To: The Baltimore Orioles
From: A New Fan
Subject: The Streak
And on the seventh day, the Orioles lost ...
I know, I know, that was too easy. But these are hard times - hard Sundays, in particular. With last Sunday's 2-1 loss to the Red Sox, the O's continued their spooky, inexplicable streak of losing on Sunday. The team has lost 14 consecutive Sunday games. There are 26 Sunday games in the regular season, and so, according to some snappy math, Baltimore has already lost more than half of those games. And the streak is lost on no one.
"I'd certainly like to get rid of it. I have too many friends e-mailing me and reminding me about it," Orioles manager Dave Trembley told The Sun.
Desperate times have called for desperate marketing.
At the July 6 Orioles and Rangers game, the team launched a promotion called "We Win, You Win." If the O's won that Sunday, fans in attendance wouldn't be sorry.
"Anyone who does help us break this hex will be rewarded with a complimentary ticket to a future game," said a team spokesman, Greg Bader. But the promotion essentially turned to "We Lost, You Lost" when the hexed O's lost 11-10 to Texas. No freebies. But the Orioles say the promotion will probably be extended to the next Sunday home game.
It's quite the streak, by the way. The gatekeeper of baseball statistics, the Elias Sports Bureau, says the Orioles have tied the modern record for consecutive Sunday losses. In 1964, the New York Mets lost on 14 straight Sundays. The all-time record belongs to the St. Louis Browns, which lost 17 straight Sunday games in 1898 and which, by the way, moved to Baltimore and became the Orioles in 1954. The O's have a chance to tie that record Aug. 3 against Seattle, but let's not project such ugliness.
Our game plan is to put the streak into perspective, because for all their big salaries and big skills, the Baltimore Orioles should know they are not alone with their Sunday blues. Didn't the Ravens lose most of their Sunday games last season? OK, it's not the same. Just trying to help.
Although we're just talking about baseball, Sundays altogether can be rough on folks. It's called Stormy Monday, but Sundays can bring in the funk like no other day of the week. Don't get us started on "Bloody Sunday" - that whole Northern Ireland vs. British soldiers deadly scuffle thing. "Black Sunday" has a dozen Wikipedia references - from U.S. dust storms to deadly Australian tidal waves. What's the worse thing you can say about a "Black Friday"? It's one of the busiest shopping day of the year. Pretty scary stuff.
Friday always gets good press. As you know, a restaurant chain is named after Friday - "T.G.I. Friday's." Why thank God? For mozzarella sticks? Then comes Saturday with its night fever, and Saturday night is all right for fighting, and Mr. Saturday is so cool because he can sleep in the next day, which brings us back to Sundays. (The best day of the week is Thursday: so forward thinking, so hopeful.)
Sundays never set out to be bummers; they weren't born that way, after all. But the day can be one moody son of a gun.
Do you feel uninspired, melancholy or anxious on Sunday? Feel nervous about school or work come Monday? Feel a subterranean sadness rooted in childhood perhaps?
Feel hung over?
Welcome to Sunday.
And so much is closed - except churches and golf courses, both fine institutions. But what if you crave a chicken club sandwich and waffle fries from your neighborhood Chick-fil-A? Furthermore, what if you like to watch the Orioles on Sunday while eating a chicken club sandwich with waffle fries? Two things: Chick-fil-A is closed on Sunday, and for the past three months or so, the O's have been closed on Sunday, too.
Where can one turn for that elusive Sunday happiness? To song?
For those of a certain hallucinatory generation, you might remember Jefferson Airplane's "Young Girl Sunday Blues," the refrain of which is: Today is made of yesterday and tomorrow. Young girl Sunday, and all her sorrow. This doesn't help matters. Nick Cage and the Bad Seeds (you know them, right?) have a song called "Sunday's Slave." Our sufferings are countless. Our pleasures are motley few. Spend all day digging my grave. Now go get Sunday's slave. Doesn't exactly have that "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" feel to it.
Etta James' cover of "A Sunday Kind of Love" is more like it:
I want a Sunday kind of love
A love to last past Saturday night
And I'd like to know it's more than love at first sight
I want a Sunday kind of love.
So, Orioles, give us some love Sunday. If you win, we win. If you lose, we're stuck again with our Sunday blues - and no waffle fries.