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The "OTE Cares" Series: A guide to staying positive when your B1G football team is worse than expected

Every once in awhile your team is going to have a season that doesn't live up to expectations. OSU has lost two games already this year, Michigan wasn't the team they are used to being for the past 4 years or so, and Nebraska is suddenly losing their (black) shirts.

As fan of a team that consistently performs below expectations, and often WELL below those expectations, I feel it is my duty to pass along to you, B1G football fan, a guide to staying positive when you're team is crapping the proverbial bed on the field.

1. Booze.

Good heavens, it seems so obvious doesn't it? Why am I even mentioning it here? Because sometimes the most obvious, the most simple answer, is the most important. 

If you're team isn't meeting expectations, chances are good that they're not going to just suddenly turn it around this week, whichever week the upcoming one happens to be. Because of this, you need to prime the pump. Don't kid yourself into thinking you can wait to see how things are going to go before you start drinking. I made this mistake on Saturday. I got a late start in the morning and by the time I got to the bar to watch the game with my family, the Gophers were already down 14-0, and by that time it was too late for me. I spent the rest of the game trying to catch up to how tipsy I SHOULD have been. My only real chance of catching up would have been shots of Cuervo at noon. I don't have to tell you tequila at noon is not a good idea if you plan to stay up past 4pm.

I'm telling you, don't try to be a hero. Go ahead and start drinking an hour before kickoff if you have to... just make sure you are prepared.

2. Wings.

And I'm talking about good wings. You know those pre-sauced, frozen things you can buy at your local grocery store? Yeah, if you're going to go that direction don't bother. If you are going to give that a try, go ahead and refer back to #1 and ignore what I said about drinking tequila at noon. 

Watching your favorite B1G football team play is NOT the time to experiment with wings. The time to experiment with wings is on Thursday nights when the WAC and the Big East are playing. On Saturday's, when your team is playing you have 3 options and 3 options only. 1) You make your own wings which are proven commodities, 2) You pick up wings from your favorite wing establishment, or 3) You GO to that wing establishment provided they are flush with plenty of your particular flavor of booze.

3. Clear your schedule.

Look, your team sucks, but you're a big enough fan that not watching them play just simply is not an option, and watching later on DVR isn't going to cut it either because when you do that you don't get to share in the collective fan experience. I get it, believe me. So assuming you're watching the game, and assuming you're following rules 1 & 2, you're going to need to make sure that you don't have anything to do AFTER the game.

What's really important here is to not only clear your schedule, but make it well known to others in your life that your post-game activity is highly limited.

First of all, you're probably going to be drunk (/points at self for the past 5 Saturdays), second of all, depending on the strength of your favorite wings or what you've been drinking, it's very possible that you'll need to be near a bathroom. This means make sure your special lady friend knows that there will be no trips to Bed, Bath & Beyond after the game. Make sure the lawn was mowed Saturday morning (or, if you're like me, a Friday Happy Hour grass cutting) or can wait until Sunday (when your favorite crappy NFL team is playing (screw you Vikings). 

The bottom line here is after 3 hours of seeing your team killing you softly with their wrongs, after 3+ hours (if you played your cards right), of pounding boozy drinks, and after 3+ hours of munching on hot wings and bleu cheese dressing and a celery stick or two, you're going to be happy you don't have any obligations that don't involve more drinking, more football, more wings, and a close proximity to a comfortable bathroom.

4. DON'T watch the game with college football fans who aren't a fan of your team.

The pounding that your body is going to take from the booze and wings, and the pounding that your psyche is going to take because your team is F'ing horrible, doesn't need to be compounded by your so called "friends" who are going to rub it in while their team plays a decent football game.

Look, I understand, these people are your friends, and you want to be around them, and that's fine. But this just isn't the time. You additionally may wish to ignore your phone during games because those people you aren't hanging out with will probably be texting, tweeting, facebooking and hashtagging you.

5. Employ other vices as necessary.

So you like a cigar every now and then? You're a social smoker? You like to talk to cougars when you're half in the bag? If you get drunk enough you might turn to the Draino under the kitchen sink? You tend to lash out at a bartender, waitress, cab-driver or pull tab seller from time to time?

All valid additional vices that can be employed when your favorite B1G football team is horrible.

I said it before and I'll say it again... don't be a hero. This isn't the time to take the moral high ground. You've got some garbage in your life that you need to deal with and most people (experts, doctors, non-college football fans) will tell you that you are being irrational and that you can't escape your problems this way. Okay, yeah, technically they "care" about you, technically they have your "best interest in mind," and technically they are "right."

They clearly don't understand you or your predicament. Additionally, these are probably the same people who don't change the channel when those really sad commercials about starving kids come on. They're always talking about "doing the right thing," "saving the environment," "not kicking puppies," and "voting for Ross Perot." Pay them no mind.


At this point you probably understand. If you're team sucks, it's a pretty lonely place to be. There's no sympathy from anyone who isn't also partaking in your misery. There are few things in this predicament that can console you, but I hope I've given you some ideas as to how to maintain some (relative) dignity in your situation. 

I wish you the best, and may Jim Delany have mercy on your soul.