No one likes to lose. Not a friendly pickup basketball game, that race to the far tree just like you were in third grade again, or a race to the front of a line at a sample sale. It’s the same way with your guy and his sports teams, especially with his football crew.
Dealing with a football team’s loss is rough. Football is a unique sport in that every. single. loss. matters. The National Football League’s regular season is only 16 games long, so there’s so much more at stake in each game than compared with other professional sports like baseball or hockey. Major League baseball’s season is 162 games, teams in the National Hockey League play only 82 games in their regular season.
So you can see that a loss in the football regular season carries more weight than a loss in any other sport. Fortunately, or unfortunately for you, you guy understands this too. And when his team continues to lose, and the losses compound to the tune of four straight losses to the start the season (I’m talking a quarter of the season gone and they still haven’t won), things could get ugly/depressing/sad.
So what happens when this happens and how do you deal with it. Well luckily for you, I’ve got some tips, based on 100% completely factual, first-hand knowledge:
Don’t remind them about how bad their team is doing … at least not constantly. A few little playful jabs here and there is ok, but tread lightly. Football roots run deep. What’s that saying, “Poke the bear, get a claw back in the face?” I don’t know how long your guys’ nails are, but you get the picture.
Treat every Sunday/game day, like the last. Yes, his team has not been winning. This however does not mean that you shouldn’t treat every game morning like the one before. As far as your guy is concerned, it’s just another game, like starting from scratch. If you watch games with him, keep doing that. If you hang out with your girlfriends, do that. Don’t change the routine. Act like everything is totally normal.
Don’t, I repeat don’t, ask while he is still watching. My mom likes to call me on the phone after the Steelers lose and tell me Big Ben (Steeler’s quarterback) sucks, likes she’s asking me to give up on him. It’s during these moments that I am glad I’m hundreds of miles away because I would probably lunge at her (or at least have a Mean Girls-esque vision of lunging at her like we were around the fountain in that mall … I’d never actually lunge at her). If there is one rule with our football players, we never stop believing, and that’s why your guy continues to watch. For him, stopping watching is never a thought that he begins to formulate in this mind. So please please please, don’t ask.
Take a minute and a step back and admire his dedication. It takes a lot of effort to for your guy to get up Sunday, put that jersey on, and root on his team that up to this point, has left him saddened, week after week. Embrace the dedication. As crazy as he may seem, ya gotta love a guy that doesn’t turn his back on the people he cares about. (That may have been a little deep for this post but you get the idea.)
Is your guys’ football team still winless this season? How’d you deal?