It’s an odd thing to say but hear me out. Cheering for teams that make the playoffs and are bound for success every year sucks. I’ll wait for you to stop screaming before I continue.
It’s easy to look at Yankees, Patriots, Lakers, Lynx fans and say they have nothing to complain about. They’ve never known the agony of cheering for a team that is an embarrassment to their respective sports. They don’t know the pain of having to watch a team lose year after year only to disappoint the following season due to horrible free agency pick ups and Ponzi schemes.
It’s true. As a Yankees, Patriots, Bruins, Ohio State Buckeye fan I haven’t had to live in the shadow of other teams. My teams have had great successes in my life. So many that I could probably go my entire lifetime without seeing another championship and still have seen more than most other fans. But does that make it easier to be a fan of these perennial favorites? Does it make it easier to swallow when they lose in devastating fashion?
No, it doesn’t.
When you have high expectations for a team, or event for that matter, you have a predetermined outcome in your mind and if that result doesn’t materialize you literally want to find the nearest set of headphones and go to sleep crying while listening to Adele. It’s a miserable existence.
When your expectations are so low that you wish your team would plummet into the deepest parts of the Grand Canyon so they get a fresh start, them making the playoffs is even higher ground than you anticipated them to reach. So when they get knocked out of the playoffs, or lose in the Super Bowl, it still stings but they weren’t supposed to be there anyway so you shake it off and know that next year the team should have a good shot at being there again.
When your team is expected year after year to not only make the playoffs but win the championship you have already entered into a mindset that you should leave behind immediately. It’s like in a scary movie when someone says “I’ll be right back” and then they end up being the murderer…damn you Matthew Lillard. DAMN YOU!!!!
So next time you wish death on a fan of a team because they always make the playoffs, don’t. The pain suffered when that team loses is more than enough to be happy about. I’ll leave you with one last story so you get my point.
The 2007 New England Patriots were poised to be the greatest team in NFL history, they went 16-0 in the regular season and were the dominate favorites to win the Super Bowl later that year. As expected they made it to the championship game to face the New York Giants, a team they bested earlier that year in what was probably the greatest game played for the both of them during the regular season. I was ecstatic. My team hadn’t won since 2005, yes I was spoiled. Their dominate performance meant they should have wiped the floor with the lowly Giants who gained entry into the postseason by the skin of their teeth. We all know the ending, the one GIANT loss as it were, and there I was livid beyond comfort and even to this day I can replay Asante Samuel letting the interception that would’ve sealed the Patriot win slip through his hands. If the Patriots weren’t the favorite I still would’ve sat covering my face so my family couldn’t see my crying but I wouldn’t be here, five years past the incident, still reliving it and putting a hole in my computer screen because I decided to write this last passage.