the agony of defeat

My problem is that I get way too emotionally invested in sports, especially football, if a team I love is playing. I can float on a win for a week. I can wallow in a loss for a month.

No matter what happens, I always believe we can win the next one. I’ve never given up on my team, and in fact, I have to avoid message boards and such when things aren’t going well. I don’t like to read all those armchair athletes bashing on college kids and shrieking about firing everyone. I don’t like the negative energy.

So the Wildcats haven’t been having such a great year, and I have had my theories as to what’s going wrong, but I’m not a football player and I’ve been so annoyed with the discouraging crap on the web that I decided not to add to it by writing anything about it. I also haven’t been terribly upset that I haven’t been able to watch the last few games on TV, because I would feel compelled to sit and watch the whole thing even when it was a total bloodbath.

And then today I was lazing around flipping between the OSU-Indiana game and Bugs Bunny’s 3rd Movie: 1001 Rabbit Tales when I noticed on the score ticker that Northwestern was up 24-3 at halftime. I thought, holy crap, what the hell is going on? and decided to see if I could find the game on TV anywhere.

Three phone calls to Adelphia later (those bitches), I’d been hung up on, signed up for a one-day pass to ESPN GamePlan, and refunded my $21.95 after being informed that the game was actually blacked out in my area. Which I think was not true, because I called my mom to bitch about it and she said she was watching it on DirecTV. Dammit dammit dammit. I went back to my old standby – WNUR’s internet broadcast.

And, well, if you’ve watched five minutes of any college football broadcast today, you probably know what happened. If you don’t, I’ll tell you, though it pains me to type it. NU totally choked. They were ahead 38-3 and then they never scored again, while Michigan State scored 38 straight points to win the game 41-38. It was either the greatest comeback in Division I-A history, or the biggest choke in Division I-A history, depending on how you choose to look at it. I guess the only bright spot is that we finally appear to have a viable passing game. At least, for three quarters we did.

I’m pretty glad I didn’t pay a bajillion dollars to go to my 5th reunion this weekend.
I kind of hate football right now.

4 Replies to “the agony of defeat”

  1. Different sport, but I’ve been itching to write about this, and everyone knows my blog and I had a difficult breakup back in February.
    I am an October-only baseball fan. Before then, it’s tedious. Once the calendar flips from 9 to 10, every scuff of the foot, every look to the left, every spit of the gum then trying to hit it with the bat (Al-BERT) is fraught with meaning. It could mean the difference between victory and defeat and it’s exciting and people go to bars and watch together and there are CHANTS in those bars, and there are guys who spend the entire evening reattaching their Scott Spiezio flavor savors (yech) to their chins. Strangers hug when good things happen. It’s not just baseball anymore. It’s an entire city hoping, praying, watching as one. And this is the best October St. Louis has had in a while.

  2. That was a brutal defeat. Sorry about that. I always like when the Wildcats do well because they’re the smartest of the Big Ten teams. I love it when the nerds win, you know?

    Here in Minnesota, we nearly lost to Division I-AA North Dakota State. My block local for sports broadcasts was a difficult place to be with everyone so somber over the Gophers poor play and the two lone North Dakotans in the room–both of whom were dressed curiously like a cross between Gallagher, Patch Adams, and the Marlboro man–were very drunk and slurringly peppy. They hooted about everything.

    But on the blocked kick to end the game, everyone’s mood changed swiftly. We don’t have much to cheer here right now, so we’ll take it.

  3. Hey.. there’s nothing wrong with being a I-AA team! JMU is currently kicking asses and taking names and preparing for worldwide domination.

    *cough cough* weoverthrewthenumberoneteaminthenation,newhampshire,whobeatnorthwesternsothere
    *cough cough*

  4. i was at this game.

    it wasn’t so bad, because i entertained myself by screaming for “bop cheer” every time there was any sort of game or cheering break.

    we only played it with NUMB once.

    i want you to come back. the guard looked good, and even had a feature.

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