Sports are the only area of life where ignoring reality is permitted. In almost every other part of life, a person is expected to think and behave rationally. Yet, for some reason, fans think with their hearts and not their heads when it comes to their teams.
I will not do this.
I refuse to be illogical and emotional as I mentally prepare for matchups. It keeps me from getting my hopes up, and I’d rather be pleasantly surprised than devastatingly disappointed. To that end, let me say what anyone who follows college football knows: the OSU Cowboys will suffer their first loss of the season by falling to TCU this Saturday in Stillwater. There. I said it. I feel so much better.
You can call me pessimistic, but I prefer to think of myself as reasonable. If you are a sports fan, you too know what it feels like to see a loss coming. Fans of the 76s, Jaguars and Cubs specialize in preparing for defeat (Just follow @edthesportsfan and watch his tweets Sunday mornings before football to witness a man courageously prepare for conquest).
It’s ok. There are a number of ways to handle imminent defeat. I’m here to help you. Let me offer two suggestions.
1: Watch a Sunset
See the sky outside that window? Every evening the sun paints majestic colors across the sky. You need to watch that happen. It’ll help.
Perhaps you are a fan of the Washington Football Team dreading their game with the New England Patriots or you are a Detroit Lions fan looking ahead to a November 15 date with the Green Bay Packers. It’s ok. If you look at that sunset, it will remind you that the world still spins on its axis and that tomorrow is just a day away. That loss will not be the end of you. Nor will the many that follow if you are a fan of the San Francisco 49ers. Life moves on. It can get better.
2: Hold a Baby
They are precious. They are delicate. They remind you that that there is still beauty in the world. You need to hold a baby. It’ll remind you that there are still people out there that can help your team win – they are just not on the team right now.
Perhaps you are the Dallas Cowboys and you are two decades removed from your last Super Bowl win or you are the OU Sooners and you recently lost to, perhaps, the worst Texas team in over 20 years. It’s ok. You hold that baby. Let it yawn in your face. You’ll be reminded that there is someone, somewhere who can help your team win. It just won’t be the next game.
Ultimately, I’m not expecting a win, but, it could happen. It’s also possible that they will change the ending of Friday Night Lights so that Permian will make it across the goal line and win the Texas state championship – but I won’t hold my breath until it happens. For now, I’ll be outside watching sunsets while holding a baby. Titans and Florida State fans, you might want to join me. It’s not looking too good for you this week either.
Lawrence Ware is a philosopher of race at his day job and a curator of dopeness when time allows. Words in The New York Times, Slate Magazine, The Root and others. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He is the kind of Steelers fan that enjoys watching the Cowboys lose.