Houston Texans Grieving Process 1.0: At Least We're Not in Louisiana!
How does one process the anguish coming out of a sporting event in which your team had every chance to win the game and put themselves one step away from the ultimate destination? Can you go through the same five stages of grieving that you would if you were to lose a loved one? Do denial, anger, fear, bargaining and acceptance get the job done?
Well, while Elisabeth Kübler-Ross may think so, to me that five-step process just takes too long. It's much easier to simply take pleasure in the pain of others.
Schadenfreude is a nice short cut to healing. So to that end, let's turn our attention east.
Texan fan, did your team lose a tough one on Saturday? Yes. But at least you're not a sports fan in the state of Louisiana!
It started last Monday, when undefeated and top-ranked LSU got run off the field decisively by archrival Alabama 21-0 in a game that saw the Tigers roll up less than one length of a football field's worth of yards for the entire game. On top of that, there were rumors of various infighting amongst teammates at halftime and between players and coach Les Miles before the game even started.
The coup de grace on Monday night was former New Orleans Saint, current broadcaster, and father of benched LSU center T-Bob Hebert, Bobby Hebert disguising his disgust for Miles's game plan with a thinly veiled pseudo-question:
See you next season, Les.
Well, after that debacle on Monday, the LSU fans in Louisiana at least had the comfort of knowing that the Saints were playing on Saturday afternoon as three-point favorites in San Francisco, and that a win over the upstart 49ers could be a salve on some of the wounds inflicted by Jordan Jefferson's ineptitude last Monday.
Well, not so fast, my friend.
Five Saint turnovers along with four lead changes (and two huge breakdowns by the Saints' defense) resulted in a 36-32 Niners' upset of Drew Brees and the 13-3 Saints, a team that heading into the playoffs may have been playing the best football of any team in the league...much like the Tigers at the collegiate level.
So, if you're keeping score at home, the state of Louisiana had arguably the best teams in college and pro football as of Monday afternoon, and by Saturday night their seasons were both over, in embarrassing and heartbreaking fashion, respectively.
So how could it get any worse?
Well, if LSU is going to maintain its prominent position in the world of college football, the talent influx must continue and to that end, the Tigers thought they had secured the commitment of the number one high school pro-style quarterback in the country, Indiana's Gunner Kiel. The young passer was set to enroll early at LSU this week, and on Sunday a funny thing happened. Gunner Kiel didn't show up in Baton Rouge.
Speculation ran rampant for about 24 hours and then finally the Notre Dame school newspaper The Observer confirmed that Kiel would be enrolling at Notre Dame on Tuesday. Naturally, in the twisted world of college football fandom, this made it open season for idiot Tiger fans to tell an indecisive 18-year-old kid what a blight he is on the human race. I'm sure disillusioned Tiger fans would tell you that they're just "passionate about their team."
So there you go, Texan fan. Yeah, your team lost on the road in a very winnable game thanks to several unforced errors. It happens. Next year will be here soon enough.
But at least you're not a Louisiana sports fan. Moreover, at least you have better things to do than badger a high schooler on Twitter for making a logical life decision.
Feel any better?
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. weekdays, and watch the simulcast on Comcast 129 from 6 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.
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