“There’s always next year” is a phrase thrown around way too casually in the world of sports. After a disappointing season, those words are supposed to comfort fans and give them some hope that in the offseason, whether it’s through trades or free agency, things will happen that will make their team better.
Imagine that your town was granted a new sports team and they had a fantastic first season. The players got along and performed at an extremely high level. They executed the playbook to near perfection and the playcalls themselves were beautifully drawn up. The team isn’t as flashy or in-your-face as others, but they’ve got grit and heart and don’t quit.
Except no one showed up to watch them play.
Sure there were a few instant diehards who came to every game and filled up a section or two. Sometimes they brought a friend and maybe that friend stuck around for a few more games. But compared to other cities, the attendance in this building is laughable.
Now the season is over and no one besides that rabid fanbase knows how good this team really was. The team may have made a blurb or two in some national publications as “the best new team you’re not watching” but that didn’t get the masses to check it out.
With the season over, the owners have announced that they’re going to contract the franchise and there’s nothing that can be done about it. They know the team was good, but, financially, it didn’t make sense to keep them around for a second season.
Even if attendance had doubled, the numbers would have paled in comparison to other franchises that were also contracted in previous years.
The team is gone and while you’ll always have the memories of that one magical season, your mind wanders and you can’t help but to think about what could have been.
I found out that my favorite new show of the fall television season got the axe on Monday morning. You may have heard of “Terriers”. Billed as “Too Small To Fail,” low ratings inevitably killed the most enjoyable week-to-week television experience I’ve had in years — probably since the fifth season of “24.”
No, it wasn’t about dogs per se. Not actual dogs at least. It was about two unlicensed private eyes — one a former cop, the other a former crook — who try to do the best they can for themselves, their town and the women they love. Not real dogs. Real underdogs.
Hank and Britt were poor and scruffy and, man, did they feel real. The chemistry between the cast is what sucked me in initially. Likable characters placed in well-written scenes that treated its audience with respect. Subtlety and nuance were a few of the many rewards the show granted to its loyal viewers.
“Terriers” had a team that was easy to root for. And they were good.
This year we’ve lost both “Terriers” and “Party Down,” and another favorite of mine, “Parks and Recreation,” was pushed back to midseason. Quality, intelligent television has taken a serious hit over the last few months and unlike sports, the guarantee of a “next season” isn’t there. The institutions may remain and even the things you love may change into something completely different.
“Terriers” ended on a high note and those that grew to love the show will always have that. There will be no July 1 nightmare where the fan-favorites leave, nor will anyone sign an extension and hang around well past their welcome.
With “Terriers,” the creative team got to tell the story they wanted without compromise. And we got 13 episodes of magnificent television that we can relive on DVD whenever we want. That will always be there. Unfortunately, there is no “next year.” That’s life.