Posted written by Kyle Slavin, author of the Second Coming.
The Five Stages of Losing
“Hello everyone. My name is (insert name here).”
“And I am a Lakers fan.”
It isn’t easy to deal with loss. The human psyche is ill-equipped to cope with it. There are clinics, counseling, books you can read. It occurs so frequently that the stages are named and catalogued.
Yes, you can check a spreadsheet tomorrow and see how traumatized you are.
Last night, the Los Angeles Lakers handed their fans a historic loss, a loss the level of which had never existed before. A record-setting loss. They were winning by more, were ahead further than any team that had lost before. This was uncharted loss territory.
This time, there were no refs to blame. There was no mass conspiracy or mob connections, no imbalanced ratios of fouls or free-throws or traveling violations. They did not shrink the rims at halftime (though it may have felt that way). And they didn’t come through with a miracle last-second heave that saved the day.
The Lakers just lost. Take a deep breath and say it again. The Lakers just lost, in the same way that the Hindenburg doesn’t fly around much anymore.
And the Laker fans are left with the burning aftermath.
* * *
This was more than just a pivotal game. To gain a better perspective of things, let’s call this an experiment in hyper-tension. The difference between a 2-2 series and a 3-1 series is massive. It’s being given a semi in the Indy 500, a drink umbrella in a thunderstorm, or fifteen shots before a date…