posted by Matt W on February 6th, 2015

Everyone I know is feeling them. Here are the 7 stages of a Super Bowl loss for a 12.

Shock and Disbelief – The 12 may not be able to comprehend that the Super Bowl has really ended without another championship as we had the ball at the one yard line with Marshawn Lynch in the backfield, and these feelings may be all consuming. This stage may overlap with the next stage which is:

Denial – The 12 may not accept that the Super Bowl is over and may continue to talk about it for the next few days as if there is still an opportunity to pull it out.

Anger – The 12 may seek to blame Darrell Bevell for the loss, ruminating on his faults (He’s never been a good play caller) and feeling and expressing a great deal of annoyance and hostility towards him (If they don’t fire him, I’ll…).

Bargaining – The 12 may seek to win the Super Bowl retroactively, promising to purchase obscene amounts of NFL merchandise if the NFL finds the Patriots guilty of cheating and strip them of the Super Bowl trophy (I’ll even buy that Percy Harvin jersey for full price).

Guilt – The 12 may blame themselves for the loss, and may at this time have a very low sense of self-esteem. They may wish they had done things differently (why didn’t I wear my jersey… why did I invite Bill over, I think he was born in Massachusetts… why did I serve Boston clam chowder?) and take on board all of the blame.

Depression – The 12 may have feelings of sadness or hopelessness, withdraw from social relationships and spend a lot of time brooding and ruminating. They may cling on to memories of Super Bowl 48, or the NFC Championship victory over Green Bay, or for that matter either victory over the 49ers this year, and replay these games repeatedly and day dream about what might have been.

Acceptance – The 12 now begins to feel a fresh sense of hope, and they think of the loss less often. They will not feel the same sense of raw pain, and will resume social relationships. They may even begin to look forward to a new season. From time to time they may feel nostalgic, but they will accept that the Super Bowl is over and there is another one next year (They will soon find out it is in San Francisco and realize how sweet it will be to hoist the trophy in 49er country).

If you are a 12 getting over a Super Bowl loss, it is best to take things slowly, a step at a time. Accept that you will go through these stages, and that they won’t be easy. Talking things through with other 12s or a therapist can help enormously and help you to make sense of the emotions that you’re going through. Remember that there is nothing wrong with you, and that what you’re going through is normal. You have every right to be happy again, and if you remember that true happiness comes from a Pete Carroll and John Schneider led Dynasty and is not dependent upon any one Super Bowl, you have every chance of finding it.

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