The Wild Card: Fan Anguish and Feels

Eric Francis

We've all felt Shakespearean anguish over a sporting event, but how does it manifest itself?

If you're reading this website on a regular basis, you've been there. You're watching a sporting event of some sort, and there is great importance put on it (A playoff/tournament/championship scenario), and it's close late and the unthinkable happens: A go-ahead single with two outs/touchdown with two seconds left/buzzer-beating three pointer by the team that you are not putting emotional weight behind. You're watching on TV at home. You just felt the pain of a whole season going up in smoke.

You shout the word "NO" about 20 times in 5 seconds, and you pound the floor. You live on the second floor of your apartment complex, but you don't care. The people downstairs like to blast Cypress Hill nonstop at 3 in the morning so screw them. You then break into the bottle of Maker's Mark you got for Christmas and then drink the whole thing. You wake up on the floor the next day with a clown hat on and no recollection as to why or whether or not you owned a clown hat before this. However, you feel empty, but in a good way, as if the pain of the previous loss had been lifted off your shoulders. It's still fresh in your mind, but it's not gnawing at your soul. You had found a cathartic release from this and you feel you can move on with your damn life.

This is a cycle of Sports Anguish(TM) that all of us have felt at some point, one way or another. You may not be as demonstrative as the example above, but you probably still reacted in a way that you normally do not around other people. Hell, you might even had reacted moreso than above. (Have you ever shouted "GOD IS DEAD!!!!" in a crowded bar after a Basketball game? Because I have.)

We collectively as Diamondback fans have had our share of groin-kick moments in big spots. Of course, we also have a World Series title in I assume all of our lifetimes, so apparently we can't complain too much. However, people who say that are usually fans of like the Dodgers or Cubs, and they deserve nothing and should like it. It's been long enough. I have co-workers who were barely in Kindergarten when Gonzo hit that blooper PAJDJ (past a jumping Derek Jeter.), so it's cool to let it fly. In fact, there are certain code words that will probably give D'Backs fans bad acid flashbacks. They are as follows:

- Todd Pratt

- Byung-Hyun Kim at Yankee Stadium

- Russ Ortiz

- The 2007 Colorado Rockies as a concept

- Chad Qualls

- A.J. Hinch

- Nyjer Morgan

For me, personally, I can name the following non-Diamondback events that set off odd bodily twitches:

- 2013 AFC Division Round: Broncos vs. Ravens

- This past Saturday's Arizona-Wisconsin regional final (The inspiration and impetus for this particular column)

- Any damn US Soccer game against freakin' Ghana (including the one coming up, probably.)

I'm not saying it's a bad thing to react in a retroactively silly fashion after losses. It's part of the fun. I'm using fun quite liberally there, but you get the idea. So I ask you, dear reader, how have you reacted after a particularly harrowing loss? What was it, and how did you feel afterwards? Conversely, how have you reacted after a pretty big win? I can recall after Gonzo's walk off that I ran up and down the main hallway of my childhood home screaming like Daffy Duck. It was good times.

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