Wisconsin Football: A Fan's Guide to Getting Over a Loss
There is a reason why the word "hype" is often used in a negative context. The Wisconsin Badgers felt the full measure of that word against the Michigan State Spartans.
As Spartans' QB Kirk Cousins' Hail Mary was seemingly answered by the play's namesake herself, most fans saw a special season spiral into the abyss.
Regardless, the Sunday morning after your team ends up on the wrong side of the score is usually met with a cruel disdain for the world and a complete avoidance of anything merely mentioning the word "football."
The world seems grey. Food loses taste, and beer is flatter.
But, there are certain cures to all the ailments a loss can conjure.
Time heals all. While it's true in love, it also applies to a sports hangover.
Surviving the first few days is always the hardest. The highlights are everywhere, and the pundits are all clamoring to tell their audiences "I told you so." It's painful, but it's an important part of the process.
By the Wednesday after the game, the non-stop news cycles begin to talk less about "what was" and concentrate on "what will be." Previews and predictions begin to churn out of the countless sports blogs as the sting of last Saturday begins to fade, and redemption looms on the calendar.
During college football season, Sportscenter is usually running in a 12-hour loop in any given home. One letter in the search bar at work can list out the most visited sports sites, from million-dollar analysts to hometown bloggers.
When the Badgers walk off with a win, that routine is only strengthened as fans scour all media for any mention of their team's greatness. On the other hand, a loss brings on a cyberspace silence that can deafen any message board regular.
Instead of running away from the negativity, embrace it.
Read all you can, and continue one's normal sports media consumption. Don't be afraid of Facebook posts deriding your team, or Tweets calling out your coach. Immerse in the anger sooner, absorb the barbs and move on. That was not the last game every played, and comments will not write themselves.
If last Saturday in East Lansing was a surprise, that same night in Norman was nothing less than an absolute shock to the Oklahoma Sooner faithful.
Losing an away game is hard, losing on your own turf to an unranked team is enough to make the entire state (save the Oklahoma State fans) want to close down for the rest of fall. (The loss snapped a 39-game home winning streak for Oklahoma.)
But if the Sooners will take the field this week, with the humiliation running deeper into the program's proud roots, so must the Badgers.