Sports for Dummies: Staying interested when your team does poorly

Ashley Potts

In every game, there can only be one winner. That’s what sports are all about. Whether it’s an individual sport, team sport, video game or otherwise, someone will win and someone will lose.

People thrive off of cheering for their chosen fighter to overcome the odds and come out on top, and it’s really fun when they do. But what about when they don’t? What about when they lose – and lose a lot? 

Ad

It can be really frustrating to finally find a sport or team that you enjoy, for whatever reason, and then watch them lose continuously.

In Colorado, I know I’m preaching to the choir; aside from a few exceptions, the Rams haven’t had the best year so far, the Broncos season was painfully underwhelming and the Avalanche had their best run in years only to turn around and struggle, losing 12 of their last 15 games.

Being a Colorado sports fan is inconsistent at best, but I wouldn’t root for anyone else.

Why do we do this to ourselves? Why not just jump on the bandwagon of a team like the Patriots, who seem to have the whole winning thing figured out?

While I understand that winning is essentially the entire point of sports, I would argue that it’s boring to watch the same team win all the time. And honestly it’s a little boring when one team just dominates another skill-wise.

Maybe I can say that because my team has never been that team, and it’s especially boring and disappointing to watch a team I don’t care about win all the time.

It comes down to two things: sports are a form of entertainment and sports are not just about winning. What I mean is that stats, scores and wins only hold our attention for so long. What we really want is some drama, actual competition and a story of overcoming the odds and upsetting Goliath. 

I’ve heard Tom Brady’s story of winning six times now—good for him, he went to Disney World again—but I’m bored with it.

I want to hear about someone else who is experiencing that feeling for the first time. I want to hear stories of the underdog grinding away until their time finally comes. I want to hear players’ personal stories of what their sport means to them, why they do what they do or what they do in their free time.

I want to hear stories of nail-biter games between evenly matched teams that keep me on the edge of my seat until the final seconds. 

Ad

Admittedly, it gets boring to watch your team lose all the time too. Trading wins and losses back and forth is like your team is teasing you. Sometimes the feel-good stories in the midst of a downhill skid can feel like putting a Band-Aid on a broken leg. Sometimes you’re just aching for a win.

But when the wins finally start to come, those other storylines give your fandom something to stand on. You want the athletes to win for more reason than a need to brag to your friends or justify the t-shirt you spent $30 on. You end up cheering for people that you believe in rather than just cheering for the logo thought up by the marketing department.

So pay attention to the stories going on around us, Colorado sports fans. Take the losing streaks as a moment to reflect on why you care if your team wins or loses. We’ll get to Disney World eventually.

Ashley Potts can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @ashleypotts09.