Thursday, January 14, 2010

Dealing with my 7 stages of grief....

Ever since that Packer gut-wrenching excruciating loss at the hands of the Cardinals, I have been going through the seven stages of grief. It took me till this afternoon to realize that.

Part of the reason that pushed this incident from simple disappointment to grief, was the way the game ended. Some analysts called it the best game of the year. Some pronounced it the best game that they had ever witnessed in the playoffs...ever. To me, the roller coaster ride of the Packers going down trailing 31-10 at one point, and then making an unexpected yet exciting comeback to tie it all up and take it to overtime, was too much to handle already. And then, there was the way the game ended with the help of some missed calls by the refs (detailed in this post of mine), which directly resulted in a Packers loss. In my mind, I do not think the refs where biased against the Packers nor am I trying to implicitly suggest any "conspiracy theories" behind a Cardinals win. I guess the fact that simple incompetence on the part of refs, left a feeling of emptiness and emotional deprivation. It felt as if someone came into a room filled with people and stole a precious exhibit with a gazillion people looking.


Even though I was watching the game live, it took me a few minutes to realize that the game was over. It felt like a dagger to the heart, just when new life was given with a missed Field Goal at the end of regulation time, forcing overtime. Before I could recover from the shock I was in, most of my friends watching the game with me started taking off (bummed by what just happened). I now had to switch channels so that I do not catch replays of the traumatic play that ended the game. Got into a conversation with another friend about conspiracy theories (unrelated to football) and aliens. I started to do stuff as if it was not even football season. Soon I decided to call it a day and go to bed at 7 PM (never been to bed that early in my life). All this without realizing that I was, after all, in denial.

Stage 2: PAIN & GUILT

Although I was in bed, it was not so easy to go to sleep. The mind was wandering about the things that I could have possibly done to have helped the Packers. Did I do anything that could have jinxed the Packers? I started analyzing thoughts and details of my activities during the past week. Was kicking myself for thinking about "how to celebrate a Packer victory?" the day before the game. Hated that I contemplated getting champagne to pop once we had a win. Hours later, after forcing myself to sleep, I had dreams about plays in the game that could have helped the Packers win and replays of bad plays (especially the last one of the game) that woke me up a bunch of times. Even the next the day at work, I was still in pain, finding it hard to even read the Monday Morning columns I usually skim through. This lasted till late evening Tuesday, when I saw the replay of the game on the NFL Network. This is when I saw up-close the final play screw-up by the refs.


That drove me mad. I started cursing and swearing at my TV. Started contemplating all the what-ifs and if-not situations that could or should have happened. I also started venting about this to anybody I came in contact with. In the evening I read about the league offices' reaction to the "missed" call(s) and their diplomatic stance of not taking responsibility only enraged me even more.

Sadly, I am still at this stage.

Quick look at how I think the rest of the stages will go down:


Will eventually have to deal with this, and the games this weekend will help me get in touch with reality that the world must go on. It will definitely be sad that the Packers are one-and-done this season. But the thought that they had a great year of growth and development as a team bodes well for seasons to come. Not to mention of the young stars who showed up at the big stage Sunday - Rodgers, Finley and Jennings.


Will then pick out some other team as my dark horse for the rest of the playoffs. Might be the Cowboys, or, now that the Packers are out, might be the Vikings (hate to even think of it now), because the 'ol man No.4 plays for them now. And also start rooting for other teams to lose. People have no idea how fulfilling that can be. Outcomes of games here on will not bring disappointment, but they sure can bring loads of happiness when the team you don't like loses. Will ride this till the super bowl.


Soon it will be time for free-agency and then the draft. The Packers will start filling the missing pieces that can make them an even more formidable team next year. They can only get better with injured stars getting back and young players starting pre-season with so much more knowledge about both the game and dealing with adversity.


Tempus Fugit! ("time flies" in Latin). Before you know, training camp will be on and all the excitement for the new season will buzzing all over. There will be pre-season ball.......

......and a new season of hope will begin!

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