Next is al­ways there

The Compass - - SPORTS - Ni­cholas Mercer Ni­cholas Mercer is a re­porter/pho­tog­ra­pher with The Compass. He lives in Bay Roberts and can be reached at nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca.

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.