There's no getting around the fact that at the end of any football season, fans of only one team will experience that intoxicating euphoria that comes with a Super Bowl victory. The rest of us can hope for apathy, at best. At worst, you'll deal with the painful, repeated kick to the groin that comes with knowing your team very well had a shot and blew it. It's a pain so deep, you almost envy fans of loser teams that never even made it to the postseason because at least they got let off the hook early. It's like choosing whether you want to die peacefully in your sleep or be slowly crushed to death with a medieval torture device.
Which bring us to this year's round of divisional playoff games and the fans of the Seahawks and Broncos. You both have a lot in common all of a sudden, don't you? You both sensed victory was within reach. You were already thinking about your Facebook status updates or what you would tweet to express your excitement when the game was finally over and your team had won. You had your trash talk locked and loaded. You were giddy with the notion that you just might have to dip into your savings account this year to fund a trip to the Super Bowl to watch your team play. And then, in a matter of seconds, you went from the happiest place on Earth to wanting to ram your head into a TV set before setting yourself on fire. The bad news is, the pain never goes away. The good news is, you can anticipate it getting worse before it gets better. Oh wait, I guess that's not good news at all, is it?
As a fan who has been there, I can recommend as a temporary solution channeling the bottled up hatred you feel into wishing for the demise of the team that bested your own. It's how I coped last year after a pass from 49ers quarterback Alex Smith to tight end Vernon Davis in the final seconds of the divisional playoff game ended the Saints' season and sent a rusty blade through my heart. But being a hater will only bring you brief gratification. Eventually, the horror of how your team ended its season will consume you again. You can't stop it.
So my advice to you is quite simple. Embrace your stank. Let the darkness wash over you. It's better than trying to fight it. Curl into the fetal position with your favorite bottle of [Insert alcoholic beverage here]. Don't bother asking why you're envying the Texans and Packers for getting the floor mopped with them. You'll never get the answers you seek. Football is a mean sport. Being a die-hard fan is almost masochistic. But that won't stop you next year from starting this process all over again. You won't be wiser or less hopeful next time around. In fact you will have learned nothing. You will walk away from this entire ordeal thinking, "If we got this close, next year will be our year."
You poor bastards.
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