When you love sports, live for sports, and care about your local sports teams so much, it's very hard to take the ride with them sometimes. The highs are so high, but the lows are so low. It's extra painful I think, if you love your teams for the reasons I do: because you spent your whole life with them (as your home teams) hoping and dreaming for them to represent what you love. Your city, its people, its places, its heart, its soul: deep and unwavering civic pride.
So when I process a loss like this, ultimately I go through these stages of grief, cultivating the feelings in my head, wallowing in their complexity and trying to come out of the other end in a better place. Now this is a fairly general and simple list...it can be much more complex...but for this purpose this is generally how it goes.
- The Gut Punch: The first stage is that initial devastation, that shock of horror, the moment you realize that this is really happening, it's bad, and that it's real.
- The Sadness and Devastation: At this stage, many choose to respond with anger, for me the overwhelming feeling is sadness, helplessness, hurt.
- Acceptance and Rationalization: Here I just try to accept what happened from a very analytical level, rationalize the reasons why it happened, and tell myself that in my life I will have to deal with wins and losses with my sports teams, and try and move on to a positive place. I also tell myself, that this is just sports. Things could always be a lot worse in life, and a lot of people are not as lucky to only care about an outcome of a game this much. There are much
- Fortitude and Resolute Determination: Get back on the horse and ride. This happened. It's over. You continue the fight.
And then you eat SpaghettiOs out of the can.
We're gonna be okay guys. Saddle up.