Next is always there
As people who watch sports, we always ask the inevitable question. What’s next? It doesn’t matter whether your team is a winner, a loser or caught somewhere between being successful or being the Toronto Maple Leafs, you’re going to ask what’s next.
On a Saturday night in the shed, your group of friends is going to discuss prospects, possible changes and whether player X should be traded for the betterment of the team.
It’s a discussion that may happen over a wobbly pop or two and could produce some heated, dare I say it, shouting matches.
That’s because as much as sports is about the now, it is just as much about what’s next.
Who is going to play for the team next year?
What are they going to look like? Who will coach it? You know, a losing team will say, ‘ Well, there is always next year.’ Just ask the Buffalo Sabres or the Milwaukee Brewers. They’ve been saying it for years.
Heck, even closer to home, the Toronto Blue Jays haven’t made a playoff appearance since the World Series teams of the early 90s.
There have been winning seasons in the interim, but nothing you’d call great.
I think that fixation on the future is what keeps us, as fans, going. Maybe it’s that stud pitcher toiling in the minors, or the ace assistant alongside the lame duck head coach.
The future is what keeps the games intriguing. For example, when your team’s farm club visited Mile One Centre this season, chances are you made your way down to the rink. Why? You wanted to see what was next and who could be donning the jersey next season.
There is always another Connor McDavid, or some facsimile, to keep the masses sated.
Even in basketball, teams will say, ‘We got next.’
They’re next in line to compete or contend. See a similar word? In sports, there is always a ‘next.’
The next play, the next pass and next year; all have a prominent space in the sports pantheon. They’re right beside perfect game, natural hat trick and the triple-double.
After a couple of losing seasons, the next one will always be there. That is, until, next year turns out be exactly like this year — a lost season of crushed hopes and abandoned dreams.
The future is what keeps the games intriguing. For example, when your team’s farm club visited Mile One Centre this season, chances are you made your way down to the rink.