The Texas Rangers lost Game 7 of the World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals, giving baseball fans a great and historic game, and the FOX network some huge ratings. (25.4 million viewers) While Texas and fans will admit this was a highly competitive match, they can’t help but be disappointed if they were rooting for Nolan Ryan’s favorite team to do the unprecedented and make history for the Lone Star State.
Let’s face it, Texas as a state, is often derided by the press (for various political issues) and so its sports are perhaps the Lone Star State’s saving grace in terms of mainstream America. We all cheered when the Dallas Mavericks finally won the NBA Championships earlier in 2011. However, it hurts to watch the Dallas Cowboys wallow in their billion dollar muck; the team most recently lost to the Philadelphia Eagles, 24-7. (The Eagles actually took the lead 24-0 for three quarters of the game)
Dallas is a wildly uneven city when it comes to sports and championships. Some seasons they play phenomenally (for a time they were keeping up with New Orleans in 2009, finishing at 11-5), and sometimes they trip over their own boots. While the Dallas Mavericks‘ win reminded us of what Texas is capable of, the humbling of the Texas Rangers reminds us that glory in sports is transitive. At least we can count on the fact that there is a great deal of competition in Texas, and if one team is low on the teetering bar, another team is hopefully riding high. If you’re too blue about the Cowboys, then turn your attention over to the Houston Texans, who most recently defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars, building momentum to perhaps their first AFC South Divisional Title.
One thing you have to give Texas though, is that this is a sports state that knows how to make history–win or lose. Game 7 of the World Series saw a great improvement by the Rangers, who were actually one strike away from winning the game and the series on a number of occasions. The Rangers played their best season yet and repeated their success last year by making it to the very end–indeed, their second World Series appearance in just two seasons.
Texas remains a team to watch, and one of the richest and most popular states for all professional sports. However, just like the weather, it’s hard to predict a successful season.