We are in the midst of a season of losing. I don’t mean that you personally will lose anything, unless your Valentine’s Day goes really wrong. I mean we are smack dab in the middle of a season of competition, where the things we are fans of are going to be pitted up against each other and there is a chance the thing you want to win will lose. It is a strange time of the year, in a strange year in time, where presidential primaries happen concurrently to awards season and with the biggest football game of the year right in the middle of it all. No matter who you are rooting for in these contests, someone has to lose, and if that ends up being you then you need to realize it is okay.
For example: last night the 49ers lost, and I am sure in this town adjacent to Northern California there are a lot of longtime fans crushed that once again their team couldn’t win a Lombardi trophy in this decade. I feel really bad for them, and if you are one of these people suffering at the loss, it’s important to step back and recognize these things happen. Sometimes your very handsome quarterback just isn’t good enough to win important games, and that is okay—at least he is still very handsome. The universe will keep spinning, and at least you aren’t the Lions.
In a lot of these cases, the loss feels very personal, but we have to remember many competitions don’t actually impact us beyond the momentary sting of not getting what we want. When 21 Savage lost the Grammy for best rap album it was tempting to take it personally. I think to some degree we all want these competitions to validate our biases and fandoms. Ultimately, however, nothing about me was harmed when this happened. When we take the outcomes of things like this too seriously we are liable to get salty and defensive when there is really no need. Rather, shrug it off and remember it’s impossible to be on the winning side every time.
On the flip side, the results of these upcoming primaries very likely will have real effects on you. So as you monitor the outcomes of these events and get prepared for Nevada’s caucuses, don’t fall into the bad habit of treating candidates like fandoms. Whether Adam Driver wins the “Best Actor” Oscar for his role in “Marriage Story” or not (he should) is fun to root for, but the result won’t be indicative of the future of American healthcare like the Iowa caucus might be.
Vincent Rendon can be reached at Vrendon@sagebrush.unr.edu or on Twitter @VinceSagebrush.