Sports has its share of fans who don’t go hard, while others live, breathe, and ride or die with their favorite team, rocking those colors every day. In Philly, it’s a love-hate relationship.
When a die-hard fan sees their favorite team winning, it’s all sunshine and rainbows. On the other end of the spectrum, being on the losing end brings out the worst in die-hard fans.
Feeling down after a loss
Senior digital communication and social media major and die-hard sports fan Zach Anglestein explained why die-hard sports fans let their favorite teams bring them down after a loss. “Depends on how interested you are in the game in sports. Like, there’s some people who watch it and are big fans, there’s people like me who are die-hard. Like, I’m die-hard with the Sixers. It’s just a passion for the game. You love the team, you love the players.”
Anglestein recalled when the Philadelphia 76ers lost to the Toronto Raptors in the second round of the 2019 NBA playoffs after a quadruple bounce on the rim by Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard. “I literally cried,” Anglestein said. “That’s how much I care, that’s how much passion I have for my sports teams and that goes for the die-hard fans.”
Anglestein said the biggest challenge for die-hard fans when their favorite team loses is not living up to expectations. Being a 76ers fan, he’s felt the disappointment of the team falling short.
“I knew the Sixers during the [trust the] process era. The goal was the finals, and each and every year, four of the five years, they lose in the second round, and it’s always disappointing,” Anglestein said.
Anglestein said that for die-hards, the painful losses always stick out, the close ones, the ones that should’ve been won.
Recalling one particular heartbreak, Anglestein said, “A couple of years ago the Sixers were the number one seed, and they had the easiest path to the finals, and then they blew it against the Hawks. Those are the things that always happen in sports and always make you angry. You think, ‘This should’ve been our year, this should’ve been it.’ It always happens in sports and it always gets to you.”
Coping with losses
Another die-hard is senior digital communication and social media major Ryan Chybinski.
He explained, “I think that most die-hard sports fans deal with [losses] by getting upset. I mean, you’ve got the rare cases of the people who will throw their TVs out the windows, which I think is a little extreme. But I mean, it’s understandable to be upset, there’s no reason to destroy your TV. But I think most sports fans deal with it either by drinking or by eating.”
Chybinski believes the biggest thing that helps die-hard sports fans come around and not let the losses dictate their mood is knowing there’s always the next week. He said that though the Philadelphia Eagles lost Super Bowl LVII, they still looked good, giving fans hope for the future.
With all the lows that come with the losses, Chybinski added that the wins put die-hard fans in good spirits. “That’s what you look forward to, it’s what you expect from your team, and again you feel a certain amount of pride when your team wins. You feel a certain amount of enthusiasm. It’s the adrenaline of watching your team win and knowing that you’re better than somebody else.”