Coping with losses in college football

 

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.

 

ou-crying-kid-2And 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.

lsu-football-lossWhatever 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?

36 thoughts on “Coping with losses in college football

  1. That was the plan, Ath. You might not feel that way come late October, however.

    I actually wrote this piece immediately after Florida’s loss to Ole Miss last year but I think it holds up.

    See? Good things can come out of a gut-wrenching, heartbreaking, debilitating loss.

    If I were Richt and UGA, I wouldn’t go scheduling any more difficult, non-conference road openers with a rookie QB.

  2. Well, Y’know there is one very simple explanation to why the Dawgs always get us all hyped up and yelling for them and then they dump on us from about 50 feet. The explanation is very simple and it’s THIS. They are just plain sloppy players who win a few times during the year, maybe even get a winning streak and then when it counted most and it’s embarrassing. It’s not as if they do good every year and we are unsatisfied that they stink so far this year… they do it EVERY YEAR!! I give up on them. They don’t evey try and even my elderly neighbor has given up his season tickets that he has had forever.

  3. Oh, and one more thing, if I am going to spend my hard earned money on a sports event and pay the outrageous prices they charge.. I believe I would rather spend it at a NASCAR race. At a UGA game, after some fans have tailgated all day, do I really want to sit next to someone who is drooling and slobbering and most likely going to hurl?

  4. Life is good right about now. Canes win! Criminoles lose! Helluva game. Bad coaching on both sides. Bad oficiating on both sides.

    Jacory Harris looked pretty good for only his 3rd start. Kinda reminded me of Kosar back in his OB days….stays cool, handles his business, leaves the swaggerjackin for everyone else, and just leads the team.

  5. Han… ya know who looks good is that Cincy quarterback. I fully expect him to be playing at the next level.

    The guy who helps me run the website is a Seminole fan. Can Sportschump readers all give EG a collective hug?

  6. Chris

    The loss for the Sooners was one thing. But the loss of Sam Bradford might prove to be even more disheartening.

    Two to four weeks and their season could well have gone up in smoke by then .

    So the Gators gave Charleston Southern all they couldn’t handle and then some !

    And then the Buckeyes barely squeaked past Navy.

    The less said about the ‘noles the better.

    I checked out Weezy’s concert over the weekend . Were you there ?

    Alan Parkins

  7. Al… I flipped to watch that BYU game. Unreal. BYU played a heck of a game.

    I wonder how the Gators would do without Tebow in the lineup. Could Brantley lead them to promise? It’s unfair to ask that of Oklahoma’s back up QB. Kid looked like a deer in headlights.

    Ohio State better shore up things for this weekend. Although non-conference, it’s a must win. They can NOT roll over to USC like they did last year.

    FSU didn’t look awful but goodness, if Miami’s putting up that many points against ’em, the Gators will destroy them in the Swamp. Tebow to graduate 4-0 against Bowden? What could be better?

    And no, I missed Weezy. Didnt even watch any Jeffersons highlights.

  8. Great piece as always Chris. I know what the Oklahoma, Florida State and Oregon fans are feeling today. It is what makes college football truly special.

    what a great first weekend.

  9. Frank… great first weekend, except for fans of the schools you just mentioned.

    Hey, I have a potential radio gig I must tell you about.

    Sportschump readers…. stay tuned.

  10. Chris

    The show wasn’t at the Trop. It was at the Ford Ampitheater . I’m a Brit I just don’t drink Kool-Aid. As to what it’s all about , I for one couldn’t tell you. But that’s what you get when you have geeks also being involved in assessing the AP poll. I mean what’s a computer meant for if not gen up on your po_n , blog and pay your bills ? Two people gave ‘bama votes ? Were those the same two people that were caught stalking Nick Saban and declaring their wanderlust for him ?

    I’m at a loss as to why Belichick would trade Richard Seymour to the Raiders ? This guy still has plenty of mileage left in the tank !

    It’s one thing with Bruschi having retired , Cassel and Vrabel being traded to the Chiefs. But Seymour is a bonafide star and Pro Bowler. We won’t be the same team defensively without him. And as it now stands he’s yet to report to the Raiders.

    I know that the NFL is meant to a business first and foremost. But at the same time where’s the loyalty to the players that’ve served a team over the course of their entire careers. It’s not as if the guy had become a stiff.

    Alan Parkins

  11. I’m befuddled by the whole Seymour move too. Hasn’t he vowed not to suit up for them?

    The NCAA is going to have to do something about coaches voting. Remember what happened at the end of last season? Coaches vote with allegiances to their conference.

    If that ends up screwing with who should be in the BCS title game, they’re going to have to revise the entire system… which they should probably do anyway.

  12. Chris

    The coaches don’t want to be seen to be too interested in casting their votes. It’s been alleged that they do it by proxy anyway. Either that or they’re afraid that the same thing will befit them as to what the Taliban are now meting out to the voters in Afghanistan. I mean who would want to lose an appendage for voting ? How else can you explain the misstep by Spurrier concerning Tebow not being voted for as a consensus All-American ?

    Either

    There’s more to this Seymour debacle than either side is willing to let on. Especially in the case of Belichick. I’m in the midst of doing a piece on it all.

    Alan Parkins

  13. Not sure where I stand on the voting issue. Should it be private or public?

    What I do know is that it should be fair. Wait, it’s not fair already. Never mind.

  14. Chris

    If the NCAA and coaches want more transparency, then let them make the voting public and open. That way we’ll know who voted for whom and what their criterias were. Now it’s more along favoritism , more than anything that’s being done tangibly on the field. It is really a complete joke ! Much like the BCS system , itself !

    Alan Parkins

  15. As if the coaches watch all the football games anyway. They’ll even admit to that.

    I’m not sure what the answer is but fairness is essential.

    Good luck with that, huh?

  16. Yeah “WE” lost one to Va. Tech in the torrential rain the other night but I tickled that Miami is 2-1 to this point. I will be amazingly pleased if we can take down Oklahoma Saturday.

  17. Keep ticklin’, KFed. That’ll be a tough one. Oklahoma is still a national championship contender.

    Sorry I missed you at the Porp for Tennessee. Things got a little hazy.

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