What do you do when the game just plain sucks?

Because in the course of any season, regardless of how well your team is or is not doing, it’s going to happen. Several times. Well, if you’re me and it’s the Angels doing the sucking, you just keep right on watching. Call it misplaced optimism. Call it “fan”aticism carried to masochistic degree. Call it a factor of being raised on SoCal baseball where, truly, more so that for any other teams in the majors there is no lead so large that every now and then it can’t be overcome…or given up for that matter. Call it whatever you like, but if I’ve started watching the game, be it at the ballpark or on the television, even on delay, then I’m going to finish it — root, root, root for my guys or at least show solidarity by sitting tight through the evening death watch, as it were.

Fortunately, this evening I accidentally saw the end of the game. Not knowing the end of an east coast game while you’re waiting for your husband to come home to start said game on delay when you blog…and read everyone else’s blogs…and watch MLB tonight…and, and, and, you get the general idea…on the night your team decides to blow goats two days after pitching a no-hitter? It’s not possible. Seth knew the outcome before he got home too. I won’t give up on a train wreck once it’s started, but I also don’t believe that fandom demands seeking one out when I already know the gorey depths and bloody extent of the of the carnage.

So, what do you do when the game just plain sucks? Either in lieu of watching it or after it’s over?

Change the channel.  Yep. Pick up that remote and put something else on. Depending on your personality, another game might be just the ticket, or it might drive you into greater fits of depression. Sometimes something completely different is a better idea. Watch a movie. Drool over Food Network. Catch up on some of the April and May episodes of favorite TV series you abandoned on the DVR once the baseball season started. One word of advice, though. Watching SportsCenter, Quick Pitch, or the like immediately after your team choked and hearing the talking heads not just speak ill of the dead, but trash talk the corpse during the autopsy isn’t therapy. It’s the sports fan equivalent of drunk dialing an ex-lover while you’re still raw from a recent break up. Sure, you think you’re going to achieve some measure of closure, but no. It’s a trap.   …or so I’ve heard…

Go to the Movies. Get out of the house and lose yourself in someone else’s story for a few hours. After Joel Pinero’s Post Oakland Debacle, Debacle Part II: This Time it’s in Cleveland, we went to go see Captain Abs…er…America. *Sigh.* Is this geek girl heaven? No ma’am. It’s just the first preview for the Avengers movie in 2012. *Sigh again* Really, Captain America was fun, and it had a neat, knowing WWII recruitment poster come to life look to it, but it was worth it for that preview alone.

Sadly, sometimes stronger measures in this arena are required. Cheesy, cheesier, so bad it’s good, and occasionally even just plain bad movies have their uses. Yes, there was a game so bad a few weeks ago that we actually went to see Transformers III. Our rationalizations? Let someone else pay for the air conditioning for a few hours. Pretty explosions in 3-D are therapeutic. And, really, the game might look better in comparison. We were mostly right.

Curl Up with a Good Book. If you’re not a fan of the printed word, no worries. Some people juggle geese and all that. But if you are, this is an excellent strategy. Brain vacation! Cruise around in Crowley’s ill fated Bentley or Harry Dresden’s blue beetle. Visit Middle Earth or 221B Baker Street. Attend Woland’s Walpurgis Night Midnight Ball. And return to reality when your desire to punch walls over the game has receded to mere annoyance.

Ummm…it’s called alcohol. Feeling the need for something a bit more mind-numbing than my previous suggestions? The main benefit of this time honored coping strategy is that you don’t have to wait until after the game to begin self-medicating. Wine. Beer. Bourbon. Vodka. Be the reason the rum is gone. Heck, get fancy and do catastrophe themed shots like flaming drambuie. And it’s versatile too! If your team starts to rally, your spirit drenched activities can flip the switch from wake to celebratory revels faster than Peter Bourjos goes from first to home plate. And if you haven’t had the pleasure of watching the lad this season, that’s pretty damn fast.

Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge. Say no more. Personally, I think this should be a frequent go-to post game strategy regardless of the score. A great pick me up after a terrible game. A fantastic celebration after a good game. It’s the little black dress of cope-age.

Blog. Put fingers to key board and rant, whine and snark away. Oh, come on. You know you were going to do it anyway. Why not get all of the ranting out of the way during or immediately after the game when it has the most direct therapeutic value. If raw emotions – or perhaps having, ahem, combined this option with one of the others – adversely affect the quality of your prose, it’s not like you actually have to post it. Of course, that’s never stopped me before. ;)

And if none of this is effective, well, you know you’re going to get right back on that horse with the next game to cheer again. How can you not? Your cure is only a win away. And your relapse? Well, best not to talk about that. But you might as well keep this list handy, you know, just in case.

6 Comments

Kristen, I feel your pain. The only difference is that yesterdays’ game was fun for me, while the game before was a killer (I see Trumbo in my nightmares…). I loved Captain America and can’t wait for the Avengers. I collected both comics as a kid. I love a good book, too, and when it’s slow at work love to read about Mitch Rapp offing terrorists. Also…I like my beer, but not too many anymore.
Today’s game is fun as Turner pitched well, but when Scocia completely out-classes Leyland in the managing department, it doesn’t look good for the Tigers(Phil Joke…really?) Enjoy the game, and get ready for tomarrow. This is a fun series.
–Mike
‘Minoring In Baseball’

Trumbo haunts you after Thursday, does he Mike? He he. Yeah, I figured you were enjoying that Friday game. :) It has been a pretty good series though. Some very good pitching on both sides. Turner looks like he’s going to be very good indeed, absolutely unflappable.

Yeah Captain America was lots of fun and that Avengers preview makes me salivate for the movie. I didn’t read the Captain America comics as a kid but loved the Avengers and X-Men…and then the Frank Miller Batmans and on to graphic novels, the darker the better. I remembered you like to read. I should check out the Mitch Rapp series. My grandfather loved them too and he’s the one who turned me onto Tom Clancy, Kenneth Follet and a lot of the cold war/political/spy stuff I love to this day.

– Kristen

Yes blogging about certain players, even though they’ll never read it, is sometimes as satisfying as yelling at them in person. Sometimes even the most die hard fans need to just go on a rant about how bad the team is, even if they don’t mean it. Even after a 15-0 blow out, the real fans always come back the next day.

http://bluejaysnest.mlblogs.com/

Bluejaysnest – Very well put and I could not agree more.

– Kristen

I don’t see an entry for “Breaking things” which is what I like to do. When the alcohol and channel surfing don’t fix my angst, a good old hole in the wall seems to help take my mind off of things… mostly because I then channel my anger at myself for being so stupid. Hehehe.
–Jeff

Jeff – I suppose one could break things, but I tend not to include it on my list, mostly because them I would have to add a repairing things I’ve broken follow-up which isn’t nearly as much fun…especially holes in the wall. Cutting new drywall is dusty work, LOL.

– Kristen

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