This has not been a good month for me as far as sports go. Seriously, it’s been one disappointment after another: the Gators eliminated the Hurricanes from the College World Series, the Marlins’ relief pitching keeps getting worse while their bats cool off, and the Lakers won the NBA Finals. And if you know what’s good for you, you won’t ask me about the U.S.-Slovenia game. Please, just don’t. (On a side note, this World Cup is doing a great job at reminding Americans why we tend to hate on soccer: lots of melodramatic players, blown calls, several ties, and some completely scoreless games. Americans love winners, so we have issues with draws- just saying.) It’s hard being a sports fan sometimes: emotions are constantly in flux. You don’t just root for some team on the field/court- it’s your team! So, now my breakdown of the five stages of being a sports fan (when your team loses):
You know the feeling- it’s right before the big game. All those expectations- good and bad- are floating around in your head. Your thoughts just become a series of “what if” questions. What if the team isn’t healthy? What if the defense sucks? What if we were playing at home? What if we lose? What if we win? When the anxiousness and the excitement of anticipation starts getting to you, you know it’s time for the game to begin.
Things aren’t going according to plan! The defense is being sloppy. The offense isn’t producing. And the refs- what’s up with them? What was the coach thinking? The game is already out of reach. No one’s head is in the game- except for you, the fans who are grinding their teeth.
Your team is staging the comeback of the century! The first half/five innings/three games of the series has fired up your star player. Things are finally going your way. That goal/basket/homer has finally tied the game! And wait- there’s enough time for you to actually win! Imagine that!
They blew it- the refs/umps, the players, the coaches! Whoever it was, it doesn’t matter. That’s it- it’s over. Sure, your team probably shouldn’t have been losing in the first place, but after that epic comeback… Why do they even bother? Your team is a tease, flirting with victory.
Who are we kidding? Ask any England fan (1950 World Cup), Boston Red Sox fan (Bill Buckner), Miami Hurricane fan (2003 Fiesta Bowl), or Yankees fan (2004 ALCS), we can and will continue to mourn (read: rant about) that game until the end of time.