How to Root for Losers

Bobby Lemaire, Sports Editor

When you are a big sports fan, one of the hardest things to deal with is when your team just plain old sucks. As an Oakland Raiders fan, I know the difficulties firsthand. Since they lost the 2003 Super Bowl to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Oakland has not made the playoffs again. They have never won more than eight games in a season and are considered one of the biggest jokes in the sports world. During the Week Six loss to the Arizona Cardinals, Cardinals defensive end Darnell Dockett created a sign that said, “Worst team in the NFL. 0-6” and showed it to the Raider fans with a grin. After not making the postseason for 11 straight seasons and starting the 2014 campaign 0-6, I have some tips on how to deal with the constant disappointments and failures.

1) Don’t get your hopes up. After all of the years of watching this franchise I have seen them lose every way possible. Whether it is them getting blown out from the first play of the game or when they actually play well and somehow end up losing. Just accept that more times than not, they are going to end up losing.

2) Don’t brag until the game is over. On those rare occasions when it looks as if they might win, especially if they are playing one of your friend’s favorite teams, wait until the clock hits zero. If your team blows the lead (which the bad ones do), you will never hear the end of it.  It took me way too many times to learn this one. Seriously, just keep your mouth shut.

3) Keep watching anyway. No matter how bad things get, it is a fan’s obligation to keep watching. You watched them during the good times and have to suffer the bad. Loyalty is one of the best attributes a sports fan–or anyone for that matter–can have.

4) Don’t hold anything valuable while watching. While watching football in my room there have been various cell phones, PlayStation controllers and remotes that no longer work by the end of the game. It is best for you and your wallet if you don’t throw anything against a wall.

5) Find fans of the same team. It is better to go through a struggle with a friend than watching alone. You can make jokes about the team’s struggle with your friend and it will help make the time go by faster. Watching these games together can actually bring you closer than you already are. This is also a person that will be willing to pay for a ticket to the game, just to watch them eventually lose.

6) Alcohol. One of the constants at any tailgate is beer. This is regardless of whether your team is good or not. If the team is struggling, it will be ok to drink just a little bit more than usual (if you are over 21, of course).

I hope these tips will help you in the future of your sports watching woes.

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