2018-02-12 / Columns

IT’S JUST ME

When your team loses
KLONIE JORDAN — Executive Editor

“What happened to your boys last night?”

I hate that remark.

It usually comes from some annoying loquacious person whose favorite team beat your favorite team the previous night.

This is the risk you take when you let it be known which teams you support. When you do that, there are bound to be certain individuals in the vicinity who duly note your allegiances and make it a point to be able to pick on you if and when their favorite team beats yours. Some of these people even go so far as to mark on a calendar the dates your team plays their team. Many of them will spend hours, maybe days, or even weeks, practicing the annoying boisterous antics they will use if and when their team prevails over yours.

They will get in front of a mirror and go through their little routine, which might or might not involve hand gestures and/or some sort of dance routine.

Either way it’s presented, the bragging is usually pretty ugly and those of us who have been subjected to it are due a rousing “atta-boy” for showing remarkable restraint and not tearing into the braggart like a hungry tiger taking down an antelope.

But bear in mind that one must maintain the required degree of civility, so one refrains from physical confrontation and absorbs the punishment, all the while fantasizing about what the braggart would look like on a stretcher being carried out the front door by paramedics.

“What happened to your boys last night?”

They might as well just go ahead and thumb their noses at us and say, “My team’s better than your team … nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah,” and then break into that oft-rehearsed happy dance.

“What happened to your boys last night?”

Eww.

It makes my skin crawl, makes my blood boil.

I want to answer, “Well, first of all, they’re not my boys. They are just some guys I don’t even know who wear the uniform of a school I support. I have not adopted any of them. Shucks, I’ve never even had them over for tea and crumpets. So, as you can see, they’re not really ‘my boys’ at all.

“And second of all, their on-field, on-court, on-whatever surface-they-might-have-been-playing-on performance had nothing to do with me. I wasn’t even there. I didn’t draw up any plays, call any defenses, make any halftime adjustments, or give any pep talks.”

And then, under my breath, I’d probably say something like, “You moron, you wouldn’t know a half-court trap from a pick and roll.”

Funny thing, this sports stuff.

We live and die by the wins and losses, we anguish over the injuries and worry about the matchups. We lose sleep waiting for the tournament pairings and scream at the television like the players can hear us and will suddenly call a timeout, look up at us through the screen and say, “Oh yeah, I don’t know why we hadn’t already thought of that. It’s amazing that you have such incredible insight into the game, the teams and the players. None of our coaches ever explained it to us at the level of expertise that you’re demonstrating, Mr. TV Watching Man.”

Then play would resume and the guys on your team would use the strategy you had outlined and all five starters would score 30 points, have 12 rebounds and 10 assists each and would win every game 150 - 27.

The good thing about getting ribbed when your team loses to someone’s else’s favorite team is that eventually the tables will turn and you can spend some time in front of the mirror practicing your own hand gestures and your own dance routine. As a matter of fact, you can even make an effort to try to have more hand gestures and a better dance routine than the person who bragged so vociferously when his team beat yours.

This is what is commonly known as one-upmanship.

This is when one can, if one is inclined to reciprocate on a heretofore-unparalleled level, go that extra mile and maybe even make an extra effort.

One of my favorite teams lost a game last week to a team that is the favorite of some folks I know and some of them reminded me about it.

What they must remember is that those teams play again and if my team wins the rematch, I fully expect to incorporate the one-upmanship bragging factor.

I can’t tell you exactly what I have in mind but it does involve hiring a choreographer and renting a confetti cannon.

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