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Roddy’s Rant 5

February 26, 2003 Columns No Comments

Roddy’s Rant: Guide To Surviving A Crappy Day On The Court

by Chris Roddy

With March Madness nearly upon us or at least March — supposedly the official kickoff according to my TV is March 20th, can we say APRIL MADNESS? — we must begin to think about how our favorite teams will fare in both conference tourney play and then of course, the big one (no, not the NIT), the NCAA Championship Tournament.

This is an analysis, or perhaps more accurately, guide, for dealing with an early exit.

Fans? Get over it. Part of the fun is losing and griping about it with a bunch of other fans.

Coaches? It’s part of the job requirements (along with wearing a school sweater, emblazoned with the logo, over a business shirt — uggh, can we get Brooks Brothers to class up some of these guys?).

The players? These are the guys who need mini-guides on how to console themselves. I mean, come on, some of these phenoms are only eighteen years old. National television exposure. Media junkets. Alumni relations departments trying to capitalize off players’ success. A tough, tough situation.

So, I’ve devised a list of things for players to do if bounced from post-season play. Some are pretty obvious. Others, a bit out there — I call it, Rodd-erapy. But don’t let my PhD in turning frowns upside down impress you. The results speak on their own.

1. The Wham Bam Peter Pan Method

Whenever you feel lousy, about anything, you alone have the power to change it. You are in control. For example, let’s say you were upended by a Cinderella squad in the first round. You feel terrible. Grab a pan and whack yourself as hard as you can on the foot with it. Not thinking about basketball any more, are ya? This is part of disassociating yourself with one bad thing in place of another.

Effectiveness: ♦♦♦♦ (physical pain trumps psychological)
Duration: ♦ (depending on the size of the pan, you have to keep re-upping your dose)
Pros: Low-cost, quick acting solution
Cons: Eventually you’ll have a broken foot and still be pissed about losing the game
Overall: C+

2. The Thank You Sir May I Have Another Method

Pizza? Candy? TV? Doesn’t matter what your favorite poison is; just imbibe in an exorbitant amount.

Effectiveness: ♦♦♦ (something about not eating just one, two, but three pints of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia feels SO good)
Duration: ♦♦ (lasts as long as you can consume)
Pros: People love to have a lot of their favorite thing
Cons: Anything from a tummy-ache to becoming an alcoholic
Overall: D

3. A Selective Memory Method

People will try and console you with advice or a friendly word or two. Little do the idiots know, but now you feel seven times as bad. Plus, there is always that one guy pointing and laughing at your failures. Combat them by blocking the whole thing out. “Me? The guy who missed the potential game-tying free throw? Nope, I’m an ice cream truck driver — never played basketball before.”

Effectiveness: ♦ (hard to forget the worse day of your life)
Duration: ♦♦♦♦ (denial lasts a lifetime)
Pros: Not facing your failure might help you wake up every day
Cons: Not facing your failure might make you not want to wake up every day
Overall: F

4. The Glass Half-Full Method

So what? You just lost the biggest game of your still fledgling career and your teammates, university and state now hate your guts. Your parents are wearing sunglasses and hats in public places and you can’t get a restaurant reservation anywhere. Take it all with a grain of salt and be proud, defiantly happy. During an interview, address all the positives and always say, “We’ll be back next year. Don’t worry, we will.”

Effectiveness: ♦♦ (people this happy take a lot of prescription drugs)
Duration: ♦♦♦ (as long as your smiling)
Pros: You come across as a gracious loser and perhaps can media credibility
Cons: People will think you’re daft and clearly insane
Overall: B

5. The Standard Method

Mope and moan for a month. Feel sorry for yourself. Put on some weight. Get mad at yourself. Get in shape. Channel all your self-pity into becoming a better player. Go out and get back to The Dance. Don’t lose this time.

Effectiveness: ♦♦♦♦ (a proven winner)
Duration: ♦♦ (lasts for the off-season)
Pros: People understand what you’re going through and try to help
Cons: People understand what you’re going through and try to help
Overall: B+


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