I'm a big sports fan. With the odd exception of sports that involve goals (specifically hockey and soccer), I love it all. While most of my favorite players are big names, I certainly find myself rooting for the underdog more often than not.
In the past week two unknown players have had maybe their greatest moments on the big stage. In the U.S. open a Frenchman named Havret who was ranked 391st in the world had a chance to win on the last few holes. In the end a top 20 player came through (like they usually do) and won the tournament.
In tennis 148th ranked Nicholas Mahut was part of the longest tennis match in professional history, lasting more than 11 hours over the span of three days (the match was stopped because of darkness twice!). It was just a second round match in a tournament with 128 players and Mahut was unable to outlast his opponent. But he was still part of the biggest story at Wimbledon this year and part of a match that will be remembered for years to come.
How do you think those guys feel right now? They can't feel bad. But I'm sure playing a practice round to get ready for the next cookie cutter golf tournament or hitting backhands to gear up for some second rate tennis event is not enough the get the juices flowing for these guys.
That's a little bit how I feel right now. I got relatively close to something special at this years WSOP. I was a long way from winning an event, but making day 2 three times I wasn't that far from making a final table which in and of itself is a big deal.
More to the point it was 9 days where I was part of something big and the chance of something big happening was right there, just out of my grasp. It was exhausting, but exhilarating.
When the time came to head home, I was more than ready. I missed my family desperately and my day to day life is great on just about every level. But it's not so easy to step out of the bright lights and just snap back into the normal routine.
I'm sure that Havret and Mahut are already thinking about next year (or the next major). And however hard I try, I can't help but do the same.