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In honor of actor Andy Garcia and his (unintentionally) hilarious reaction to Sofia (Mary Corleone) Coppola's death scene in "The Godfather, Part III."
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New Orleans Knights

Posted 04-11-2009 at 03:58 PM by TommyJohn
Updated 04-12-2009 at 10:59 AM by TommyJohn

Knight fans, for their own part, felt their nerves frayed raw toward the end of the season. As the season wore on and the lead changed hands several times, most couldn’t help but wonder when the other shoe was going to drop and the Knights would blow it. The memory of the great “Lost Weekend” of 1982 still rankled many. That was the time that the team needed just one win in their final three games of the season to salt away the division crown from the Atlanta Braves, who had opened the season 13-0 before playing .500 the rest of the way. The Knights were unable to do it, losing three straight to drop from 89-70 to 89-73. Atlanta meanwhile won two of their last three to tie the Knights and force a one game playoff.

Every Knight fan remembered that night all too well. The Knights jumped out to a 9-2 lead after six innings. Things got nervous when the Braves erupted for five runs in the 7th to close the gap to 9-7, but things seemed OK in the 8th when reliever Juan Perez retired the first two Braves in order. The next two got on base before ace reliever Dave Roberts was called in to put out the fire in the form of Dale Murphy. Instead, Roberts yielded a three run homer to the Braves slugger, only the third he had allowed all season. He became so unhinged by it that he gave up a homer to 1st baseman Chris Chambliss on the very next pitch.

The Knights were so stunned by this turn of events that they went down meekly and quietly in the top half of the 9th. Braves reliever Gene Garber needed only four pitches to put down the Knights and clinch the division, while Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium erupted in celebration around them.

The experience of 1982 had given Knight fans a reason to be wary. They did not trust their team. Fate, God, nature, “the baseball gods,” however you wanted to call it, seemed to have it in for them, especially enjoying the pain it inflicted on all of them during the “Lost Weekend.”

There were the next few years after that, of course, when the team would come close, only to let it slip away. There was 1984, when they finished a mere two games behind the eventual NL champion Padres. The same situation occurred in 1986, although the Knights were well out of it when Houston clinched, only a late rally brought them as close as two games.
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