Well, the roller-coaster ride that is being a Calgary Flames fan may finally have come to an end, after they suffered a 4-1 loss to the young, upstart Chicago Blackhawks.
The chances of them now making it into the dance are about as good as the chances of Ryan Seacrest becoming a blue-collar worker.
I will try to cope by telling myself that we had a good run, five straight playoff appearances that included a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2004.
But, in reality, I will go to work and be ridiculed by fans of other clubs that made the playoffs. Some of whom know nothing about the game of hockey.
Others will remain quiet, which at times is more powerful, as they walk around the office with swagger that would make Kanye West proud—heads held high, confident their team will make a run deep into the late rounds.
As this is all happening around me, I can hide in a dark room, cancel cable, and hit a bottle of Jack Daniels while listening to a Willie Nelson album.
Or, I can do what I did from 1997 to 2003, when Calgary wasn't among the NHL's version of the Sweet 16.
So, for fans of the Flames, Oilers, Leafs, or any other team that isn't going to make the dance, here are 10 easy steps to lessen the blow.
Something I call...The 10 Best Ways to Get Over Your Team Not Making the NHL Playoffs.
Some fans don't like this idea, but I am a big believer in it.
I have been lucky in the past few years, as my second favorite team is the Pittsburgh Penguins. That being said, it can backfire as well, as both the Flames and Pens struggled through the late 90s and early 2000s. Which is twice as hard to watch.
But, if the second favorite team ends up making a run, it can quickly erase the bitter taste of your No. 1 club's shortcomings. Which is much better than the quick fix of booze.
This isn't your best option, but a couple days off work, while watching some classic comedies, seems to be a quick fix.
Plus, nobody is going to bug you in the office when you're sick. Chances are they will avoid you like talent did to Ashlee Simpson.
The only problem? The playoffs last a lot longer then a cold. Though I find the taunting that comes with your team missing the playoffs usually only lasts seven to 10 days. If you can manage to fake it that long, it will be clear sailing until next season.
Going to a sports bar to knock back a few cold ones may seem like the perfect way to get over the fact your team isn't going to the playoffs, but nothing could be further from the truth.
Chances are you are going to meet friends who like teams that made it, and they will quickly kill your buzz.
And we all know what happens after that—usually some fisticuffs that result in either you passed out on the bathroom linoleum, or even worse, a night in the clink sleeping next to a 300-pound man named Tiny.
No better way to cure your itch for a successful Stanley Cup run by your team than by playing a hockey video game and creating a playoff drive.
To ensure your wife doesn't get annoyed that you are preoccupied with the Xbox, get her a season of Sex and the City to watch on the other TV.
You will be guaranteed six to eight hours of man time.
Friends bugging you about your team?
Deflect it by either creating or making up some bigger news.
For instance, guy comes up to you and says, "My Canucks are going to go all the way this year, while your team's on the golf course!" You reply, "Sweet, my wife and I just won the lotto!"
I guarantee the conversation about the playoffs will be concluded. Though you may need to take out a second mortgage on your house and buy a few things to look legit.
It's spring, so if you can't be in the house watching your team in the playoffs, drinking beer, and eating Cheetos, then organize a street hockey game to take some of your frustrations out.
I find if you can play against kids, this usually works better, as you can show your true hockey dominance.
Let's face it, there is no better way to feel good about yourself than scoring 10 goals on an 8-year-old.
Need some time to clear your head? Why not head to a hot spot for some much needed rest and relaxation after a stressful season of hockey.
Go scuba diving, learn to surf, heck, even take up yoga. It will all take your mind off things. Plus, when you get back you will have missed the seven-to-10-day period in which you were going to get hassled about your team's failure to make the postseason.
Not to mention the fact your coworkers will most likely dig your tan!
What is most guys' favorite thing besides sports?
Sure watching your team win a Stanley Cup would be great, but being around a sexy girl can put that image out of your head faster than Sean Avery can make somebody angry.
So find 'em, wherever that may be.
At Christmas I was given the Calgary Flames' 10 Great Playoff Games DVD, and I also own the 1989 C of Champions video.
If you don't have such means to rehash a few good memories of when your team was successful, check out the TSN archives for games they won this year, and relive the feeling all over again.
Sure, it may sound like an unproductive, profitless way to spend your day, but so is me pretending to be a sportswriter on Bleacher Report.
Support your friends' team—it is the best way to make them shut up, and you can take solace in the fact that there is always next year.
The Leafs have looked good down the stretch, Ian White has been superb for Calgary, the Oilers are looking at the No. 1 pick in the NHL Entry Draft, and so on.
There are some positives for the clubs that missed, even if you may need to dig deep for a few of those.
"There is always next year" will, after all, be the most commonly used phrase by fans of 29 teams after it is all said and done anyhow.
There is no shame in using it first.