So your favorite baseball team took you on a whirlwind adventure during the six-month regular season. They had some great wins. There were some great defensive plays. There were some games you don't remember because their performance made you drink half-a-liquor-store's-worth of booze afterward.
Either way, those guys made it to October. You've prepped your stress-eating junk food stash and gathered some very potent adult beverages. You've also donned your lucky underwear since before they clinched a playoff spot, hence involuntarily sacrificing any social interaction for a few weeks. You're ready. All that preparation, and they just…lose.
How do you come to terms with this (after burning your disgusting lucky underwear to keep others safe from its all-encompassing stench)? Here are some tips.
Stay away from the voodoo.
Absolutely do not make voodoo dolls of all the players on the team that beat yours. This may be tempting, but it's not their fault that their team was better than yours. It's also not safe to be around so many needles when you're in such a vulnerable state. Besides, putting a hex on the players is way more effective.
Eat salt like it's a multi-vitamin.
Don't drown your sorrows in alcohol, eat salty foods instead. Get that blood pressure up so you can have a dramatic cardiac episode during the next playoff loss. The team will feel really bad that they did this to you. And maybe the players will visit you in the hospital or you'll score some free tickets out of the ordeal. Plus, if you've significantly decreased your lifespan with poor dietary habits, they have far fewer opportunities to disappoint you.
Don't be a sports team philanderer.
Don't two-time your team with a team that actually advanced. The grass is not greener on the other side. The other team's large payroll and the security that can provide for future playoff prospects may seem tempting, but that's not everything you need. You need a team that can make you laugh as they make terrible defensive miscues and run the bases like a drunken tee-ball squad. You need a team that surprises you with gifts, like a borderline elderly relief pitcher you didn't even know was still playing. You need a team that you know won't cheat on you with younger, more attractive fanbases. Stick with them.
Invest yourself in more sure-fire winners.
To give your digestive system and aggravated emotional state a rest, try to root for some non-baseball things that are sure to win. Become a huge fan of people playing toddlers in board games or cats eyeing glasses on a ledge. Root for that baby to get everything on the floor in its mouth before their mom can stop them. Passionately root for people not to use their turn signals. You've got this!
Don't be jealous of other fans.
It's important not to be tempted toward jealousy or anger toward those who are more fortunate. Tell your friends whose teams advanced that you may need to take a break from your friendship until November. If their team wins it all, you'll need to take a break from your friendship for at least a year. If their team was the one that eliminated your team, tell them they can see you at your funeral.
Spend months creating unrealistic expectations for next season.
Finally, you can look forward to the next season! The sooner your team loses, the sooner you can imagine things will go well next year. You can spend a year convincing yourself they'll win it all before being utterly let down within a week of the postseason's kickoff… again. If you plan on being a sports fan, being delusional is the best balm for your soul.