There is nothing worse than when your team loses. Nothing can quite compare with that feeling of disappointed resentment as you glare at the scoreboard in the corner of your TV before promptly changing channel to avoid the post-match dissection of how utterly useless your team was. I will now take you through the five stages of grief that accompany all sports fans when dealing with the decimation of their much beloved team.
Denial. This usually occurs in the final few minutes of the match with your team helplessly in arrears and there is little to no chance of them clawing their way back into the game (except of course if you’re a Man United fan, then you’ve always got the 97th minute of added time despite the fact there were only supposed to be three minutes). So you cling onto the last shreds of hope and steadfastly deny that your team will lose. They will.
Anger. The initial aftermath of the final whistle usually culminates in an aggravated social media rant. If ranting isn’t your thing then you’re probably the fan who passive aggressively posts ironic and sarcastic tweets that mask the true anguish you are feeling inside. If you’re not on social media then it’s highly recommended that you remove all breakable objects from arms reach before the start of the match. In advance, you’re welcome.
Bargaining. This is a fairly brief phase that is once again played out on social media and usually goes something along the lines of “Let’s just beat [insert rival here] next week. They’re all cheaters anyway. Innit.” Just so you know, you probably won’t beat your local rival. Sorry.
Depression. No one can console you. Your friends and family avoid you at risk of either making you burst into tears or provoking your irrational anger. If you play for the uni, the trek from 22 Acres is a good chance to consolidate your thoughts. Hold in the tears until you’re safely in your room, though. Crying over a game makes you look mental. Unless you’re John Terry, then it apparently makes you look ‘ard.
Acceptance. This usually happens at about 1 o’clock in the morning when you’re standing in the queue for Willow and slurring “Who cares? It’s just a game!” Well done, you’ve traversed through the stages of grief and are now a wiser and more regretful person.