Two dates. Today and on May 24th, 2007. Twice per year, once in mid-spring, and once in October, I wake up sad. As a Liverpool and Dodger fan, I have it particularly rough.
That said, every avid sports fan experiences grief at some point. I’m terrible at dealing with sports sadness syndrome (henceforth referred to as SSS), but have identified the best outlets for expressing grief.
This is cliché, but a good ‘ole sad munch does wonders for the mind. It’s fantastic for immediate gratification, and assuming you will hate life later anyway, it’s a good start to the grieving process. For example, the seven Snickers I knocked back following the Dodgers’ loss after Game 7 of the World Series made the world seem better for 30 seconds.
It was the ancient Greeks who came up with the idea of catharsis: a release of emotion that leads to acceptance. Sad music is one of the best ways to achieve this. I’m talking about “The Sound of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel, “The Scientist” and “Fix You” by Coldplay (pretty much anything Coldplay has ever written), “Marvin’s Room” by Drake, and “Unsteady” by X Ambassadors. The list goes on. Provided below is a handy Spotify playlist for your grief: https://open.spotify.com/user/thindle99/playlist/5gZlKw1rTy4GeNSLJbnLl5. ‘Tis all.
Find a Stuffed Animal and Cry into It
Genuine human connection can only hurt following a loss. That said, material comfort is necessary. Therefore, a stuffed animal of some kind is very helpful. Any kind works: bear, giraffe, elephant – pick your poison. Absolutely zero chance I cuddled with an otter last night…
Destroy Personal Relationships
It’s paramount that one lets absolutely everyone know how much one cares about sports after a loss. The best way to do this is through a careful mixture of isolation and anger. Try lying face-down on some kind of furniture and being incredibly hostile to anyone who offers comfort. Works every time.
Play the Blame Game
One very important thing to remember is that your team is infallible, even in a loss. It is by no means Yu Darvish’s fault that the Dodgers lost 5-1 last night. Rather, external factors such as officiating, climate or even water quality are to blame.
For example, the unusual atmospheric conditions at Dodger Stadium last night allowed the ball to fly off George Springer’s bat at 110 miles per hour into the left field pavilion. Furthermore, it was questionable umpiring that gave the Dodgers 6 hits and 9 strikeouts yesterday. Bottom line, it’s never the fault of the players making millions. They are perfect.
Destroy Various Apparel
After a loss, your team does not deserve your love. Regardless of whether they lose a nail-biter or get blown out, any big game loss is easily solved with an angry throwing of some kind of team memorabilia out of a window, followed by a retrieval three hours later. Is it weird to do this with a Dodger hat? Asking for a friend…
Every sports fan goes through loss at some point. There are many outlets for releasing the various emotions, but after many experiences with sports heartbreak, I have learned that the only thing that can heal is time. There’s always next year.