Ask the Readers: How Do You Cope With Defeat?

Posted by: Avinash on Thursday, October 18th, 2007

calsuccess

Apparently, I do it by writing seven unbelievably rambling posts in the wee hours of the night following said defeat, to quell any feelings of depression and angst. How about you?

Some responses from a place that knows how to cope best, The Bear Insider. Lots of humor, sage wisdom, and sanguine waxing about what lies ahead.


I turned off the TV, got up and went to clean out the garage, which I’d been putting off for weeks. I’m gonna build my own little brewery down there so I don’t have to do it in the kitchen, and the place is a friggin pigsty. Was, anyways. It was incredibly therapeutic…

I hate to say it, but being a Cal football fan has made me pretty good at dealing with defeat. We’ve had some saddening setbacks in our program’s history. At first, I’m usually in disbelief or in a state of utter depression. Last night, I was shocked by the loss. It was like I had been punched in the stomach. To be honest though, I was pretty cool about it all around. I commended Riley’s effort and began to break down the loss and what it means for us at the stadium. I kind of worked things out in my head about what we will have to do to get a Rose Bowl this season after this loss, and what the team needs to work on to win out.

After the initial blow, I recovered reasonably quickly, though I was still kind of depressed all night (I never turned on ESPN, I couldn’t stomach it). By now I’m still let down, but I’m feeling pretty good about the rest of our season. The sun is still shining bright, and while we are no longer #2 in the nation, we’re still in the top 10, if we win out we go to the Rose Bowl, we have a great coach, a strong team, a great QB who willdeerhunter rise into the starting position in a few years, and lots to look forward too…

Drank a bottle of not very good wine and yelled a lot in a motel in Batesville Mississippi. I was already not in good humor because Ole Miss had been beaten by Sabins hired refs, and for my Bears to lose just added to the angst. The only good news was that some Bama folks in the room next to mine started knocking on the walls and telling me to shut up. I’m 66 years old and I havn’t pulled a stunt like that in years. I wasn’t pi–ed at the Bears, just the football gods…

I dressed up in my Bobby D costume, and had someone dressed up in a Beavers mascot costume continually slap me in the face screaming “Mau! Mau!” as I screamed back “THREE BULLETS, THREE BULLETS!”…

5 slices of pizza, 3 chocolate chip cookies & silence…

Like another poster mentioned, many long-suffering Cal fans who have witnessed FAR WORSE defeats than this one have standard coping strategies. The problem this year is that our expectations are so high. That is a GOOD THING! Besides drinking some good bourbon, surrounding myself with optimistic Cal fans, and taking a long evening walk around the Campanile Tower – I actually gave thanks for our plight – To lose a game, and still be ranked #10?? What kind of Cal team do we really have? Me? I think the best is yet to come – The spirit around school is amazing..Homecoming this year had a Cal Football buzz..When was the last time we all shared that? And all my friends who thought I needed a suicide watch can now rest easy – there is nothing but hope for the rest of the season!

I walked home through the streets of Berkeley which were udderly silent by then. I wondered how I got to this point. My entire semester, my last semester at Cal, was ruined. My trips to UCLA and to ASU for my 21st birthday now looked dubious. I decided I would never invest as much into Cal football as I had this season, it was just too painful. The whole walk home I promised I would never go on here or ESPN.com the rest of my life. But alas, I was too weak willed. However, this site was down, and ESPN.com luckily had a picture of LSU losing on the front, not us.

I then decided at 8:30 I would call it a night, try to sleep off my depression, and curled up in my bed. By 8:45 I was enticed with the opportunity to replenish my figurative tears with a tasty malted beverage…or 8.

It’s now a few days later, and I realize the UCLA and ASU roadtrips are still VERY important, and I love Cal too much to hold anything back every year. So I am sure the wins will just continue to get sweeter, and the losses even more sour. Here’s hoping there’s more sweet than sour…

Listened to Song of the Wind
After 45 years of watching Cal lose in ways that one can even dream up, nothing anymore. It no longer hurts, it’s just…Cal. But better days are here, we win a lot more than we lose and at least the losses are usually unique….

Barney’s followed by Fenton’s followed by pepto bismol followed by a deep inner soul search followed by Kahlua, a bathtub, and lots and lots of weeping. Repeat until passed out, dead, or Rose Bowl…

I’d actually had to leave the stadium early because we’d all RSVP’d to attend a Bar Mitzvah reception beginning at 6:30 at Cedar & Arch. I knew I could be fashionably late, but he|| hath no fury like a family that’s paid $45 for my meal which I don’t show up in time to eat. So, I sprinted up the hill and, after changing into a decent shirt and jacket left in my wife’s car, got to the reception in time to see that they hadn’t quite started serving dinner, and then hung outside with my radio listening to Starkey scream, “An unbelievable mistake!” over and over. Since both of the kid’s parents are professors at Cal (and know I have season tickets), I ended up being the messenger of ill-tidings.

My son was even more bummed and even refused at first to eat his own $45 meal. But, when we shoved the great food in front of him and he ate, his outlook improved and he and 30 other kids got up and started doing some dance to a song called “Soldier” (with moves that look suspiciously lifted from the macarena). Seeing all the kids have a good time brightened my outlook as well. Kept things in perspective and all that. Staying on a first name basis with the bartended helped too…

I took Dr Phil’s “Repressing Your Anger” tape and smashed it with a ballpeen hammer. It worked; Dr. Phil really does help…

I keep *trying* to think about what it would have been like to cheer “We’re #1″ after the game….. to serenade the team off the field after an amazing comeback + overtime win….. to joyfully bounce back to our car and play Cal songs all the way home ….. and I know I *should* find these thoughts depressing. But the upset just won’t come full bore – it stays out there at a respectful distance where I can look at it and examine it but not feel it. And then, again without pushing or trying, I start thinking about that last drive… and Kevin Riley’s brilliance on it…. and all the other seasons where a starting qb got hurt and we had to rely on a backup, and what those “drives” looked like …. and all of the sudden I’m whistling and smiling and very, very much looking forward to next weekend…. and the one after that….. and the one after that…… and the one after that…..



Topics: Cal Football, Sports

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