As a sports fan, there’s nothing worse than getting ready for another long season when you already know before the season starts that your team will be in the basement – again. Some professional teams are annual losers, including the LA Clippers (who still need to prove they will be a winner this year), the Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Columbus Blue Jackets to name a few (AHPS). Of course, there are plenty more professional sport franchises that excel in futility, so today’s blog goes out to you, the die-hard true fan of an annually terrible sports team.
Unlike the front running fan, the die-hard usually starts each season with a glimmer of guarded hope, thinking this year might be different — that those years worth of high draft picks will finally pay off. Unfortunately, be it due to economic hardships of the team, poor scouting & development, poor on-field management, or any other conceivable reason (injuries?), the team ends up out of the race within the first few weeks of the season. It is at this point where the loyal fan must “suck it up,” deflect criticism from friends and co-workers, and somehow find a way to carry on through the rest of the season when about the only excitement he will have will be to think about what possible first round draft pick his team can get in the upcoming draft.
For you Celtic, Laker, Patriot, and Yankee fans, can you only imagine how horrific this sports experience is compared to yours?!
Have no worries fans of bad teams, the Sports Doc is here to help by providing some quick tips to help you get through the season(s):
- Make a joke out of it. It is widely accepted that humor is a great tool to help ward off stress, so make it a point to let your guard down and roll with the punches whenever possible. Face it, your team is rotten, so you might as well have a good laugh, right?!
- Don’t take it to heart. Sports fans are famous for taking ownership of the teams they follow, often cultivating a personal identity tied to the team. While this is interesting for sport scientists to study, it’s typically not good to put so much value into your team that your overall attitude and well-being are greatly mediated by your team’s success (or lack thereof). Instead, roll with the punches and remember that it’s just a game.
- Don’t be a fair weather fan. Yes, there is no doubt it’s tough to continue to follow a crummy team, but it’s also a very admirable and worthwhile pursuit. Sure, it would be easy to be like LeBron James and just pick all the good sports teams to follow, but you don’t want to be like that do you?!
- Take even more pride in your team when they lose. If you really want to confuse the people in your life – and have some fun amidst a trying season – buy some new gear and wear it proudly. Sure, it probably won’t help your team in the standings, but it’s a fun way to deal with losing.
- Balance your team’s success against other important things in your life. Remember, sports are entertainment, so no matter how long the season becomes with ongoing losing, try to keep it in perspective by balancing sports against your family, friends, and other important people and things that you like to do.
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