By Michelle Zehr
Michelle is a blog contributor for Gold Star Games, a one-stop-shop for tailgate gear and much more.
With the NFL playoffs in full-swing (although this could be applied to any sport whether it is the playoffs or just a big game versus a rival opponent), diehard fans often find it difficult to imagine what happens when their team is bumped out of the playoffs and is sent into the off season. Months without football (or insert your favorite sport here) can be very hard to imagine. When the season ends, there may be yelling, dropped jaws in disbelief and sometimes even tears. Where do diehard fans go from here?
We all know it is hard when your favorite team has been knocked out of the playoff race. If it is tough on the fans, just imagine how difficult it is for the players who were actually on the field. Even worse, the player who missed what could have been the game winning field goal. First off, you need to put things into perspective. It’s just the end of the season. Remember, the end of the season does not mean the end of the world. The fate of your sports team is much more pressing than waiting to hear back from a job interview, a struggling marriage or struggling to make mortgage payments. It’s natural to allow yourself to be upset; especially when watching the games have become part of your weekly routine. However, you are going to eventually need to move on. Create a new routine in the offseason. Consider gathering your football buddies for a Sunday game of flag football instead of mourning on the couch.
Another option is to think positively. As hard as this may seem, think of all the teams who did not make the playoffs and their fans. At least your team made it to the playoffs and had a shot at going further. Unfortunately, everyone cannot win. There is going to be a winner and loser in every game. Remember, this is not the end of football. It is merely the end of the season and with each new season brings a fresh start.
Do some venting. Call up a local sports talk show and let your opinions be known. If you’d rather the entire city not know your opinions, call up a sports fan buddy and do some venting. Talk about the good and bad times of the season.
Are these ideas still not working for you? Others have suggested running, stress balls, mediation, starting your own football season with a video game or a night of drinking. Ultimately, the choice is yours. When you bleed black and gold, brown and orange, red and blue or any other team’s colors, it is hard to realize it’s just a game. However, it is. You will move on and before you know it, it will be time to break out your favorite jersey and enjoy a fresh start.