There were tears of joy streaming downs the faces of grown men and women wearing green and white. In the same row in Section 132 inside Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis Saturday night, Dec. 7 there were painful tears of sorrow fighting their way past the swollen eyes of plenty of scarlet and grey clad fans.
An epic Big Ten Championship game had just concluded and the range of emotions was on full display.
Cheers of joy, hugs of congratulations and screams of excitement for the winners, mixed right in with the agony of disappointment, the emptiness of lost hope and the unforgettable sting of losing.
As I made my way out of the stadium Saturday night I realized, this is exactly why I love sports so much, not because the team I grew up watching and rooting for and suffered through countless heartbreaking defeats with had just won a monumental game.
But because very few things in life can move us emotionally and touch us the way sports do in both ways. A win by your favorite teams can create such an unbelievable euphoric sensation, that very few things can match it. On the flip side a loss for a squad you have vested so much into emotionally can be similar to having a family member pass away.
Yes, I know it sounds ridiculous to say this but it’s so true. Haven’t you ever noticed how much better a week is after your team’s won a big game? You’re happier, those around you seem happier, you find yourself smiling for no apparent reason, even your tasks at work don’t seem nearly as daunting.
Those post-loss weeks however seem to drag on, it’s really hard to get out of bed the following morning, you’re not nearly as enthusiastic about anything, your laughs are fewer and far less jovial. You’re basically in mourning.
I’m sure a lot of Buckeyes fans are having a really tough week after what occurred Saturday and what was lost with one single loss. No chance at a national title and the nation’s longest winning streak over, just like that. But if you’re a sports fan you’ve suffered through these types of defeats before and know that the pain will eventually fade away.
As sports fans we give so much of our time, so much of our passion, put so much effort into being a fan of our team that when things don’t go the way we’d like them it’s extremely disappointing. We all know that you can’t win them all, but we never, ever want the losses to come.
I was raised in a home where crying wasn’t exactly an everyday thing, especially not when things were going bad. But being able to voice your opinion, express yourself in a loud and authoritative manner and watch sports with unbridled passion was strongly encouraged. If that meant an occasional tear or two might occur at the conclusion of a big game then so be it.
I’m extremely happy this week, but I’m sure many of you out there are not. Take it from a guy who’s lived through more than his fair share of disappointing performances and unbearable outcomes. There’s always another game and the next big win will more than wash away the taste of a disappointing loss.