Looking back on it, I’m not happy with how the inaugural season of the Sunday Cycle ended last October. Quite obviously, I’m also not happy with how the 2014 Brewers season ended. I’ve since drawn a number of similarities between the two disappointing conclusions that shaped the end of my summer six months ago.
The Sunday Cycle was the result of an impulsive Facebook rant glorifying a surprising first week of the 2014 season. Fresh off a road sweep vs defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox, The Cycle essentially wrote itself that sunny Sunday afternoon. The Brewers had won four of their first six games vs talented opponents. The hitting was timely; the pitching was flawless. Seven days later, they were riding a nine game winning streak that had catapulted them to the top of national power rankings.
I can’t emphasize enough how easy those first couple articles were to write. It was an analyst’s dream- take your pick from a lineup of glorious stat lines about your favorite team’s most successful start in franchise history, and share that info with a fan base that is already dreaming of a World Series. The Cinderella story was finally playing out in Milwaukee, and I had enough people reading and commenting on The Cycle to keep me excited to write every Sunday.
In short, it was easy.
I frequently argued with readers about the validity of what the 2014 Brewers had accomplished midway through the season. They weren’t just winning games; they were playing winning baseball- there’s a difference. They were led by a rotation that gave them a chance to win every single day. They were backed up by a bullpen that was fresh and properly managed. They had swagger. The team I watched daily from March through June was a true playoff contender.
I’m not going to sit here and recap what went wrong beginning in late July of last year. It’s just too depressing. Mention any aspect regarding the sport of baseball and the Brewers probably executed it poorly for the final quarter of the season. Looking back on it, I can pinpoint the exact moment in late August when I realized adjusting my budget to account for multiple playoff ticket purchases was a premature move (unexpected savings are just the worst).
Much like the 2014 Brewers season, the Sunday Cycle came unraveled before my very eyes. Over the course of six months, it slowly morphed from an enjoyable Sunday evening activity into a dreaded homework assignment. I hated watching what was happening, why on earth would I want to write about it? It wasn’t just bad, it was one of the worst collapses in the history of the game. Simply put, I lost the will to write (and eat, and sleep and stuff… kidding… kind of…). I didn’t even attempt a week 26 recap. I let a 2014 season review article sit unfinished for weeks, and eventually just scrapped it. I wanted nothing to do with the 2014 Milwaukee Brewers.
One of the unexpected byproducts of my first season of The Cycle was the appreciation I’ve gained for sports writers that cover teams on a permanent basis. These writers churn out content DAILY. If you’re of the belief that little goes on during a standard nine-inning baseball game, imagine trying to write daily articles during the offseason. I truly tip my cap to those who indulge us fans by writing so consistently, regardless of the wins and losses. I don’t think I could stop being a fan in the interest of making unbiased commentary, as many writers are forced to do. The most enjoyable part of writing for The Squeaky Curd is that I don’t have to hide from my fandom; I get to shamelessly pull for the Brewers week in and week out.
Last October, I was certain that I was not going to continue writing the Sunday Cycle. In fact, I’ll even admit to claiming to be “not excited” for baseball last December (I was emotional, and had just discovered the bourbon Old Fashioned). As is always the case, though, the thoughts of opening day have me back and anxiously counting down the hours.
So without further ado, an announcement: I’m coming back.
I plan to share some long-winded musings on the offseason, spring training, and my thoughts headed into 2015 the night before opening day. From there, I promise to write a recap every Sunday, regardless of how many games above or below .500 the Brewers may be. In addition, If you like witty in-game commentary, follow me on twitter @RPetrie10. You’ll find that my twitter is also the source of all my “insider information” (I just bug beat writers who do this for a living). The 2015 Sunday Cycle will look a little different than last year’s articles. We’ll cover those changes as we get closer to the season.
To all those that take the time to read the recap: discussing and arguing with you is often the highlight of my Monday mornings. It is because of you that the Sunday Cycle will live to see another season.
Let’s Play Ball.