Dillon Giancola: There's always next year


It’s always tough to come to grips with disappointment. If you’re really looking forward to something, you’re always at risk of being let down if things don’t go your way.

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In a perfect world, we wouldn’t get our hopes up for things outside of our control, but by no means is this world perfect. There are a lot more important things to be disappointed about than a Super Bowl loss, though that’s what I’m talking about here — the Los Angeles Rams’ embarrassing 13-3 loss to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 53.

I’m no stranger to sport let-downs, and know how hard they can be to stomach, which is why I made such a big effort this entire season to keep my expectations for the Rams in check. Right from week one, when I realized the Rams had what it took to go to the Super Bowl, I told myself I wasn’t going to be sad and mad if they lost.

I did a pretty good job, because I really believed I could escape a Super Bowl loss unscathed, and perhaps if the game went differently I could have. If we lost by three points on a last second field goal, is it better? I’m honestly not sure. Keeping Tom Brady and the Patriots to just 13 points seems like something that would have given me immense joy at the start of the game. Instead, all I can think of was how humiliated our boy-wonder head coach Sean McVay and beloved quarterback Jared Goff were. Everyone was saying that Goff didn’t have what it took, and then he proved them right.

That’s what hurt the most. Not only was the 17-year wait to get back to the Super Bowl in vain, the opportunity was utterly squandered, and, who knows, it might not come again. Granted, while they could lose up to four key members of this year’s team in the offseason, the Rams could very well be back in the playoffs next year. If that happens, brace yourselves — if you thought I was insufferable this football season, just wait when I get a shot at a do-over.

But that probably won’t happen. While the Patriots continue to make back to back Super Bowls, only the 2015 Seahawks have been able to do do that as well in the last 20 years. Normally, when a team I really like loses a big game, I become really tired, and it lasts up to three hours. This one lasted a day and a half, I have a sore throat, will probably lose my voice, and I feel like I haven’t slept in a week.

Either way, I’m over it now and will stop using my Rams coffee mug for a couple months. Before long, I’ll be fully invested in the Raptors and Leafs playoff runs, and McVay’s sad, sad face will be the last thing from my mind — until September, when the NFL returns, anyway. But something tells me that when the new NFL season starts, I won’t be suffering from sports PTSD.

Instead, I’ll be donned in Rams gear from head to toe and I’ll be smiling from ear to ear. Because even though they lost, the season was extremely fun, and there’s always next year.  

Email sports reporter Dillon Giancola at sports@ahnfsj.ca.

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