Sports Day-ly: Handling Sports Heartbreak

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By Denton Day

Heartbreak and sports seem to go hand in hand. If you truly find yourself invested into a particular sports team at some point or another that team will make you want to rip your hair out.

As a guy who grew up outside of Washington D.C. and has been a faithful D.C. sports fan I know heartbreak. In fact, I probably know way too much for someone who has yet to celebrate his 23rd birthday.

This weekend–out of nowhere–Liberty decided to jump in on the fun. In a 52-52 game with under a minute and an NCAA bid on the line the Flames were in a prime position to make me a very happy individual.

All they had to do was score a point, which they had done a pretty good job of up to that point, and stop Radford from scoring, which they had also done a pretty good job of.

They did neither of those things.

Carlik Jones, who had attempted and missed two three-pointers throughout the game, buried a game-winner from deep.

The shot left Jones’ hands with 1.8 seconds and went through the rim as the buzzer went off and the backboard lit up. Liberty didn’t even have a chance to answer.

I was furious and many profanities left my mouth immediately following. I’m not a big drinker but if I would’ve done a good job of quenching my thirst that day.

I’ve almost become numb to the failures of D.C. sports because it has become a year-round thing that happens in four different sports. The heartbreak delivered from the Flames hurt though, it let me know that I still feel these things.

While I have become numb I’ve also become a pretty solid teach. So get your notebooks out and make sure your pencils are nice and sharpened. Class is in session.

First things first, breathe. Breathing is important. If you are so angry or disappointed that you stop breathing you might want to see a doctor. I can’t really help with that.

It is very important to surround yourself with soft items or items that you don’t want broken.  Personally, I’ve never physically broken a television, table or any bones in a blind rage following a bad loss.

I have, however, delivered a massive beat down on many pillows and many couch cushions. Throwing things is also a viable option but you better have good aim.

I once watched the Redskins lose on a game-winning field goal to the Cowboys–whom I absolutely despise–on Monday Night Football. I was furious–understandably–and I ripped off my Sean Taylor jersey and threw it across my dorm room.

Thank God it was a jersey because it ended up hitting a sprinkler in my room. Not just a normal sprinkler, one of those sprinklers with the little red crystal in the middle that, if broken, has the capability to set of the entire sprinkler system in the building.

My roommate Zach and I froze and watched in fear as my jersey traveled across our room, hit the sprinkler, wrapped around it then lifelessly fell to the floor.

I don’t think either of us have ever gone from angry to panicked so quickly. Needless to say, don’t throw things unless you can aim.

He also happens to be from the DMV so we like all of the same teams. We experienced much heartbreak together and having each other loudly scream profanities with did help ease the pain.

Finding yourself in an area filled with people who understand your pain and don’t make fun of you is also an important aspect to a successful grieving period.

There are two kinds of people that you want to avoid if you even think there is a possibility of heartbreak.

The first are people who will make fun of you, those people suck and capitalize off your heartbreak for their own personal pleasure. Nobody needs that kind of person around.

The second is the person who utters, “there’s always next year” or “you’ll get them next year” or something of that variation. That person is not a true friend. They don’t care about your true feelings they just want to give the illusion that they do.

With March Madness right around the corner about 99 percent of people are going to experience heartbreak because their favorite team or alma mater doesn’t succeed or their bracket fails costing them some amount of money.

Take these lessons into account. Put yourself in a good environment where there are minimal opportunities to break things and lose friendships.