Sur­viv­ing fan­dom if your team is 0-6

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - JOSH SMITH

So here you are, Ti­cats fan. You find yourself adrift in a sea of neg­a­tiv­ity and tur­moil, won­der­ing what to do next.

You have never ex­pe­ri­enced this pain. All you know is mod­er­ate suc­cess.

You might not re­mem­ber — or have cho­sen to block out — the run from 2003-08 that saw the Ti­cats make the play­offs just once and win a to­tal of 25 games over six years, with nine of those wins com­ing in one year.

You are more ac­cus­tomed to the 2009-16 edi­tion of the team — that one has missed the play­offs just once and been to four East Fi­nals and two Grey Cups.

For you, cham­pi­onship ap­pear­ances, play­off wins and games mat­ter­ing af­ter Labour Day are the norm. Not 0-6 records and 60-1 drub­bings.

So for you, this is un­charted ter­ri­tory. You need to know how to deal with all this los­ing.

Well, good news. I am here to help. Here is a how-to guide to deal­ing with a team in chaos. 1. Find hap­pi­ness in the lit­tle things So your team sucks, but it’s OK-be­cause you can still find some hap­pi­ness in the small things. You can be happy with the play of new­com­ers such as Jalen Saun­ders and Richard Leonard or how it

hasn’t re­ally rained on days the team hosts a game or how that 60-1 loss oc­curred on the road and not at home. The macro-level stuff will still eat at you, but it is the mi­cro-level stuff that can still bring a wee bit of hap­pi­ness.

2. De­velop a thick skin and a sense of hu­mour When your team sucks, peo­ple are go­ing to crack jokes at their ex­pense. It is the na­ture of sports fan­dom. But don’t get up­set, play along and grow a thick skin. Like, by now, Roughrid­ers fans prob­a­bly have skin like Luke Cage and you can be like that too! When some­one makes an “Owen” joke — as in 0-and-6 — don’t get mad, laugh and play along.

Hu­mour can some­times be the best de­fence against trash talk, so while it might pain you to do so, make a joke at your team’s ex­pense. You can’t change what is hap­pen­ing, so you might as well em­brace it and have a lit­tle fun with it.

3. Think of all the free time you will have Watch­ing foot­ball takes up a lot of time, and if you are read­ing this, you not only watch all the games, but likely spend a few hours a week talk­ing foot­ball on so­cial me­dia and watch­ing the be­hind-the-scenes videos on the team’s and league’s web­sites.

But when your team stinks, there is no pres­sure to pay that much at­ten­tion. You can still watch games or a video or two, but you do not have to im­merse yourself in the day-to-day go­ings-on as much as you would if the team were win­ning.

You can still be a diehard fan if you di­ver­sify your in­ter­ests — as an ex­am­ple, I have seen a lot more of the sum­mer movies this year than I did last year — and do things you might put off un­til af­ter the sea­son.

4. You can watch games pres­sure-free Watch­ing games when they mat­ter is fun, but there is also some­thing re­lax­ing about watch­ing a game when there is no pres­sure over whether the team will win or lose. You can stroll around the sta­dium and take in a lot of the great ameni­ties at Tim Hor­tons Field rather than fo­cus in­tently on the play on the field. You can still cheer and boo and be rowdy, but you can do it with a much more re­laxed at­ti­tude, like you would a pre-sea­son game.

5. Be­come an artist Have fun with craft, as in beer. There’s no short­age of good suds to re­flect on poor play …

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.