It can wear on you. Sometimes being a sports fan can be just brutal. I’ll admit, some tough losses have even made me wonder why I invest so much into these silly teams.
Maryland’s 69-59 loss to West Virginia on Sunday night was hard to swallow. Despite the Terps’ 28-7 finish this season, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed as I watched Freshman Melo Trimble leave with a concussion and see Dez Wells’ time with Maryland end with a career-high eight turnovers.
I didn’t expect Maryland to win this tournament, but I never dreamed that things would conclude the way that they did.
Everyone reacts to these types of losses differently. The Terps fans I follow on Twitter seemed to turn on each other as things began going down hill in the second half. I wish this was some new phenomenon, but I see it happen, like, every time the Orioles lose 2+ games in a row. Somehow the frustration that builds as a result of being disappointed gets channelled into passive-aggressiveness towards fellow fans. It’s really something.
I tried to keep the Terps’ season in perspective and not be too disappointed with the way things ended. You can drive yourself crazy playing the what if game.
- What if Melo wasn’t concussed?
- What if Dez didn’t hand the ball over every time he had it?
- What if the refs blew the whistle against West Virginia?
It doesn’t really matter. Those questions will never be answered, so why bother exerting the energy even asking them?
Wow. I sounded like some kinda sports Buddha just then, didn’t I? Well, let me tell you, it hasn’t always been that way — and I can’t promise that I’ll have this same reaction the next time one of my teams forces a devastating loss on me.
[pull_quote_right]PERHAPS I HAVE SOME SORT OF SPORTS FAN PTSD OR SOMETHING[/pull_quote_right]After Bob Huggins charming postgame interview, I asked my wife about how I reacted during the ALCS last season. We’re not that far removed from it, but I honestly couldn’t remember how I coped with the disappointment. Perhaps I have some sort of sports fan PTSD or something.
“You just sat there in despair,” she reminded me.
Ah yes, how could I forget that.
Rebecca has attended countless Orioles games with me, she knows the routine, but she informed me that sitting next to me during game two against the Royals was “the worst date I’ve ever been on.”
Now it’s all coming back.
It’s amazing how quickly I went from feeling on top of the world, literally screaming so loud that I lost my voice while watching Delmon Young clear the bases against the Tigers in game two of the ALDS, to the total devastation I felt as the rest of the country rallied around this scrappy underdog team from Kansas City that swept my beloved Birds.
The 2012 postseason was different. I distinctly remember how I reacted when Raul Ibanez homered off Jim Johnson in the bottom of the ninth in game three of the ALDS. And I remember getting up off the couch at my parents as soon as the ball cleared the right field fence when Ibanez went yard again in the 12th.
I had a ton of pent up energy. I did a bunch of push ups and wrote a similar blogpost about the emotions of the loss.
All of these reactions are better than the one that I had on January 13, 2007. Tell me you remember this game?
The Ravens were coming off a 13-3 season, had a first round bye in the playoffs and hosted the Colts in Baltimore. The Ravens defense shut down Peyton Manning all day, forcing Indy to settle for five field goals, but the Ravens couldn’t seem to find the end zone and lost 15-6.
How did I react? Just ask the hole in the wall that I punched at my parent’s house while they were at M&T Bank Stadium watching that disaster in person.
Thankfully, I haven’t punched anymore drywall. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve mellowed out or if it’s because I haven’t been that disappointed since. A Super Bowl can sure help ease the pain.
I guess you’ve got to take the good with the bad. Being a sports fan is about riding that emotional roller coaster. For me, the high moments seem to out-shine the low. As we near baseball season, I’m thinking about the champagne celebration on September 16, not the sad plane ride back to Baltimore after the ALCS.
And I’m hopeful that come November, I’ll remember the great moments of the 2014-2015 Maryland Terps season and not how things concluded on Sunday night.