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Rangers and Giants: Teams of Destiny

Oct 27, 2010, 8:53 AM EDT

Manifest Destiny

In the past 72 hours I have been on a handful of radio shows, and each time the host has asked me if I agreed that the Rangers looked like a “team of destiny.”  Well, not all of them. Some of them have asked me if I agreed that the Giants looked like  a “team of destiny.” Some quick Googling reveals multiple articles and forums in which the media covering and the fans rooting for both teams are considering whether their guys truly are fated to win this thing. The only person I’ve seen dismiss the concept out of hand is Jeff Francoeur, and since he’s wrong about just about everything maybe there’s something to this.

As a guy who doesn’t believe in fate or destiny or any related form of magical thinking, these questions have flummoxed me. I mean, man, even if the invisible hand of fate was making all of this happen, you’d think it would find a more efficacious avatar than Juan Uribe through which to work. But like I said, I’m out of my depth here.

But a lot of people do believe in this kind of thing, bless their little hearts. They truly believe that their team is destined to win. Which is fairly nuts. I mean, even if you find a Yankees fan with the most stereotypical sense of entitlement imaginable, they never say that theirs is a team of destiny. They think the Yankees win because of fairly simply yet immutable laws of nature, perfectly observable by scientists. And they’re probably closer to being right than the team of destiny crowd. There’s probably a lesson in here too: it’s only fans of flawed underdogs who believe that their team is a Team of Destiny. I mean, something had to help them get past the Phillies and the Yankees of the world, right?

The saddest thing about this is that one of the teams is going to have to win, thus making half of the Destiny Crowd believe they were right.  Who knows what other silly beliefs such a turn of events will bolster? If the fates deigned that their baseball team worthy of a championship, maybe they will make Junior’s strep throat go away without antibiotics. Maybe they’ll make that work-from-home business pan out.  One of these teams winning is going to screw up the social order, dammit, I just know it.

And for the losers? For the people who believed in fate, yet had their hopes and dreams crushed by a World Series loss? A descent into nihilism. Which is way worse than even believing that your team is fated to win.  I mean, say what you like about the tenets of Divine Predestination,  Dude, but at least it’s an ethos.

  1. roadduck99 - Oct 27, 2010 at 9:12 AM

    I mean, say what you like about the tenets of Divine Predestination, Dude, but at least it’s an ethos.
    Greatest line of the day.

    So how’s that work-from-home thing going for you, Craig?

  2. Jonny 5 - Oct 27, 2010 at 9:32 AM

    I may or may not believe in destiny.

    Abraham Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846.
    John F. Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946.

    Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860.
    John F. Kennedy was elected President in 1960.

    Both were particularly concerned with civil rights.
    Both wives lost their children while living in the White House.

    Both Presidents were shot on a Friday.
    Both Presidents were shot in the head

    Lincoln ‘s secretary was named Kennedy.
    Kennedy’s Secretary was named Lincoln .

    Both were assassinated by Southerners.
    Both were succeeded by Southerners named Johnson.

    Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Lincoln, was born in 1808.
    Lyndon Johnson, who succeeded Kennedy, was born in 1908.

    John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated Lincoln, was born in 1839. Lee Harvey Oswald, who assassinated Kennedy, was born in 1939.

    Both assassins were known by their three names.
    Both names are composed of fifteen letters.

    Lincoln was shot at the theater named ‘Ford’.
    Kennedy was shot in a car called ‘ Lincoln ‘ made by ‘Ford’.

    Lincoln was shot in a theater and his assassin ran and hid in a warehouse.
    Kennedy was shot from a warehouse and his assassin ran and hid in a theater.

    Booth and Oswald were killed before their trials.

    Maybe it doesn’t prove anything, but it’s pretty ironic, dontcha think?

    • Richard In Big D - Oct 27, 2010 at 10:24 AM

      Well, nobody’s getting killed here in Dallas, which, for the poor history students under 50 is where Kennedy was killed. After the Rangers dispose of the Giants, though, I’m sure that Pat Robertson will claim that God smiled on Texas, and frowned on San Fransisco, much as he did when Katrina devastated New Orleans, sinful place that it is. Vegas better watch out!

    • Reflex - Oct 27, 2010 at 1:35 PM

      No, I don’t think it proves anything or is ironic. Its easy to take two figures and find comparisons after the fact.

      Read here for why thats really not very amazing: http://www.snopes.com/history/american/lincoln-kennedy.asp

      • Jonny 5 - Oct 27, 2010 at 4:01 PM

        You actually snoped that?? Wow….. After reading the snopes thing i still find it very ironic. But that’s just me.

      • Reflex - Oct 27, 2010 at 4:51 PM

        I use Snopes all the time. Fantastic resource for debunking stuff like this.

        I don’t really know whats ironic about it. As explained in the article, a good portion of the assertions are flat out incorrect, another chunk exaggerated, and the rest expected. Its one of those things that sounds cool till you really think about it.

        Given enough background information, I could likely put together a similiar sounding statement about Chris Forientino and YankessFanLen.

      • Utley's Hair - Oct 27, 2010 at 11:56 PM

        I want to see that writeup.

      • Utley's Hair - Oct 27, 2010 at 11:57 PM

        Better yet: Fiorentino and Old Gator.

      • Reflex - Oct 27, 2010 at 11:58 PM

        I would pay good money for that one. No wooden nickles, just the real deal.

    • frankvzappa - Oct 27, 2010 at 1:54 PM

      a lot of interesting stuff here, except that Oswald didnt kill Kennedy, the secret government in collaboration with the mob did…this means that the coincidences you describe did not just happen, but were made to happen, just like everything in politics…considering the secret brotherhoods obsession with symbolism and the occult, this is not far-fetched…

      “If anything happens in politics, you can bet that it was planned to happen that way.” –FDR

      • Reflex - Oct 27, 2010 at 2:07 PM

        *laff* Ok, that was an amusing remark. Thanks for coming up with the perfect reply!

      • Bochy's Head/Timmy's Bong - Oct 27, 2010 at 2:24 PM

        wow, you really are frank zappa, aren’t you?

      • Jonny 5 - Oct 27, 2010 at 4:02 PM

        DUDE! The hat industry killed off kennedy. EVERYONE knows that. Right? i mean he was the very first POTUS not to wear a formal hat. He was playing with fire if you ask me…

  3. innocentbystander0 - Oct 27, 2010 at 12:05 PM

    I’m as atheist as they come, so I never buy into this stuff (hmmm…maybe it’s because of the Yankee fan stuff Craig mentioned). But there was one time I allowed myself to get sort of weak. It was the 2001 WS. It was probably more hope for the people of NY to give them *something* to enjoy after 9/11 (yes, I understand winning a stupid sporting event does not erase the loss of life). Then the 2 improbable comebacks in Games 4 and 5 happened and it just felt like…destiny? Who knows. Of course Arizona wound up winning in 7 and I lost faith. Good thing too, because I would hate to be controlled by religion.

  4. Utley's Hair - Oct 27, 2010 at 12:22 PM

    “The saddest thing about this is that one of the teams is going to have to win, thus making half of the Destiny Crowd believe they were right.”

    Not necessarily, according to your “Best World Series preview” post from yesterday, which included Sullivan’s assertion that “One of these teams will win four games. The other probably won’t.” So that leaves the door open for the first 4-4 tie in seven-game-series history.

  5. merkleboner - Oct 27, 2010 at 1:34 PM

    The die hard San Francisco fans know the Giants are destined to break our hearts.

    • frankvzappa - Oct 27, 2010 at 1:57 PM

      break your hearts? they made it to the damn World Series for christ’s sake…how bout some appreciation? the Rangers have Cliff Lee, the ride is over, enjoy what you got…

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