Disappointment. It is a word that always makes people a little uncomfortable. No one wants to feel disappointed or be a disappointment. However right now that is the way that many Sporting Kansas City fans are feeling. We, as a fan base, haven’t had to deal with the disappointment of missing the playoffs for quite some time. Eight straight seasons we have had the honor of extending our season just a little bit longer than other teams. We have not been on the outside looking in, like that we have been this year. Sporting has only been above the playoff line for about four weeks all season. Sure Sporting has had disappointment in the playoff. We’ve been through that disappointment many times before. The double posts. The Portland golazo last season. But, at least to me, this feels different. The whole season has just felt like disappointment after disappointment.
If you want to be technical Sporting Kansas City hasn’t officially been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, but it would take some true miracle and then a little something extra on top of that for Sporting to make it to 7th place. So now what? What can we do to deal with the disappointment of knowing that the season is pretty much a done deal. Four games left to play, but they don’t really mean anything. There isn’t much left to get excited about. So what do you do? How do you cope with the loss of the season and the disappointment of one so frustrating?
I think that first and foremost, we as a fanbase, have to remember that this is just a sport. It is important and I love it. Probably more than I should. I’ve even been called minorly obsessed, but it is just a hobby for us. A team to root for, a team to cheer on when things are tough and to celebrate with when things are good, but it really isn’t that important in the big scheme of things. Sure, it is painful. Sure, we are mad or sad or frustrated or disappointed or all of those things at once, but still it’s just a game. There are people fighting diseases and racism and gun violence and murders on the streets of KC. There are wars being fought, people going hungry, jobs being lost. Those are the real big things in life. Just remember when it comes to disappointment, the loss we are feeling over the end of the Sporting season is really small stuff.
But we still feel it. So what helps us move on? Some people listen to music. Some people do a deep dive into stats and try to figure out what went wrong. Some people like to step into Peter Vermes’s shoes and try to figure out what to do, who to keep, who to let go, who to grab from other places. Some people, unlike me, can just let it go and immediately move on. Some people, like me, worry about if their favorite player will still be here next season. There are a few people that like to cope by just ranting and raving on Twitter. Some are just expressing their disappointment, but some seem to want to really throw out some hot takes! I put a poll up on my Twitter page (@sfulk13) and found that about 15% of the voters think that taking to Twitter is what best helps them cope. I’m fine with that coping mechanism, but just remember that the players you are calling out are humans. Sure they get paid to play and some of them could definitely play better to earn the money that they get, but they are human beings with access to social media. Just keep is classy.
Another way that people like to cope is to drink their pain away. The theme song for The Blue Testament’s podcast, Shades of Blue, by The Vandon Arms, really sum up the way we feel. Our football really does have us drinking! If that is your coping mechanism ...cool. Just be responsible!
Overwhelmingly the number one way that Sporting fans are coping with the loss and the disappointment of the season is just the passing of time. Time will heal all wounds! It’s okay to feel bad about the season for awhile. We put a lot of time, energy and money into supporting this team. We buy tickets every year, new kits every year, tailgates every game, new t-shirts and scarves and beers. We even travel to support the team. I’ll be taking my third road trip of the season in October to Dallas after hitting Denver and Columbus this year. We have invested time and money into our love for this team. It only seems right that it always feels a little sad when the season ends. Don’t forget, though, that this season isn’t technically over. The team has four matches left. Get out to the stadium. Keep showing up and cheering the boys on. Wear your Sporting gear and put on a happy face and have some fun! I am a relatively new soccer convert, only really becoming a hardcore fan in 2013, so this is the first time I won’t get the excitement and eventual agony of the postseason, but it won’t last forever! Go out and pick some apples, carve a Jack-o-lantern, watch the Chiefs and then before you know it we will be back into preseason with the high hopes of turning it around and we will begin the vicious cycle, the agony and the ecstasy of the season all over again, just with better results next time. We hope!