by Different Matt

SCOTTSDALE, AZ – For those of you that think winning cures all that ails you, I beg to differ. After all, I am Differ(nt) Matt, and I recently found myself in a YMCA rec room where the smell of coffee and cigarettes linger in the air. I was there with other lost souls, sitting in folding chairs assembled in a semi circle. A Mediator asked who would like to go next. After a long awkward pause, the faces all turned to me. I stood up.

Different Matt: “Hi, my name is Different Matt, and I’m a deny-aholic.”

Mediator: “Welcome, Different Matt. Go on.”

Different Matt: “I want to admit something that has been eating at me for over five years now. I’ve been in denial for so long that I’ve almost forgotten what I am in denial about. Now I think its time to admit it.”

Group: (Off the Mediator’s nod) “Please continue, Different Matt.”


Different Matt: “I’m just going to come out and say it… In 2004, the Yankees blew a 3-games to zero (I quote with my fingers) lead against the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS. This is the first time I’ve ever said that. When it happened, I blocked it out of my head with the help of my good friend Jim Beam. I spent days on end drinking to forget everything that had happened. I avoided the newspapers for weeks and the television for months. When I did watch television again and I saw video of the Red Sox celebrating, I convinced myself that it was all staged for the movie Fever Pitch.

Mediator: “I liked that movie. But please continue.”


Different Matt: “It was much easier for me to deny that the Red Sox had surmounted an ‘insurmountable’ deficit against the Yankees than to accept it. To me, October of 2004 was just a bad drunken dream. I didn’t have to deal with the humiliation of being the only team in sports history to blow a 3-0 lead. I didn’t have to live with the fact that the Yankees choked in a John Starksian way. To me it never happened. When the Red Sox won again in 2007, I acted as if that was the first time the Sox had won since 1918. When Johnny Damon came to the Yankees, it wasn’t such a big deal since I was in denial. I ignored the fact that Damon had put a few nails in the Yankees’ coffin in Game 7 in 2004… Actually, the f*#king guy nailed the coffin shut, shoved it in a ditch, and encased it in cement.”

Mediator: “He did, indeed. Please go on.”

Different Matt: “Its time for me to admit that the Red Sox beat the Yankees in the
2004 ALCS. I can now begin the healing process. Congratulations, Red Sox fans. You did it. You beat the Yankees, tiled all over ‘The Curse of the Bambino,’ and won the World Series.”


The mediator stands. The Group follows suit.

Mediator: “Thank you, Different Matt. That was very brave of you. You’re on your way to recovery.”

The Group applauds.

A fat guy across the semicircle in a Jim Kelly jersey, who upon any mention of the Buffalo Bills losing four consecutive Super Bowls, would piss himself and forget who he was for a half-hour, walks over to me and gives me a hug.

Fat Bills Fan: “That was beautiful man. Beautiful.”

He smelled like chicken wings.

It was then that I considered relapsing and going back into my state of denial. After all, Denial had to be better than sympathy from a Bills fan.

Rex O’Rourke, tomorrow.


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www.MeetTheMatts.com started out as a NY Mets website and organically grew into an entity covering all professional sports. Our daily contributors, as diverse as they may be, share two important traits: -They toil for the "love of the game..." -They have a sense of humor. This is, after all, sports entertainment.