Just as the competitive and perfectionist tendencies of top athletes compel them to relive losses more often than wins, the uncompromising qualities of football fans force them to recall details of defeats more easily than victories.
Losses stick in the system, gnawing at the mind with the what-went-wrongs and what-could-have-beens. Ohio State fans remember the specific, sickening taste of losing to Michigan State in 1998.
The sweet flavor of rolling over Michigan two weeks later is less memorable.
Those memories burn deeper into the brain when a bowl game is a fan's raison d'etre. A bowl is the song playing during a season's closing credits, the final impression before spring practice begins.