It stings. That’s for sure. But the sun did indeed rise on Sunday morning!
Based on personal experience, I truly believe there is a direct correlation between frequency of losses and the degree of pain associated with one. We, Ohio State fans, are lucky to feel this about only once a year, nonetheless the feeling is still absolutely devastating. But let’s be honest here, who in their right mind could believe we would never lose again? It’s a part of the game, and you cannot escape it – but you do have to know how to deal with it.
As you may recall from my previous post – a wife’s responsibility is to remind us all that this is a game. My mom did just that. It is simply entertainment. Of all the horrible things happening in the world, a loss to Michigan St. is officially not on that list. This is not life or death or cancer. This doesn’t compare to the tragedy of the bombings in Paris. It definitely is not threatening our freedom and safety. It’s football. PERSPECTIVE is how we deal with it.
We all experience the pain of losing in our own way. Fans, family, staff and players – each personal affiliation with the team produces a different kind of hurt. Not that one feeling is greater or worse than the other, but there is a difference.
Players – Regret. I know this from personal experience. My first feeling was regretting the loss of an opportunity. Your time as an athlete is limited. Your days are numbered and each loss takes away from a part of the dream. Especially when you are in your final year. You go to college wanting to win championships, break records as a team and flat out just win, but you only have (roughly) four years to do this.
Coaches – Blame. Coaches spend countless hours in preparation for each game, regardless of who they face that weekend. I know one thing is for sure – there is not one hour wasted each week. They maximize their time and sometimes don’t get the results that were projected in the game plan. Of course, we all have our own opinions, but unless we personally spent 100+ hours a week developing a game plan and know all aspects of the team dynamic, we can just keep our opinions quiet.
Wives – Worry. Your first thought isn’t “Oh no, our championship hopes are gone.” It’s “Oh no, is he ok and are the players ok?” And as always, keeping perspective – reminding everyone that it’s just a game, and a learning experience for so many young players.
Kids – Worry and fear. The older I’ve become, the less I care, but let me tell you – some of the first thoughts aside from praying your dad isn’t going to be sad all evening is, “Are people going to treat me differently? Are people going to be mean on social media? Are people going to be mean to my dad?” Again, with age, this becomes less of a concern; however, I feel for the poor kids that have to deal with far more negativity these days due to social media. I’m so thankful Twitter and Facebook weren’t a thing in my younger years. Public scrutiny might be one of the most confusing and hardest things a child has to face with a parent in this industry.
Fans, real – Disappointment. Which is okay! Who is to say you are not entitled to this emotion?? One thing that separates you from the next group I discuss is your loyalty and encouragement. You make the game fun. We love you and are thankful for your energy, loyalty and support.
Fans, posers – Anger, fury, insanity. We could all enjoy sports a little more without their involvement. Calling for a coach’s job or harassing players and families is a pathetic level I cannot identify with. One loss shines a heavy light on these individuals, and I am thankful I don’t personally know any of them. They are just distant noise that we have to ignore and understand they are unrealistic people with nothing else to worry about.
One thing is evident. People invest their emotions on an entirely different level when it comes to athletics. No matter who you are, it’s important to keep your emotions in check . The key – don’t be the negative voice that can become toxic. That’s not the point of athletics. Know your role, be positive, and trust the hands your favorite team is in.
The verse that strikes me today – Isaiah 40:31 “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
Go bucks! BEAT THAT TEAM UP NORTH!