It's funny. I grew up a Braves fan and except the rare case of 1982, they always were out of it long before now until 1991. (I don't remember 1969 when they won the division and got sweep by Miracle Mets. I remember going to games when I was about 5 but maybe I didn't understand the 'making the playoffs'.)
Every early fall since 1991 save the last two have been distracting. I found myself checking scores late at night and being down when they lost heart-breakers. I can name them all. For many pundits it is not a good thing that they only won one World Series. But they won! I never had any hope they would win in the 70's. I could only envison it if 1/2 of the Big Red Machine got hurt and even then we had no chance. In 1988, Sports Illustrated called Atlanta, "Losersville". Three years later they went from worst to first and stayed in the mix.
But last night I rested. I didn't worry about whether the Padres won. Though maybe a little for the Rockies sake who now gain my allegiance until either they are eliminated or win it. But while I will pull for them, I am not a fanatic.
I can get on with my life and pay more attention to my kids and wife so being out of the playoff picture is not a bad thing. ...If only I didn't have NCAA and fantasy football to distract me now.