Friday, July 30, 2010

Dealing with a (sporting) loss

It has been a few weeks since “he who shall remain nameless” left the shores of Lake Erie for the beach of South Beach, but the wounds are still healing. There is the large (and extremely publicized) gaping hole that was left in the hearts of Clevelanders and then there is a smaller, hypothetical below-surface bruise incurred by the wives of the aforementioned Clevelanders who tried to brush “The Decision” off as just another sport headline.

I like to consider myself a sport savvy female fan, especially when it comes to Cleveland teams and sports. So yes, I was also hurt and upset about the fact that Cleveland’s top athlete would be leaving his hometown. But compared to Mr. I’s reaction I merely had a paper cut whereas he was suddenly missing a limb.

And this is not the first time, nor will it be the last time this happens. I’m sure there are plenty of girlfriends, wives, sisters and mothers out there who have vied for some attention during the "big game", wanted to talk instead of watching SportCcenter at dinner, or who made the mistake of thinking a loss is only a loss.

I tried to give him some time. He finished his beer and we closed the tab, I drove us home, worked on some stuff on my computer, watched some TV and figured after a couple hours it would all be over. In our four years together, I don’t know if I’ve ever been so wrong. As we were calling it a night, Mr. I was still fuming (I’m pretty sure I saw the cartoon steam spewing out his ears). Despite my numerous attempts to sidetrack him or distract him, we kept coming back around to the fact the “The King” would no hold court in the city of Cleveland. And ultimately, this angered me.

The difference now is that we’re married. I have to live with him. For better or for worse right? It’s not like I could just say goodnight and go home. I had to deal with it and my sense of annoyance that at this moment, this sporting debacle meant more to him then being buddy-buddy with me. So how long would it be until I was going to have my loving husband back? I started to consider the stages of grieving:

Shock/Disbelief and Denial: This started happening months ago when free agency began the rumors of him leaving became more and more rampant. Denial set in at the bar when the announcement occurred

Bargaining and Guilt: We all considered it, what if Cleveland had more to offer? Then the guilt of “in some ways it is our fault, we couldn’t put together a championship team even with him here.

Anger: This was the stage that occurred that evening (and in the following days) that prevented Mr. I from really noticing the fact that his darling wife wanted some attention

Depression: Somewhere between a few days and weeks after Decision-day the hopes of a championship, or even a decent sports team in Cleveland dwindled. It was gloomy and fans all around the city gave-up hope, Mr. I included. Personally, I think this could go on for a long while until we can all truly accept the situation and move on.

Acceptance and Hope: Fortunately, signs that we are moving onto this stage are imminent. With a decent 6-0 winning streak by the Indians after the All-Star break and football season just around the corner for the Browns, glimmers of hope are returning to the conversations about the future of Cleveland sports.

I’ve learned to tip-toe around the subject of “the one who got away” because, as mentioned before, the wounds are still healing. But fortunately they are scabbing over and I can now have a two-sided conversation again with my husband.

How have/would you handle this situation? Any advice on dealing with the upcoming Browns season? Let us know in the comments section.

1 comment:

  1. I would say ultimately you just have to wait it out until the next sport season starts. Every new season starts with a fresh glimmer of hope. One can maintain that hope until a meltdown happens and then you just wait until the next sport season. Football is the easiest Cleveland sport to gather around now. Football has so few games that just winning a couple in the last minute of the game can mean the difference in the season. Other sports have so many games, its easy to get down and buried early in the season, stemming any hope in the team. But ultimately my suggestion would be
    become a Chicago Bulls fan and/or a Cincinnati Reds fan but maintain your allegiance to the Browns!


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