It's the weekend of the big game. Americans love their football and they love to win.
But, what if your team loses? How will you handle losing among your family and friends?
Some of us need to get a grip on our fan reactions. These are only games people! Big games, but only games. When time runs out and a winner is declared, it's time to be a gracious fan.
What does it mean to lose gracefully? For some of us, this review might help!
1) Remember, it's only a game.
Unless you gambled big on this game (I don't recommend gambling on any game), the cost of losing is humility. On game day, one team will better than the other. And while most of us don't like losing, this isn't hunger games! Let's keep Super Bowl in perspective.
2) Don't lose it.
Are your kids watching and observing your fan behavior? Don't forget you are modeling for your kids how to handle losing. They are watching and learning from you during sports events. Hot-headed kids usually come from hot-headed parents. Think, this is a teaching moment. Again, a moment bigger than the game!
3) Analyze, but don't argue with others.
Good losers may analyze the game, but not argue at the risk of upsetting other people. Supporting a losing team is a chance to be gracious. Let's resist arguments over referee and coaching decisions and practice civility in our talk. If politicians can't do this, maybe sports fans can!
4) Let off steam, but don't get out of control.
When my son was playing soccer in middle school, the parents became so out of control that we were asked to be completely silent for one game. We could only applaud when a child scored a goal. The rest of the game, parents could not comment or talk. It was a little weird, but the parents got the message. Too many were over the top with their yelling and screaming. I'm thinking some of those kids were going to have major daddy issues over the comments yelled at them. Again, it's only a game and not worth damaging a relationship.
5) Acknowledge the winner.
At the end of the 2010 Super Bowl, Peyton Manning left the field without shaking the hand of winning quarterback, Drew Brees. Really, Peyton?! He was clearly upset, but could have managed his emotions and displayed a better attitude. Shake the hand of the opponent and show some respect. The same goes for us fans. Congratulate those cheering for the winning team.
In the end, losing brings out character – good, bad and the ugly. We've got the big game to practice our fan skills. How we accept loss may be remembered as much as the winning. Certainly those sharing the big game with us will notice. This is our chance to be a Super Fan!