Everyone has expectations about everything.
People expect their food to arrive at the table in a reasonable amount of time at a restaurant. People expect things to work, such as their TV and cell phones.
People expect a lot of things; when these expectations aren't met, they get angry. Frustrated. Disappointed.
On the flip side, expectations can also be exceeded. When that happens, people are excited. Unfortunately, expectations are normally set on the high side of things, so it is more common to be disappointed than positively surprised.
That is the problem that this Oklahoma Sooners football team faces in 2011. Expectations really could not be any higher, and I mean that in all seriousness. Sooner Nation expects nothing less than a wire-to-wire run as the best team in the country and national championship number eight.
Even the pessimistic fans know that this team is going to be very special and have high hopes as well.
That's tough to handle.
When you have an entire fan base expecting you to deliver something to them, that's a lot of pressure—both as a player and as a coach.
But everyone knows that those people deal with that pressure year in and year out. What about the fans themselves?
As a fan, you've built up in your mind what a successful season is going to look like and if that doesn't happen, you're crushed.
You invest a lot of time, energy and definitely money in watching your team and hoping that it can meet the expectations set up in your mind. For the die-hard fans, disappointment often leads to a depression of sorts—not to mention, a very long offseason.
It's only the second week of spring practice, and already the Sooners are showing some chinks in the armor. Questions on both sides of the ball are becoming more glaring issues in comparison to the excellence and security at other positions. Pessimists are saying that maybe OU won't be any good after all.
There is no doubt that this will be a fantastic team, maybe one of head coach Bob Stoops' best, if all the pieces come together and function as one unit. But is it worth the possible disappointment to only accept the greatest accomplishments as standard?
Optimism is great, but fans need to exercise caution in that and their expectations. For some, it's for their actual mental sanity, but for the average fan, it's just so that they can enjoy the season in the best possible way.