Excitement for sports fans ran deep Thursday night as two thrilling events were unfolding at the same time.
The St. Louis Cardinals and LA Galaxy both took a 1-0 lead in their respective contests, but the teams went separate ways soon after their scores. The Cardinals lost their slim lead, and the game, 2-1 in the ninth and now have their series even at one game a piece. The Galaxy held on to their tight margin and made it a victory to advance to the quarterfinals in the CONCACAF Champions League.
The Cardinals, playing at home, built their lead against the Texas Rangers in game 2 of the World Series a little bit before the LA Galaxy did the same to their Honduran counterpart in Tegucigalpa. What made flipping the channels fun is what always makes it fun for the sports fan: the drama, the not knowing what will happen next factor, and the delight in watching athletes perform under big-time pressure.
For the Cardinals, it was a major lost opportunity that pundits will not let them forget for quite some time. Albert Pujols will have a hard time making up for a crucial error he made in that fatal 9th. This game might have cost the Cardinals their chance at winning the World Series.
For the Galaxy, the eked-out, pressurized, thriller-of-a win solidifies their franchise’s reputation and gives the biggest U.S. Soccer stars, David Beckham and Landon Donovan, another shot at FIFA’s Club World Cup. They have a long way to go, but the possibility remains. Of course, signing Beckham must take place first, as the remaining games for Champions League don’t get started back up until spring of next year.
The playoff atmosphere and do or die nature of the games made for fun television. Many sports fans may have missed this golden opportunity to flip channels. It’s too bad, and what’s worse is that they don’t even know what they missed.
Probably, many sports bars around the country missed out too. For all of the moments in between pitches on the diamonds, eyes could have been diverted to the Galaxy’s quest, no remote necessary.
Soccer and its most popular U.S. club team don’t get the respect they so rightfully deserve.