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Being a Fan in Hard Times

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How to Be a Fan of a Losing Team
 
By Nick Jurkowski
 
There comes a time in every fan’s life when they realize that their team isn’t doing so well. If you’re a Dolphins’ fan, for example, you’ll find your team with the worst record in football at the end of week 7 (at an amazing 1-6). This kind of situation naturally poses a bit of a conundrum to any fan. How to react? Do you naively keep hoping they will turn things around, preaching a coming of an apocalyptic return to glory? Do you sourly abandon them, and sullenly predict their doom whenever they manage to get ahead? Both reactions are common. One: far too delusional. The other: far too cynical. While neither is particularly reasonable, it is a sad fact that the latter is the all-too common reaction; this is a huge shame, but it’s in the troubled times that you see who the true fans really are.
 
If you want to keep a healthy attitude when your team is in the doldrums, you really have to keep things in perspective (alcohol can sometimes help this). Impermanence is the name of the game in any sport. Every team eventually climbs out of their losing slump (or alternatively, folds) – just look at the Red Socks. Football is one of the most tumultuous sports; teams routinely go from the Super Bowl to the gutter, and no one really knows what’s going to happen until the season is underway.
 
 
This lofty talk might sound good in a vacuum, but what is a Dolphins’ fan to do today? The triumphs of yesteryear and the promise of next year do little to allay the pains of watching your team stagger around the field like lobotomized men-children. The best course of action, in my experience, is to proudly remain a fan while at the same time keeping a sense of humor about your team’s lousy performance. Laugh off any jabs friends, coworkers, and strangers on the street make at your expense, but keep them all in mind for when your team rises to the top again – because it’s then that you can make them all pay, rubbing their noses in it mercilessly. In the mean time, enjoy the games for the spectacle and the chance to yell and taunt with reckless abandon. Here is a hypothetical rundown of a sample game, and how to enjoy it:
 
One hour before game time: Have a limousine (preferably from Mirage Limo) pick you and your friends up and start the trip to Dolphins Stadium. The limousine, while not absolutely necessary, will only enhance the trip, not only because of the natural coolness of the limo, but also because of the irony inherent in renting a limousine to go see a last place team play.
 
Arrival at the stadium: Get provisions. The rough road ahead will involve a lot of nachos, hot dogs, and, above all, libations. Get your seats, and commence with one of the most important pre-game rituals for rooting for a losing team: wild prophecies about the coming game (the more outlandish the better.) Libations will help with this.
 
First quarter highlight: Quarterback Joey Harrington throws two consecutive interceptions. This is met with vigorous harrumphing from you and your friends, and requires more libations.
 
Second quarter highlight: Marty Booker catches a pass from Joey Harrington, only to trip over himself and fumble. The opposition recovers for a touch down. This is met by stares of disbelief, followed by vigorous harrumphing and more libations.
 
The rest of the game: At this point only a blur, the third and forth quarters meld into one as Joey Harrington spontaneously devolves into an ape-like creature. Against all odds, the ape-man Harrington completes numerous touchdown passes, until he is sacked and retaliates by beating the opposing player senseless. He is sedated, forcing Miami to use one of their second string quarterbacks. This requires more harrumphing, and of course, libations.
 
The ride home: You and your friends climb back into your limousine for the long ride home. This stage is also accompanied by wild prophecies for the future, as well as hope that super-ape Harrington returns to lead the team to glory. All in all, a successful outing.
 
So you see, it’s easy to have a great time watching your team, even if they’re having a lousy season. Keep the faith, wear your hat or other team gear with pride, and be secure in the knowledge that you are no fair-weather fan.