From the pure elation of a victory to the angst of defeat, tis the season for diehard sports fans to ride the dreaded emotional rollercoaster.
There’s always something about the postseason that’s brings out the best and worst in every fan.
From casual ribbing to ruthless cut throat comments that try to sever the heart of our allegiances, diehard fandom during the postseason is always taken to another level.
The postseason reveals a diehard fan’s true colours and loyalty.
Conviction and unwavering loyalty are what being a fan is all about, but it takes an entirely different complexion when “your” team is vying for a championship.
Everything changes, I mean everything, you seemingly live and die with every win or loss. In the diehard fans mind the next game means everything.
We count down the days, hours and minutes to every game.
Our rituals, routines and our over the top obsessive traits surrounding our fandom are on full display, for everyone to see, but really no one cares, it’s playoff time!
It’s destiny, it’s our team, it’s our time.
Every single one of our thoughts are rational in the playoffs or on a championship run.
Wait a minute rational or irrational?
Hell, some “diehards” can’t even bring themselves to watch, citing possible health issues as a cause of concern. People actually accept that as a valid excuse.
It’s playoff time!
We have all changed the channel, muted the broadcast because we can’t stand what the commentators are saying or turned away, screamed, cursed, jumped up and down, fist pumped the air and cried like babies. In the playoffs, anything goes!
IF you are a true fan you have done all of that and probably more, don’t deny it, embrace it!
Given the circumstances, it’s totally acceptable behaviour for the time of year.
So the obvious question remains, what to they these “kind” of diehard fans do on an off day?
How does the diehard fan cope with the agonizing tension and anticipation of the next game on the dreaded and often hated off day?
Ok, here we go, as a diehard fan, I mean a true diehard fan you have to think like the players do.
You have to be a realist, you have to put your fandom aside and celebrate a victory or have a meltdown about a loss until midnight, then you got to let that shit go.
Clearly as a fan, we can’t let that shit go, we can’t escape it, if it’s a loss it slowly erodes, it affects our sleep patterns and our overall mood, we can’t get rid of the negativity.
Fandom or fanatic?
Whatever, admit it if you are a diehard fan during the playoffs you felt and experienced that shit all the time.
Now if it’s a victory, we instantly start thinking of the glory that awaits, we get trapped in the moment, the pure joy, affects our sleep patterns and our overall mood.
The diehard fan wakes up the next morning having gone through a three-hour emotional rollercoaster and now is confronted with the daunting task of the dreaded off day.
Interventions aside, what’s the best way to cope with an off day?
Step 1: Focus on the off day
Preoccupy yourself with anything else, but the game, series or sport, sure watch the highlights once or twice if it’s a victory, but don’t think your team is championship bound, it’s one freaking game!
Ok, I know that’s almost impossible to do, especially if you are on social media, but this is where we have to act like the player once again, don’t read the high praise, don’t read the negative shit about the performance the night before, stay focused on the off day.
Step 2: Embrace the off day
The true diehard will feel a sense of relief, on the off day, which allows us to compose and collect our emotions and irrational thoughts.
Ok let’s be realistic all of our thoughts are focused on the next game, but just try to embrace the off day and do something that relaxes you.
Whatever you do try to stay away from the beer, because you have to save that shit for game day!
I understand 24 hours before puck drop or tip off, the diehard’s thoughts are often misleading, we all go through playoff game withdrawal, but let’s face it, just embrace it!
Ok, if you don’t want to completely lose it mentally, like I mean go totally batshit crazy over your favourite sports team, I highly recommend the following distractions, a) spend some quality time watching TV with your wife, b) watch your favourite movie, c) listen to your favourite album d) go straight off the board and do something spontaneous anything really, nevertheless, the true diehard fan will already have their off days planned out, it’s all in the routine or ritual, but seriously embrace the off day.
Step 3: Stick to the Routine
Whatever you do, don’t break the routine, to take one out of Crash Davis’, cliché playbook, “don’t f%&$ with a streak.”
The off day rituals are just as important as the game day ones, don’t lose sight of that, that’s why you have to refer to Step 1 and 2, Focus on the off day, and embrace it.
If you are still struggling with off day issues, seek help, reach out to other diehard fans, talk and share, but try to keep it off “socials.”
People will probably rip you apart, but rest assured as they are tearing you apart they will have to deal with their own issues with being a diehard fan, more than likely all those people are Leaf fans.
How do you deal with off days?
I’m here for you, we are all in it together!
Oh yeah I can’t for the life of me figure out how to handle back to back off days?