Everybody faces loss at times in their life. It can be loss of a loved one, loss of a job or even your team losing. That’s how serious sport becomes in someone’s life. In fact your team losing, or that player retiring may mean more to you, than your job and in some cases your family. It probably shouldn’t but we are not dealing with what’s right or wrong here, just what is?
I lost my job recently for the first time in my career and it was like a dagger in the heart. I went to the doctor, as the reasoning for my unemployment, had to do with a chronic disease that I have been managing for years. I thought we would talk about that but instead the doc said we had to deal with my grief first. My grief for losing my job. Of course I didn’t believe that at first but then I came around to the fact that without dealing with the grief, I couldn’t move on and forward.
The Essendon doping saga has clearly been one. The supporters of that club, in many instances would be going through grief. Many couldn’t even imagine that the players could possibly be guilty, let alone be slapped with a penalty, that may cost some players their career and one a Brownlow medal. They will be grieving for their club, as only one who faces this nightmare could possibly understand. Some will be grieving for James Hird. It doesn’t matter if people outside the club may be cheering the result as one that needed to happen to keep the sport clean. It’s their club, it’s their marquee personality in James Hird.
One thing I do know is that they will go through a form of grieving before they can start enjoying their football again.
Being a long time Richmond Supporter it used to be finishing ninth, now it’s just winning a damn final that will send a supporter wearing Yellow and Black into a tailspin. It’s a kind of grief. I remember friends, when Richo retired going through their own feelings of grief.
Aussie Tennis Fans may be feeling grief with the retirement of Lleyton Hewitt, whom through his career went from being thought of as a brat to that of Warrior. The good thing about grief of a sporting style is time will usually aid the return of optimism. With that comes the feeling of excitement and then expectation. Then the whole cycle can repeat itself.
The thing is though Sport makes you feel and that my friends mean we are alive. Spare a thought for the supporters of the Boston Red Socks and the curse that caused grief for them for years. What about the West Indies cricket team that was once unbeatable and are now almost an embarrassment? How would a West Indies fan be feeling? With my tongue firmly planted in my cheek we could think of The Washington Wizards who could never win a basketball game against the fabulous Harlem Globe Trotters. The Collywobbles for many years provided equal measures of mirth or grief dependent on which side of the fence you sat on.
What in a sporting sense has lead you to feelings of grief? Who was the sportsman that could never be replaced in your heart? Did you get over it, or stopped supporting the game like many of the die hard Fitzroy supporters did? Some are probably still grieving. If it was my club I probably would be.
Please win a final for us this year Richmond.
You can follow Mark on Twitter via @Vosstiger