I told him I would no longer root for the Orioles or the Ravens.
Hey, it’s the least I can do for him. Forget about halfhearted allegiances to teams that, had he not lived there, I would only have had a passing interest in. These are trying times.
It’s a sad situation. They have a young child and my friend uprooted from his home and career in Missouri in 2010 to move to Baltimore to get married. And what makes it worse is the way he found out.
He told me he went to his doctor that fateful day for a colonoscopy. For the uninitiated, that’s when sadists run a plumber’s snake up your tailpipe and take pictures of your inner workin’s. (My former mother-in-law once had this done. She was offended for some reason when I asked if she had any wallet-sized photos of the procedure that I could have to remember her with.)
Anyway, my friend had that done and, because he was under anesthesia, his wife drove him home. There, as he continued to recover, she told him she wanted to end the marriage.
“So,” I told him. “You had a pain in the butt twice today.”
I know. I am a sensitive guy.
There’s nothing you can really say to someone in a situation like this. The ol’ “It’ll get better” isn’t appropriate. We’re both old enough to know it won’t get better for a while. “Hang in there” is old hat, and the trite “See this as an opportunity, not a pitfall” is too cliche, too Up With People sweetness that neither of us believe.
So, I can only do what I can do. I followed the Orioles for the past three baseball seasons, hoping for a decent year for him since he lived there. My friend is not much of a baseball fan, but he did go to Oriole Park at Camden Yards to watch a game or two. He also saw the city celebrate the Ravens’ Super Bowl win in February.
It’ll be a bit tougher to drop the Orioles. Their team looks good this year and I’ve always liked manager Buck Showalter. Chris Davis is having a career year at the All-Star break and the Orioles’ history with Palmer and Boog and Brooks Robinson is fun to read about.
The Ravens will be a bit easier to forget. I was born in Pittsburgh and grew up on football during the Bradshaw years with the Steelers. Now I can fully root for Pittsburgh to trounce Baltimore.
Dropping a team or two in honor of a friend who is going through tough times may be a bit harsh, but it’s what sports friends do. And, although it may be a pain in the butt to do this, it won’t be as bad as what he went through.