will again. But at least I had one.

5 comments:

Jim Hinckley said...

The Rangers had "Now I Can Die Happy"...a fan of the Red Sox (and my favourite sports writer), Bill Simmons, wrote a book called "Now I Can Die In Peace" following their World Series win.

Kimota94 - you may not like his stuff - heavy on the basketball and pop culture references (esp. the 80s) - but if you want to read some funny articles loosely related to sports check out http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/simmons/index

Peter J. said...

Sorry to disappoint, given how much I love the Jays, but the 1994 Major League Baseball champions were les Expos de Montréal. Vive les Expos libre! Vive Youppi!

Kimota94 aka Matt said...

Sorry, PJ, but a strong performance through 2/3 of a season doesn't win anyone a championship! Finishing 1st overall was practically the kiss of death in the 90s. In fact, here's some data to back that up:

In 1991, Pittsburgh Pirates finished with the best record in baseball (98-64). World Series was won by the Twins (95-67) who played the Braves (94-68).

In 1992, Atlanta Braves finished with a 98-64 record, only to lose in the World Series to the Jays, who had a 96-66 regular season.

In 1993, the Braves again finished first, this time with a whopping 104-58 record, but didn't even make it to the World Series, as it was between the Phillies (97-65) and the Jays (95-67).

In 1995, with a shortened 144 game season, the Cleveland Indians claimed the top spot (100-44) but went on to lose in the World Series to the Braves (90-54).

In 1996, with the introduction of the 3-division per League and Wildcard format, the Indians once again finished 1st overall (99-62) and yet didn't even make it to the World Series which was won by NYY (92-70) over the Braves (96-66).

And in 1997, a freaking Wildcard team, the Florida Marlins, won it all (as foretold in Back to the Future, of course)!

Kimota94 aka Matt said...

OK, so I went to check out the Simmons page, and what do I see but a headline screaming:

Thanks for nothing, Matt!

Clearly I'm not welcome in those parts...

The wife said...

And this accomplishment is still celebrated each year in our household...June 14th, 1994 lives on.