Athletes gives their all to try to accomplish the task at hand. When things don’t work out, it can be physically, mentally, and emotionally devastating.
It’s why it’s especially off putting when commentators say things like “they lost because they didn’t want it as much as the other team.”
Lack of execution loses a game. It’s never because these athletes aren’t willing to push themselves to the edge.
If fans take crucial losses extremely hard, imagine how the players on the field in control of that fate feel.
I remember recording the 49ers/Ravens Super Bowl from a few years ago, thinking before the game started that something so noteworthy should be preserved to look back on with fondness and relive the great memories.
Unfortunately, things don’t always play out in real life the way they do in your head. The 49ers nearly accomplished a historic comeback, but ultimately fell short.
That game stayed on my DVR for about 2 years afterwards. I didn’t dare watch it, but I didn’t dare delete it, either.
I knew that when I was ready, I’d be able to re-watch something that had left me way more depressed than a sane person would like to admit.
After a night out with some friends and a few beers in my system, I plopped down in my living room and began browsing my DVR, aimlessly searching to something to put on.
Suddenly, I saw the Super Bowl within the files. I was in a pretty fantastic mood, so I figured I had enough positive energy stored up that I would be okay after the inevitable plummet of happiness that would ensue after watching that game.
I’m not going to lie: it was painful to watch, even knowing the outcome. The comeback they went on after the blackout was remarkable, but they just couldn’t punch the ball in at the end to take the lead.
I will maintain to this day that Michael Crabtree was held on that 4th and goal. The replay clearly shows it, but the funny thing about the abstract nature of penalties is that if a ref doesn’t blow the whistle, it may as well never happened.
Any non-sports fans reading this probably think I’m a lunatic, but for people who devote the passion and energy to cheering on teams, the emotional pain of defeat is very real.
Every fan out there has a painful memory instantly evoked of a wounding loss. Mine is that Super Bowl.
The reason I bring this up is because the Warriors also suffered a similarly painful loss in game 7 of this year’s NBA Finals, and Stephen Curry took it pretty hard.
In fact, he watched the game for the first time just last week. Curry is using that disappointment as motivation, though.
Steph Curry doesn't care if you call his super team the villains now https://t.co/S4rf2JKYGn
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) September 3, 2016
“I think it was a good motivator to get back into the gym and keep going,” said Curry. He also addressed the subject of expectations for this upcoming season.
“I honestly don’t think there could be any more pressure than we had last year,” said Curry. “It’s going to be a different vibe because it’s a different team and different players with KD joining us.”
I don’t really agree with that assessment. There’s going to be far more pressure this season than last season. The difference this time is that people are going to be rooting for them to fail, and typically jeers ring louder than cheers in a case like this.
There are always more non-fans of a team in the league than fans, just because there’s 30 franchises in total. Most fans of the NBA never supported the Warriors, but now a lot of mild indifference has turned to anger.
Curry also found it amusing that the Warriors have even been attached with this villainous label, and doesn’t seem too phased by it.
“All that narrative around our team, how people view us, doesn’t really matter to us,” said Curry. “We are who we are and we’re championship contenders going forward.”
It sounds like Curry has a very healthy perspective. Yes the team stumbled last season, but they’re going to be determined to elevate themselves this go around, with Curry leading the way.
Athletes are actually the ones directly affected by the game, while fans like me are simply passive observers. As sad as I get when a team I root for loses a big game, the athletes undoubtedly are emotionally crushed to a much greater degree.
My condolences to Curry and the rest of the players on the roster last season. That game 7 loss must sting, but the best cure for that misery is to reclaim the championship trophy next season.