Deep Breaths, Brewers Fans

It turned cold very quickly this month, didn’t it?

It seems like overnight, in fact, the sunny 80 degree days of summer were traded indefinitely for brisk and breezy 50 degree days and frost advisories in the night. We’ll never be able to wear shorts again. We’ll never have the long, warm days to spend outside again. Soon the beautiful bright Wisconsin summer will grace us with her presence no more and we will be trapped in the gloomy, harsh winter for months that seem unending.

Seems a tad over dramatic, right?

That’s what happens when you focus on the future instead of enjoying the present. The future can always look gloomy, dark and dangerous because it hasn’t yet arrived. When you look ahead, it is far easier to conjure up disaster scenarios than to be hopeful – especially if you are a Brewers fan. Right now, many Brewers fans are heading for the hills, or switching gears to football and in many respects abandoning one of the most prolific seasons the team has ever had.

Well I’m not going to be one of them. I’m standing pat and dedicating my resources to supporting the cause. I still have faith.

I should clarify the statement I made above. I do have faith, but my faith is coupled with a healthy dose of logical reasoning as well. Yes, the Brewers are in a backslide – but they still have the lead. And a relatively healthy one at that. You know how many years baseball has been played professionally? 141 years. In those 141 years, only 11 of those seasons saw a team lose a double-digit division lead in the final month of the season. It just doesn’t happen that often. Teams that gain double-digit leads still go through cold streaks like every other team – and teams trailing still get hot. The difference between a trailing team and leading team is the amount of time they stay hot or cold. If August is any indication of the type of team Milwaukee is, it won’t be cold for long.

This weekend is an important one for those of us who are heading for the hills to avoid being in the path of a Brewers meltdown. Milwaukee is traveling to Cincinnati to take on the Reds. The Reds are out of the playoff picture. The Cardinals are going to Philly this weekend. Which seems more likely: The Cardinals sweeping the best team in baseball, or the Brewers leaving this weekend with a new edge on the race? Milwaukee does not play another team in contention on their way to the playoffs this year. In total, the Brewers have a 28-14 record against their opponents down the home stretch. Six of the last twelve games are played in Miller Park. There is nothing to worry about, if you look at it rationally.

Panic is word that is thrown around a lot in sports. When is the time to panic, as a fan or as an organization? The answer is never. Because panic doesn’t serve the larger purpose. Panic is a loss of reason in the face of adversity. No one was ever saved from a burning building by a panicky firefighter. No battle was ever one by the tremendous panic of an army of troops. Cool heads always prevail.

Call me optimistic if you will, but the facts are the same. Our pitching is still very good. Our lineup is still a threat. We are still leading the NL Central with twelve games to play. We are in a better position now than the ’82 Brewers were at this point in the season. Remember that in 1982 Harvey’s Wallbangers needed every bit of 162 games to take the division. As I see it they ended up doing just fine in the postseason.

Do yourselves and the team a favor, Brewers fans. Relax. Enjoy the moment. The Brewers are still ahead, and the schedule favors us – at least for the weekend. Watch the games, cheer on the Brewers, and throw ridiculous insults at the Cardinals. Support your team. Have faith. Because you know what? The Cardinals fans are doing the very same thing.

 

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