THE FIVE STAGES OF FAN GRIEF

Updated: Apr 24



By Nancy Gabriel

THE FIVE STAGES OF FAN GRIEF

We’ve all been through it. We’ve guided our team through the regular season and into the playoffs and, intellectually we understand that there can only be one winner. And then it happens. OUR TEAM is unable to get that last win. The season is over and our trophy hopes have died. This is what I’m feeling right now. My Vegas Golden Knights lost Game 7 to the San Jose Sharks. It was ugly. I am entering into the Five Stages of Fan Grief:


The First Stage is Denial.

This can’t be happening. An inexcusable, horrific penalty call? How can that be? They’ll change it. They’ll reconsider. We’ll get to replay Game 7. This was all a bad dream. I’m never watching hockey again.


The Second Stage is Anger.

I’m furious. The officiating was horrific. The other team got away with murder. I hate everyone and everything, including the fact that my potato chip bag seems to be nothing but crumbs. My friends are ignoring my profane texts, and my cat is hiding under the bed.


The Third Stage is Bargaining.

I will try to be a better fan. I will watch more games. I will buy more fan gear. I will change my Facebook profile picture. I will host watch parties at my house. I will grill steaks – good ones, and serve imported beer. I just want this horrible feeling to go away.


The Fourth Stage is Depression.

What am I going to do until hockey season starts again? How can I make time go by faster? If I hear “there’s always baseball” one more time, I will burst into tears.


The Fifth Stage is Acceptance.

How about those Dodgers?

IF YOU have experienced grief at the abrupt end of your team’s season, how do you handle it? How long do you mourn? Do you retire all your gear until next season, or continue to wear it proudly? Please share your helpful hints with me, unless you’re a therapist. If so, please share your couch.


I think I might need some professional help.

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