When Your Teams Are Out, the Sports Drought Begins

Gene ZarnickCorrespondent IMay 17, 2010

My drought has begun.  As tough as it is to admit it, I have to face the facts.  Ever since Thursday night after the Cavs/Celtics game there is only one thing I can think about, football.

That's what the drought is; it's the period of time over the summer where all we have to watch on television is baseball.  Most years the drought begins in mid-June for me, but after two devastating defeats on back-to-back nights of my favorite teams last Wednesday and Thursday, then I've come to the conclusion that my drought has begun now.

The Pens losing to the Canadians has made me disinterested in the NHL playoffs now, and the Cavs getting knocked out by the Celtics has swayed me away from the NBA also.  I'll follow them both, I'll watch some or most of the games, but I just don't have any emotional stake in either of the sports now.

Part of the problem this year is that both my teams had legitimate championship aspirations.  The Penguins had the red carpet laid out for them.  The top three seeded teams ahead of them all get knocked out in the first round, and they got to play the No. 8 seed with home ice throughout the playoffs.  

The setting just seemed perfect.  

It's the last year of Mellon Arena and the team could've gone to the Stanley Cup for their third straight year.  It was there for the taking, but it got stolen away so quickly by the Montreal Canadians.  I'm sort of still in disbelief that it happened to us.

If that wasn't bad enough, the next day I had to endure the third consecutive pathetic display of basketball that the Cleveland Cavaliers tried to win with.  After the Game 5 loss two nights before, I don't think many Cavalier fans expected the team to win the series, let alone even get to a Game 7.  

To make matters even worse, there is constant banter about where LeBron will go next. All the talk is tiring. My feeling on LeBron staying or leaving can be summed up by my friend James Simon when he said, "I've thought about it a lot and I'm just not sure."

I guess I feel the same way.  I guess I just want everything to play out and we'll wait until July 1 and then we'll see.  At this point I'm more disappointed that I can't watch anymore Cavs games or attend anymore playoff games than anything.  Do I care about LeBron? Yeah, but I just don't care about him right now.

I've haven't had two heartbreaks like that in the same week since Michael Jackson and Billy Mays died, and I hope to never have it happen again.

So that is why my drought has started.  The drought is really the worst time of the sports year.  It doesn't mean that there aren’t any sports to watch or there won't be anything to be entertaining enough for me to write, but it's just the slow period before our beloved football begins.

Most years I am lucky, either my teams make it to the finals or they aren't supposed to make it so it's not as punishing to my psyche, but this year is different.  For the other people who are in my shoes, I feel your pain.  For those of you that will hit the drought next month, cherish this time because it won't last long.

Maybe the drought is a good thing.  The early emergence of it this year has made me appreciate getting into the playoffs much more and not just taking it for granted when you have a team that is "supposed" to make it.  

It has made me appreciate football even more then I thought it could possibly be appreciated and it's even made me focus more on enjoying watching baseball, which has been pretty tough to do the last 17 years when you are a Pittsburgh Pirates fan.

Maybe the drought is a bad thing.  With every drought of something comes an abundance of another thing and this year it seems like the LeBron James sweepstakes.  I don't know if I can endure an entire summer of this nonsense.  Even once July 1st hits we are still going to have to hear about the ramifications of every team that was associated with him even more.

Is the drought a good thing? Is it a bad thing?  

"I've thought a lot about it and I'm just not sure."