Photo by Fernando Medina/Orlando Magic
Probably the best part about being a fan of a team is living with the belief that it could be “the year” for your guys. I work in an office with 90 SEC graduates. During the fall, I hear a ton of rabble rousing and cocksure predictions about who the most dominant football team is going to be. By far the most commonly used phrase as it relates to fanmanship is “this is our year.”
Without that hopeful sensation — that “future is bright” mentality — sports really lose their zeal. Think about how different you feel opening up the box score of last night’s game when you’re in the hunt for the top seed in the Eastern Conference as opposed to a time when you’re clawing to not finish dead last. The games even have more electricity. The crowd becomes alive. It’s as if everyone collectively tastes that hope and that thrill of possibility — “This could be our year.”
Orlando has shifted from a winning team to a losing team and one that I’ve watched closely for the past three seasons.
When I think back to the two seasons prior to this season, I can’t place a time where that hope was felt. Instead, I remember roughly 700 strenuous, laborious, and maddening days of observing Magic fans wonder what the future would hold, nitpick at bad general management decisions, and complain about the current situation.
In fact, since the 2010-11 season, there has never been a moment where it seemed like it was the Magic’s year, an interesting conundrum considering those were winning seasons with playoff berths. The Magic being a winning team was not all that great because there were so many roadblocks for them to become an elite or championship-caliber team. There was always a sense of being stuck in good but not great territory. Worst of all, there was no escape.