Losing In Sports: It Ain’t That Serious!

With mere seconds left, the would-be game-winning kick went up…

It’s been just a few years since the sports world watched in disbelief as the Chicago Bears lost the Wild Card playoff game to the Philadelphia Eagles on a missed final field goal attempt by former kicker Cody Parkey.

Doink. Correction.  DOUBLE Doink.  To add emphasis to the drama, this ‘shot heard round the world’ bounced off of both the upright AND crossbar.

Clean your lockers and get ready for the off-season.

As a life-long Bears fan, for me, everything dropped:  I dropped to the floor, my jaw dropped, my heart dropped, my food dropped, my bladder dropped and our surprising Superbowl run dropped into history.

All of that hard work; the fun in celebrating after each game…

…the shutting up of the naysayers that thought we wouldn’t even have a winning season.  The Chicago Bears had surprised the entire NFL community by not only achieving a winning season, but winning their division with a 12-4 record.  This resulted in their first appearance in the playoffs since 2010.

…all for naught.

Fans ranted on social media. Many cried, for hours. Some took the following day off from work, some wallowed in self-pity and went into seclusion, shutting off all electronic devices and refusing to communicate with ANYONE.  Me? I crawled up in a little (actually, BIG) ball under the bed covers and silently scrolled through all of the Facebook posts (directed at me), inbox messages and texts from family and friends, either sharing salt-in-wound memes, expressions of shock or thoughts of love and support.  It’s amazing to know that so many people think of me, when you mention the Chicago Bears.

…and to be honest, I STILL haven’t gotten completely over it.

Still, I know that despite my anger and sadness, my team is one of many that had to leave the dance contest and take a seat as the remaining competitors continued.  We got more than we anticipated, though not what we ultimately wanted.  That’s the name of the game.

But life goes on.  It HAS to!

And just how bad DOES it get?  Well, back in July of 2018 a distraught fan actually hung himself after the Albicelestes of Argentina lost 4-3 to France in the Round of 16 during the World Cup in Russia.  But he was definitely not the first.  People have attempted/committed suicide countless times after sports losses over the years.  There have been acts of public violence, vandalism, spousal/child abuse, dear God…

The following is a reposting from my Facebook page on January 28, 2018:

There can only be ONE champion in each sport, each year. If every team took turns winning the championship, one at a time, it would be over 30 years before any team saw a second ring (in just about every sport). SomeONE will win, which means EVERYone else will fall. Now, consider the fact that some teams win more than just one championship. Look at the New England Patriots and other dynasties. Now you’ve got even less championships to distribute among the teams in the league.

It took a few LIFETIMES for my Chicago Cubs to win it all and sadly, my devoted father and grandfather missed it. My Bears finally did it (in the Superbowl era) in 1985 but haven’t done it since. Thankfully, I’ve seen my Blackhawks (NHL) and Bulls (NBA) do their thing (for 6 out of 8 years) as well, but it won’t happen every year.

People, seriously. It’s SPORTS!

None of these teams or athletes pay your bills or keep a roof over your head, unless you’re on their payroll in some capacity.  I swear, some of y’all (who talk the most trash during the season) lose your doggone minds when your team gets knocked out of the playoffs or contention. Yeah, I admit I was miserable when the Bears lost the Superbowl to the Indianapolis Colts and livid when we lost the NFC Championship to the Green Bay Pukers, I mean, Packers.

But guess what? When you wake up in the morning, life’s responsibilities are still waiting for you. Hell, some people will be celebrating a Super Bowl victory while facing car reposession or eviction/foreclosure from their homes.

Call and see if the team owner will help you out of that jam.  Let me know how that works out for you…

This is not meant to say, “Get over it” or not care, but I know some people were darn-near suicidal after the 11-0 Steelers lost their gas and lost to the Browns, ending their run.  And today’s Packers loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (giggle).

Dude, please. I love y’all and want you to enjoy life. It’s too short to go postal over something like sports; professional, collegiate, high school or whatever.

Let it sting.  Clown each other about it.  Watch the draft, then move on and hope for a better season the next time around.

In the end, it’s all entertainment. Nothing more…

…unless the bookies and loan sharks are looking for you.

Don’t lose sight of what’s really important.

Final Thoughts:
When/if your team wins, party up!  Celebrate and have an awesome time.  Talk trash, but be respectful.  Hug your fellow fans, but refrain from starting fires and tipping cars over in the street. Some unsuspecting automobile owner has to contend with the damage the following day and they don’t deserve that.

If you lose, take it in stride.  It’s ok to feel the hurt because you wanted a different outcome.  But don’t let it ruin your world. Guess what?  Next season is less than a year away, but tomorrow (with its responsibilities and troubles) is in a few hours and it’s waiting for you.  Drive home sober and carefully. Turn the television off.  Get your last-minute social media exchanges in.  Answer the phone or make that call, if you feel like talking.  After all is said and done, get some sleep and prepare yourself for the coming day. Gonna be plenty of people waiting to play “armchair quarterback” (criticizing a team or athlete’s performance) with you.

And before you accuse me of not being a real fan, check yourself.  I’m STILL hurting and it’s going to burn for awhile.  I’m pissed about losing the way we did!  I’m disappointed because we could and should have gone deeper into the playoffs and I believe we could have won it all.  But at the end of the day, I’m proud of my team.   This year we made the playoffs again, only to see another first round exit, so I’ve got to wait yet another year…

“Bear Down, Chicago Bears” and may our rivals, the Green Bay Packers, lose every game…


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