200 Miles From the Citi

January 26, 2010 7:28 AM

The Way It Feels

Happy_Angry.JPGGetting over the AFC Championship Game loss:

I hope the Jets players get bothered by this type of loss as much as I do.

Sometimes I'm not so sure they do.

For every D'Brickashaw Ferguson (at left, right picture), who looks like he's really bothered by the game, there seems to be two or three Darrelle Revises, who looks like he just played a pick-up soccer game (far left)...or won the AFC Championship.

I mean, smiling?!

I can understand the old "put it behind you" attitude during the regular season, when you have to bounce right back and play the next week.  I can understand a quick recovery then.

But when you've played your last game of the season, and there's nothing ahead but the off-season...I want this loss to sting and sit in your craw for a bit.

I know I'm not normal.  I have yet to meet another fan who gets as worked up as I do over these games.  And I really do wonder if the players feel at all as bad about it as I do.

I've been spending a lot of time breaking down how I felt Sunday night.  It's a unique feeling.  I vividly remember feeling it on a few occasions...among them after Game 7 of the 1994 NBA Finals, after Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS, and, to a slightly lesser degree, after the Mets were eliminated on the final days of the 2007 and 2008 regular seasons.

I don't quite know how to describe it other than a combination of a bunch of negative emotions.  (And then, philosophically, I started wondering if everyone feels emotions the same way...but for this presentation I'll go with my gut feelings [pun intended].)

-When somebody dies, the feeling I get is a knot in my upper chest/lower throat.  I'm also quick to cry.  These games are not really close to that - they're lower on the scale.

-It's closer to a feeling of guilt or nervousness, because there's a certain feeling to my stomach.  And there's also a touch of heartache...but those feelings can be chased by making amends (guilt) or realizing a situation is not so bad (nerves) there's an element of these two that is dissimilar.

-It's not fear, and it's not anger.  Fear has an element of not wanting to face something, and I don't feel that way.  There's a small bit of anger, but that usually comes and goes in an instant.  I was definitely angry when the Jets lost the lead - that feels a distinct way - I want to throw or punch something.  Usually I'll take out anger on a hat, if I'm wearing one.

-The feeling I could best narrow it down to is homesickness.  There's a pit in my stomach, different from the guilt or nervous pang.  It's a pit.  There's nothing happening - no flutteriness...just a pit.  There's a sense of hopelessness, because it's a situation I just can't control.

And maybe that's what separates the pro's feelings from mine.  They had control over the outcome.  I didn't (except, of course, where I sit in my living room and what I wear, which are obviously determining factors in this sort of thing).  They went out and were beaten by someone they can accept is better than them.  I have done nothing other than spend 3+ hours going through an emotional roller coaster.

But I hope there's some similarity in the form of a pit in these millionaire athletes' guts.  Because I like to think reaching this point and falling short will be a driving factor in the future - and not wanting to go through the same cruddy feelings.  I hope they don't want to feel this way again.

Because I know I sure don't.  I'd much rather analyze what it feels like to see a team win a championship.

A Member Of