I've kind of slacked off on the sports intensive talk here ever since I bailed out on the bit of trying to write about every single Rangers game during the regular season. (Failed) But it's postseason time in the Vittas household, and we mean business. So let's get to it.
The playoffs have undoubtedly started for our little Texas Rangers here in the big A(rlington), and through two games it saddens us to say things have a different feel than last year.
That's not completely surprising. Last year was such a high pretty much from the point of that giant winning streak over the summer and landing Cliff Lee that you could make the case it carried on through the playoffs. The claw and antler craze was also huge in building fan momentum. This postseason it's just seemed, I don't know, different. Yes the club reached the best record in their history, but there was no idea who their opponent would be or where they would play until the last day of the season. I think that caused a bit of uncertainty amongst playoff ticket buying fans. A quick look on StubHub revealed plenty of tickets available for each of the first two games well up until game time.
I think that we, as Ranger fans, all got a little spoiled in one sense or another by the success of last season. It's not always going to be that easy or chock full of good times. (Editor's note: Not that it was all "easy" the entire run through the playoffs last season. It did go to a final Game 5 versus the Rays. And need I bring up any of the activities during that opening ALCS game against NYY last season? I wanted to strangle someone. But I digress.)
There were many memorable moments from last year that linger with me, but one of the most lasting memories from 2010, aside from the obvious celebration of defeating the evil Yankees and reaching the World Series, took place during the ALDS opener at home. It had come fresh off the heels of taking a 2-0 lead in the series and the park was full of pent up excitement. You could literally cut it with a knife. The video to that Kid Rock song right before the lineup was introduced was awesome as well because the crowd was so spontaneously towel-waving and ear-shatteringing noisy that it brought us both goosebumps.
Then we went out and lost the next two games and hand to go to a final game in the ALDS to move on, but that's besides the point.
Fast forward to this season, and my earlier point was especially driven home after Game 1's 9-0 drubbing at the hand of the Rays. It was so miserable. It was beyond miserable. It was miserably miserable full of miserableness.
But then Game 2 happened and....a sign of life? A turnaround in the series? Too early to tell. But the crowd had more life to it, and so in turn did the Rangers. The Mike Napoli single to tie the game last night was easily the most exciting moment of this series thus far, and the crowd reacted as such.
Game 3 occurs Monday. I'm definitely much more a fan of going to Tampa tied 1-1 instead of down 2-0, so we'll see what happens.