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The Doctor Is In

By Mark Solway | September 14th, 2006

I’ve been paying close attention to the boards this week following the loss to the Vikings. At first I noticed, as I’m sure most of you did, many threads and posts early in the week displayed disbelief, denial, and anger. Lately, as we inch closer to the Dallas game, I’m noticing a more positive attitude from many posters. This seemingly shifting attitude struck me as very similar to the stages of grief that people who have experienced a significant loss go through. So, I made a few modifications to the stages to suit the specifics that we Redskins fans go through after a loss (I tend to spend more than my fair share of time in the ‘Denial’ stage myself, particularly around the whole ‘time machine ‘ idea): Phases of Grief: 1-Numbness: This reaction often follows a Redskins loss and may last for three to six days. A sense of being paralyzed, distant, and removed from one’s feelings of grief is present. Some have referred to numbing as the body’s mechanism for protecting itself from being overwhelmed by the shock of the loss. Beer no longer tastes good during this phase. 2-Denial and Isolation: Here the bereaved individual has significant difficulty accepting the reality of the Redskins loss. This may be expressed in more severe forms as a complete denial of the loss or in less severe forms in lapses of thinking and behaving as if the game was really lost. While complete acceptance is part of the work of the entire grief process, the initial more acute difficulties with acceptance are included in this phase. This phase may include incessantly wondering if it’s possible to invent a time machine and go back and make things right. It may include your family avoiding you like a plague because of your grumpy attitude. Beer still no longer tasting good. 3-Anger: In this phase the bereaved person feels anger with the world, fate, God, or people in their lives. A sense of “Why me?” and/or “Why not someone else?” give a flavor of this phase. Bargaining with God for the win may be part of this phase. Other symptoms may include posting very negative and wildly unrealistic threads on your friendly neighborhood Redskins board. Still no beer. 4-Depression: As acknowledgement and acceptance of the Redskins loss and the reality of life after the loss grow, sadness and depression become more present. Beer not only tastes good, but does well to drown sorrows in this phase. Drink up! 5-Acceptance: The bereaved person comes to terms with the Redskins loss, and is able to move on to re-invest in the new life (and beer) that lies ahead. An absence of the extremes of emotion previously experienced is present. If you or anyone around you exhibits any of the above symptoms after a Redskins loss, you may have Redskinsfanitis. If you experience these feelings approximately six to eight times a year, your chances of a full recovery are not good, and you are will most likely spend the rest of your remaining days with this condition. If you’re able to recover from these symptoms, and fail to exhibit them after several Redskins losses, congratulations, you’re cured. You can move to Dallas or New England or Pittsburgh. And for those of you who cannot seem to move past phase 3 (you know who you are), you may need medication. Seriously. Since it is unlikely that future events will unfold in such a manner that we won’t have to deal with these feelings again, we should all learn recognize these symptoms should they arise again. The Redskins may, in fact, lose another game this year. The question is: how does that make you feel? (By the way, I realize this was posted in another thread, but due to an overwhelming number of request (one), I’ve expanded the idea here, because I can,…

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