By Shawn Muller-
(CBS) So, what now?
Prior to the start of the NBA Playoffs, I thought–and quite confidently too, I might add—that I had until the Eastern Conference Finals (at the very least) before I even had to consider the possibility of the Bulls being eliminated from the playoffs.
Being a Cubs fan, the thought of the Bulls playing deep into the playoffs was very reassuring.
I wanted no part of the 2012 Major League Baseball season.
Seeing how fast the club had fallen in the National League Central standings during the month of April, I wanted nothing more than for Cubs baseball to remain on the back burner for as long as it possibly could. I guess you could say that I just needed more time to prepare myself for the thought watching the team for the remainder of the baseball season.
Three months was all I kept telling myself. If the Bulls made it to the Eastern Conference Finals again, that would allow for three months (June, July, and August) of baseball hell.
That was the goal.
I could put up with pathetic baseball for three months before football season came and swooped in to save me from sports’ ultimate purgatory.
That didn’t seem so bad.
The calendar would flip to September, football season would begin and Cubs baseball in 2012 would return to its rightful place on the back burner.
Unfortunately, this scenario will probably not become my reality.
Sure, the Bulls may stave off elimination tonight at the United Center, but funeral arrangements have already been made for this most disappointing season.
As soon as Derrick Rose went down in game one with the ACL injury, a second straight basketball season—one with just as much promise and hope–went up in flames, and when it happened, all I could do was sit and stare at the wall with a ghostly-pale blank stare on my face, wondering again, “What now?”
It just wasn’t supposed to be like this.
I am not supposed to be looking at the Cubs baseball schedule right now with any type of interest.
Instead, I should be sizing up the Bulls second round opponent and keeping tabs on the Miami Heat. I should be paying close attention to how the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs are faring out West, and judging which team I would rather the Bulls square off against in the NBA Finals.
Sadly, as game five looms, all I am left wondering is which key player on the Bulls roster is going to get hurt next.
Does this sound like sour grapes?
It should sound like sour grapes, because it is.
I am bitter about the way things have unfolded down the stretch for this team. But it is hard not to feel this way if you are a Bulls fan, isn’t it? It’s almost as if I no longer watch Bulls games wondering if the team will win. I watch the games wondering which player is going to go down next for the club.
Will it be Luol?
How about Mr. Boozer?
“Rip” Hamilton is due for another visit to the trainer’s room, isn’t he?
I can handle losing to a better team and I can handle losing if both teams are playing at full strength. But I can’t handle losing when I know it is not a fair fight.
Chicago may stave off elimination tonight in the Madhouse on Madison, but all they will be doing is just delaying the inevitable. But more importantly—and begrudgingly—for us Cubs fans, they will turn our attention to baseball much sooner than most of us had originally planned (or wanted).