When the baseball team you’ve rooted for your entire life makes the postseason, it’s one of the best feelings in the world. You deck yourself out in team colors and become glued to the TV for every game (unless you’re lucky enough to get tickets, in which case you become something just short of an unhinged maniac, cheering in the stands).
Then something happens.
Something terrible happens.
Your team loses. Not once, not twice, but three, or four, times, and suddenly your dreams of witnessing locker room champagne showers and buying a “World Series Champions” t-shirt have to wait for at least another year.
As a Mets fan, I’ve become a bit of an expert when it comes to dealing with seasons that don’t pan out quite the way one might have hoped. With that in mind, here are the Top 5 ways to cope with your team losing in the playoffs.
Okay, so you didn’t get to pop open the champagne you’ve been keeping in the fridge for the day your team wins the World Series – my bottle has been aging quite nicely for quite some time. That said, losing in the postseason is a pretty damned good excuse to pour yourself a glass of something strong.
Don’t go overboard. This isn’t about getting wasted, this is about sitting back with something really nice to numb the pain and taking a moment to reflect on an otherwise great season.
Raise a glass to your team — they made the postseason — then drink up, because they didn’t quite complete the dream.
Once your team gets bounced from the playoffs, however, you may not be able to stomach watching the team that beat yours play on. This makes it the perfect time to crank up the Playstation, spin some of your favorite albums, work on your car, or do anything else you’re passionate about in life.
We guarantee this will clear your head, and depending on when your team was eliminated, you may even feel good enough to watch the World Series. Either that or make your own team champions on MLB The Show.
This is something that might be tough to admit to ourselves, but as baseball fans, the postseason can take up a little bit of our time, and by “a little bit of our time” I mean it can completely take over our lives. Unless your significant other shares your rabid fandom — and roots for the same team — chances are you may have forgotten what each other look like by the time game one of the World Series starts.
Reconnect with that loved one — whether it’s a significant other, a roommate who you just found out moved out three weeks ago, or a good friend who roots for another team. Go out to dinner, grab a drink and catch up with what’s been going on in their lives. It will make you forget about your team losing, and you’ll be spending time with someone who matters in your life.
One of the best ways to forget about a current baseball related heartbreak is to pick up something that reminds you of why you fell in love with the game in the first place.
Unless you root for a team that literally has no history, books have been written about your good times and best players. If the wound from being bounced is too deep to visit your own team’s past, pick up a biography on a favorite player, or simply a book that’s insightful about the game itself.
Remember, you hate losing, but you still love the game.
While the end of a season is depressing when you fall short of winning it all, don’t take too long to wallow in the loss. Instead, look to the future.
Put away your playoff t-shirt and dive into all the info you can find on your minor league system. It’s always great to take a look at who might be your next big star. Also look at the coming offseason’s free agent class to see who might be available.
You know your team is close — you may only be one player away — and unless your team is totally cheap, they’re probably going to make the push to get over the proverbial hump, so they can be the ones celebrating on the field next year.
The 2017 Baseball Winter Meetings take place in December, and that’s only two calendar pages away. “Next year” is almost here!
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