Each season brings a wealth of disappointing events to almost every fan of college football. After all, there is only one champion. Dealing with disappointment is difficult for most, but is a way of life for football fans that happened to attend a school that dedicates itself to basketball. Disappointments are especially difficult for fans of those teams who are used to beating up on everyone else. Following upset losses, these fans find themselves in a dither and have trouble ordering their morning Starbucks.
It is reasonable to be disappointed after one’s favorite team loses. It is unreasonable to throw rocks at the ref’s car. Some folks have dedicated themselves to football and when football lets them down, they go into a deep emotional free-fall called Over Dedication.
Signs of Over Dedication include acute depression when the favorite team loses. Individuals endure this, but occasionally, entire states mope around for weeks and can’t function after their team lays an egg on the field. Ohio State, Penn State, Nebraska, Texas and all the major programs have failed in their own expectations at some point. The teams get over a loss, but the fan’s emotional attachment to the team suffers such damage that every day life becomes a challenge.
The San Andreas Fault might run through the Cal Bears home field, but some real earthquakes took place in seasons past thousands of miles away in central Michigan. The bomb crater that was the Big House is still smoldering after the mighty wolverines of Michigan lost to one of their Patsy Parade teams – Appalachian State. This started the program on a rapid-transit decent to the netherworld of bowl ineligibility in 2008. Not far away from that, and in the same year in South Bend, IN more keo bong da tremors occurred as the once invincible Fighting Irish rose to achieve a 1-7 mark. Repercussions from these events are still being felt.
The cloud that still hangs over Ann Arbor smells of smoke and stale beer. Michigan fans need help. Recovering from the embarrassment of losing unexpectedly, especially in front of a television audience is a very difficult task. Following that up in a subsequent week with another great public failure is -for some- too much to bear. Coping skills have gone undeveloped in Ann Arbor. Inability to deal rationally with football failure raises questions of judgment and mental balance – which curiously enough, applies to winners as well as losers.
The following is a 12 Step Plan for the Over Dedicated Fan. These steps are the keys to enjoying life after a particularly disappointing loss. These steps involve increasing levels of difficulty. So follow along, learn from the descriptions and regain control over your life! This plan has been crafted to work in one week, so don’t give up!
If you are in this position, your life is unimaginable. Witness those that paint body parts in team colors. Why would anyone do this – especially on cold autumn evenings? Most university infirmaries are half way houses dressed up as clinics where you can’t tell which half most of the residents are heading for. Inviting pneumonia isn’t good for the GPA and beer doesn’t make it better. Alums don’t handle this any better than students as many really didn’t want to graduate anyway.