As Crash Davis so prophetically noted in Bull Durham, streaks are rare creatures, and not to be trifled with.
It is true, as I noted to Jill and Eric, my sister-in-law and her partner over Thanksgiving from our house near Lake Tahoe where the family was sequestered during the holiday.
For, though we have no television in our mountain retreat, we do have DSL (just in case we have to/need to work for some reason). But, after dinner last Turkey Day, we had to track the Niners and Ravens on our Iphones (clearly indicating just how bucolic the surroundings are), Jill moaning every time I reported the score in Baltimore's favor.
When the game was over, I tried to console noting that first the San Franciscans had come seemingly from out of nowhere to win eight straight games, then noting as did the esteemed Mr. Davis, that a streak like that in the NFL was pretty good.
"In fact," I continued, this is a good time to lose a game, because winning nine of anything in a row is harder than winning eight of anything. And, like doubling factors, winning ten is that much harder than winning nine, and so on. Furthermore, the key to winning in the post season is indeed to be the hot team at the right time, and since streaks are so hard to maintain at that level, better to take a loss, regroup, and start a new string of wins now rather than walk into a wall when there is no tomorrow."
I don't think that made Jill feel any better, nor do I expect the Packers loss to the Chiefs yesterday will make my Green Bay friends like Greg Ambrosius and JP Kastner and Derek Van Riper feel any better. But, they should trust me: it is for their team's own good. And, well, if you think keeping such a streak is not as hard as I suggest, then explain why the mediocre Kansas City team--bereft of their starting QB--were the ones who managed to bring the string to an end?
I actually think this makes the Pack that much tougher going down the stretch, and able to play looser than say the Pats of a few years back who were beaten by the Giants.
But, on a funny Sunday for upsets all over, the Zen of the Packers loss was offset by another broken streak, that of the Colts who were able to get off the schneid winning their first game of the season.
So perfect, huh?
As for me, my Sunday of playoff hopes was pretty well dashed thanks to the Ravens terrible performance on Sunday night, where two of my teams in the post-season were ostensibly knocked out thanks to minus three points by the league's #1 defense in allowing 34 points with not even a sack, and just a 112 yards of total offense from Ray Rice.
Even worse, my opponent in one game played the Seahawks defense, good for 37 points and a swing of 40 points, enough to bury my highest scoring team in the league and our Super Bowl sugarplum visions this Christmas week.
Like I said, it is all about peaking at the right time.