How does one stay sane after your favorite team – the one you just poured time, legit money, and far too much energy into – gets eliminated?
Let’s face it: You’re hurting. You’re not a casual fan. You’re a die hard. And now you have to face the inevitable pain that comes from your favorite team losing: Jokes from your friends who were rooting for the other team. Jokes on social media about how terrible your team is. The plethora of rants from friends who label themselves experts (“IF WE HAD JUST HANDED THE BALL OFF MORE DURING THE 2ND AND 3RD QUARTER PLUS INSERTED THAT GUY INSTEAD OF THIS GUY….) And heaven forbid you support – *ahem* – a team that’s vastly disliked by the majority of people….
Lisa and I were a little happier a few weeks ago…..
There’s good news and bad news: The good news is that something new and shiny is going to get the attention of everyone on social media in a week or two, and this will all just be a bad dream. The bad news is you still have to get through these two weeks.
And for some of us – who live, eat, breath, and sleep our sports team – this is no joking matter. And yet there are some who treat it is such. *Sigh*
To help prepare, here are a few responses from others you’re likely to hear regarding the outcome of the game. You’re likely going to find these are well intentioned and lovely people – but they just don’t get it like you do. You’re a die hard. (And you’re awesome for it.) Read on, die hard. Read on.
“Your team has won SO MUCH. Don’t the other guys deserve a chance?”
This is usually said by the nonchalant sports fan, or your friend whom you bond with over other things (movies, career things, etc). But sports? Not so much. These friends will likely shout something like, “Kick a field goal!” during a baseball game in exchange for laughs. Regardless, they mean well. They just don’t grasp the depth of the situation.
Simply share the following situation to your friend: It’s like having a child who is competing in the spelling bee. If your child is a repeat champion and is going for three in a row, you’re still not about to root against your child and pull for Freddy, because “Freddy has never won before and deserves it.” Of course you’ll be happy for Freddy if he wins. But are you rooting for him? No, you silly goose, you’re rooting for your child! Otherwise, what kind of parent are you?! The true die hard will never root against their team. You know this. And that’s what matters.
“That’s okay that we lost! It’s almost (season of an entirely different sport)!”
This is likely being shared by an optimist. I’m an optimist and am sure I’ve been guilty of this one. But there’s a difference between being positive and pretending not to feel negative. This is often said as someone doesn’t want to feel negative. Perhaps this has been said by someone who likes the other sport in question more than the game that just happened. But a true die hard won’t accept this.
Case and point: I’m an avid biker. My bike is like my baby. If something happens to it – I’m not happy. Recently I was riding my bike to the theatre along with my new, nifty, iPhone 7 in my pocket. I was feeling pretty great until I returned to my bike to find that someone stole my wheel. I was livid. At no point did anyone say to me, “Well that’s okay about your bike – you have that new iPhone, right?” No. Because while I love my new iPhone, I also love my bike. My bike was what needed my attention in that moment.
Your team needs you and it needs you now. Numbing the pain by focusing on something else is a disservice to the team you just poured your heat and soul into all season. Don’t worry, other sport. We’ll get to you in a minute.
“I don’t care we lost. At least my team MADE IT this far….”
Again, this can often fall into the “pretending to be happier than I actually am” category. It’s also an easy defense mechanism to ward off fans of teams who are taunting you, but didn’t make it that far.
This person is trying so hard, and you love them for it. But it’s not the time for celebrating – at least not yet. It’s like that person you see posting on instagram about all their success!….when you know that really, this person is also struggling financially and with their relationships. (On a serious note – give love to these people because they definitely need it from us.)
Back to sports: There most certainly will be a time for celebrating (because yes – your team did advance this far and that is awesome), the die hard knows this isn’t the time for that. There is a time for mourning and that time period follows the loss. Mourning periods are different for everyone, and there’s nothing to be ashamed about. Simply take your time to reflect on the loss, and celebrate on your team’s accomplishments when you’re ready.
“Who cares? I mean, it’s just a game….”
Walk away. There’s no need to participate in this conversation.
Final thoughts: This post was a bit sillier than usual 🙂 I wrote it because I love sports. I love the passion that gets poured into a team. And while I hate losing, there’s something oddly therapeutic about allowing myself to feel sad after a loss. While I don’t let it get to me like I used to, I definitely need my mourning period.
I hope this helps you with your own, fellow die hard. Feel free to share with your teammates – when they’re ready, of course.
Let’s go get ’em, friends.
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Thanks for reading!
By the way, I’m Tony. I live in Chicago. (Duh.) I’m an actor and blogger living right up the street from Wrigley Field.
My blog is here to help others take control and live a more authentically positive life on their terms. Since working with a coach and learning more about personal development, I’ve started sharing my learnings with others. (I have a lot…)
If we’ve never meet – shoot me a tweet! Would love to hear how you found this 🙂
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Let’s go get ‘em.