Saturday, October 06, 2007

Time Mag on How to Cope with a Losing Team

Last Tuesday, Time Magazine actually ran a piece on how sports fans can cope with the heartbreak from their team losing.

Typically -- and ironically -- the article spoke dir
ectly to Mets fans, who have "lived through so much disappointment from this franchise" and how they can deal with their losing the NL East . . . to the Phillies.

Of course, this of course presents the author, a Mets fan, with the irresistible platform to dump on the Phils. Referring to one of the oh-so insightful psychologists he consulted (who probably holds his degree from Hollywood Upstairs Medical College), he wrote:

Luckily, End also recommends a trick any fan can use, something psychologists call "social creativity." Basically, make yourself feel better by comparing your team to one which, historically, has been much worse off than yours. Take the Phillies. They've been around for 125 years, and won just one World Series, in 1980. The Mets have won a couple since their birth in 1962. Philadelphia lost its 10,000th game this season, the most in professional sports. The franchise is also famous for a choke of its own, the 1964 team that lost the pennant after leading by 6 1/2 games with 12 left to play. They may have topped us this time, but thank God the Phillies aren't my team.

That feels a little better. Wann, the Murray State psychologist, also recommends what he calls "retroactive pessimism." "A guy doesn't get a job, and he tells himself, 'Gosh, the field was so competitive,'" he explains. "'There was nothing I could do to control it.' It has nothing to do with the fact that he's lazy and unqualified." You can do the same thing here. The Phillies are a team of destiny. Sure, the Mets didn't play well down the stretch, sure they made 21 errors over the last 17 games. But gosh, give those Phils credit: They went 13-4 in those final games. Really, who could stop them? (Answer: a team that did any better than 5-12 in those same 17 games).

Needless to say, the article was relatively useless fluff, but again seems to reinforce how the national media (especially the NY media) has such a self-centered and shamelessly obvious anti-Philadelphia bias. I'm not even talking about the "social creativity" or "reactive pessimism" non-theories fabricated for the article, but just the fact that fans with a losing team don't matter until they're New York.

Then again -- we don't need no stinkin' coping mechanism. We don't need no psychological comforting. This is Philly. We get psyched up, we play, we lose, we get pissed, but we get over it. Maybe not quickly, and maybe not totally. Hell, maybe not at all in some cases. But the point is that we deal. We can leave the coddling for others.


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