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Your Team Sucks: A Brief Guide on How to Cope
Each season begins with hope and optimism. You know the feeling, right? Regardless of how good or bad your favorite team was last year, when the new season begins, you start dreaming of a championship.What inspired this post was just that -- hope for a better season. My Detroit Lions and West Ham United Hammers both started off the season terribly, quickly dashing any hopes I had of an amazing year. My hopes and dreams have turned into a distant memory.This is nothing new. For decades, I have cheered for teams that have failed to come anywhere near glory. My Detroit Tigers last won a championship a week before my birth in 1984. My Detroit Lions last won a championship over 60 years ago. I am used to investing my time and energy into teams that I know will probably let me down before the season is over.Since I'm not planning on giving up on any of my favorite teams, and I doubt you will either, I decided to write a short guide on how to cope with being invested in a team that sucks.Accept the Worst When our expectations are high and performance is low, our hearts can come crashing down to reality. By accepting the worst as soon as possible, you can prepare yourself for a difficult conclusion to your season.Say it with me; "My (team name) will not win the championship this year and that's okay. They may lose every game, and although I don't want that to happen, I accept that they are not a contender this year. I will continue rooting for them while understanding that they will likely continue to lose."Accepting the worst will make losses bearable and any wins a pleasant surprise.Surround Yourself with Others for Support (Who are Positive!)Support groups aren't just for those who are addicted to a substance or trying to overcome a tragic event. They can bring a wide range of benefits, and a group of fellow fans of the same team can act as a support group of sorts for this difficult time in your journey as a fan. Find other fans who can talk with, both online and offline. The conversations, jokes and GIFs you share with other fans help make the pain go away.However, I must caution you that surrounding yourself with the wrong types of fans can just escalate your misery. Find those who are positive about the future while being realistic about the present without only looking at the negative.Find an Outlet to Vent Through While you don't want to surround yourself with negativity, I believe that it's healthy to let your frustrations out. For me, I do that through writing a 1,000-word blog. For others, finding a quiet place to scream into a pillow does the trick. Releasing your frustrations in a safe and healthy way can help you feel more relaxed and free from the anger coursing through your veins.The key to venting is letting out your frustration without harming anyone else, so try not to turn to Twitter to write hateful posts about the players who are letting you down. Instead, find a private and less hurtful way to vent so those you're angry with aren't victims of your venting.Look to Next YearHope for this season may be lost, but a bad year for many sports teams often means a better chance at draft picks and free agents. I am currently working on a blog post about what the Detroit Lions need in order to be successful this year. By occupying my mind with the potential my team has in the future, I can put my woes from this past year behind me. Pick a Secondary TeamThere is nothing wrong with picking a secondary team. This team will never take the place of the team that's in your heart, but it will serve as a second chance at victory, and help distract you from the disaster that is the team you love.If you don't have a second team yet, choose a city you have visited or have some sort of connection to, and start learning about their sports teams. I have spent months in Houston, Texas with my grandmother, who took me to sporting events. I adopted these teams as my "second teams" in different sports. The Houston Astros winning the World Series two years ago wasn't quite as sweet as I imagine the day my Tigers with the World Series, but it was an amazing fan experience that helped me forget how bad my first teams have been of late.Put Your Time and Energy in a Different SportFootball (NFL) is nearly over for the year, but other sports are just heating up or are on the brink of starting back up. Turn a portion of your attention and affection to one of your other teams in a different sport. The baseball season is just around the corner! What tips do you have for someone rooting for a losing team? Please share below! Consider voting for @teamgood here: http://www.guiltyparties.com/scorum. Have questions? Just ask!