We have all been there.
If you’re a college football fan and you bleed your school colors, then you’ve experienced it. You’ve painted your face. You’ve worn your lucky shirt, shorts and undergarments on game day. Your superstitions have become routine. You’ve tailgated from daybreak to sundown and beyond. You have eaten and drank excessively in celebration. You have hugged and high-fived your friends with every score. You have lived and died with your team. Your allegiance is unquestioned and unparalleled. You’ve celebrated the thrill of victory with your team so passionately, it was as if you were on the field in uniform.
And then it happens, sometimes when you least expect it. Everything is going great and then, suddenly… your team loses. What? How can this be? How could they do this? Gloom sets in. It overwhelms you. Your day, your week or perhaps even your entire season is ruined. There’s always next year.
You’ve given so much of your time and dedication, only to be let down like when that girl never called you back after you bought her dinner. What the heck? You even opened the car door and splurged for the tiramisu. How could they do this after all you’ve been through together? It doesn’t make any sense. You’ve waited all week for Saturday to roll around and this is how they treat you? You swear to yourself, you’ll never get so emotionally involved about a game again, but you know you’re just lying. Resistance is most definitely futile.
Whatever your allegiance, you’ve experienced defeat. It’s inevitable. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt. It always hurts. And the better your team is, the more painful the losses tend to be. Nobody’s perfect and everyone has a bad day.
Unexpected, gut-wrenching losses are unfortunately part of college football. They’re what make the sport so captivating. Even the best of the best drop like flies in the emotional marathon we call the college football season. In every contest, one team must always lose. And sometimes, it’s yours.
In no other sport is a loss so crucial, so debilitating to a team’s season. A college basketball team can lose several games and still make it to the Big Dance in March. Even the best teams in baseball history have lost fifty games in a season. In the NFL, it is not unheard of for a team to go 8-8 and still make the playoffs. But the college football season is so short. Every win is vital and every loss disheartening. Each autumn, every program starts off their season with the hopes of something special but there can only be one champion. One bad day, just one slip up can deflate dreams of greatness in the fickle world of college football.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for your affliction, college football fan. Not watching is not an option. It’s part of our culture. We are forced to grin and bear each heartbreaking loss with the hopes that next Saturday, we will once again be victorious. That this time, the lucky underwear and the tiramisu will do the trick.
So go ahead. Give it your all. After all, that’s what dedication is all about. Cherish every moment of your fanhood. Or you always can choose not to get so emotionally involved next time.
After all, it’s only college football, right?