You've had a terrible beginning to the week. It's okay. We all did. Sunday night, things went badly for Houston. The Green Bay Packers made the vaunted Texan defense look like a bunch of chumps, ending the team's undefeated streak, eliciting all sorts of troubling questions, and the city does mourn.
You've had a terrible week. And that's okay.
At least nobody died.
This, however, cannot be said for one man who was stabbed to death at a Texans' party near Cavalcade following the game. Police haven't yet released the identity of the man, or his alleged killer. Sports has long invoked violence and death, possibly the most famous example being when Colombian goalie Andrés Escobar was killed after letting in a goal at the 1994 World Cup.
Let's take a breather, people. There are other means to relieve sports angst.
4. Stop reading about the loss. Avoid ESPN. There's little that sportscasters love to do more -- other than displaying gratuitous levels of machismo -- than to harangue against a highly rated team that got bamboozled.
They'll trot out every sports cliché that makes our brain hurt for a) abject unoriginality and b) because they're true. The Texans weren't "physical enough." They were "due for a dud." They just "got punched in the mouth." This isn't what "great teams" do. (Reality: That's nonsense. More on that later.)
The simplest way to get over the loss is to avoid ESPN and the newspapers altogether. They'll only sink you deeper into your football-infused melancholy. It's in these institutions' natures to exaggerate everything -- ARE THE TEXANS FINISHED? -- so expect it, play it cool and act above the bloviations.
3. Rethink what you're about to do on Facebook and Twitter. Everyone knows you're bummed. It's a given. Lay off Facebook. All you're going to do is make other people feel bad. We understand that this action may at first seem cathartic, but really, it elongates the malaise. Like this:
Right or not, having lost to a perennially elite team, Texans fans should get ready for a week's worth of "Are the Texans for real" talk
— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) October 15, 2012
Quiet, Rich Eisen. What does this accomplish but to upset people, informing them of something they already knew? (This can be extrapolated to explain 98.79 percent of all tweets.) 2. Just stop caring. Really. Don't watch next week's game against the Ravens. It would be strangely freeing. Go to a park and walk around. Take down your Texans' paraphernalia. Stop caring about Brian Cushing and his accursed ACL. And then, when the Texans lose again, which is abundantly likely, the sting won't be as great. In fact, as everyone around you is seized with apoplexy, you'll chill.
Sports is a funny thing, and they play twisted games with the human psyche. The better your team is, the more you care, the greater the eventual letdown. It's almost like an abusive relationship. You convince yourself year after year that it's going to be different this time. And then it never is, and the disappointment is profound. So you could just give up and move on with life.
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1. Turn the logic upside down: Be happy The best teams don't win the Super Bowl anymore. If anything, Texans fans should start rooting for a few more losses. Preferably six. Then they could squeak into the playoffs as a wildcard seed, play on the road throughout and somehow end up in the Super Bowl.
For proof, look at the team that just crushed the Texans last night. Two years ago, the Green Bay Packers barely got into the playoffs. Then they won the Super Bowl. Last year, they were indisputably the best in the league, only to lose to the Giants, who had barely wiggled into the playoffs. And we all know what happened next.
Texans fans, rejoice. Losing is good. Losing may eventually help them win the Super Bowl.