The book of losers

The Wiz of Odds leads us to this post which recaps one of the most elegant bits of smack I’ve had the pleasure of reading in a while.

The Wiz does a good job of setting the scene:

Baylor, the doormat of the Big 12 South since, well, the beginning of time, is clearly enjoying getting out of the cellar. The Bears’ 41-21 victory over Texas A&M last Saturday means in all likelihood that Baylor will nudge past the Aggies for fifth place in the six-team South when the regular season ends.

A Baylor fan, wasting no time in taking advantage of the bragging rights, ventured into an Aggie board and posted key tips from the book, “How to Handle Being The Worst Team in the Big XII South.”

Here’s a synopsis of  some of “the book” (the post was deleted, but never underestimate the staying power of a Google cache):

Chapter 1 – Bring up past records when discussing your program with friends. The best way to do this is to start from the present and go back through the past until you can find where you have more wins than “x” team. Inconsistencies in time frame does not matter – it can be 5 years for one team and 45 for another.

Chapter 3 – Find other parts of your athletic program that you can be proud of and meticulously learn and promote their accomplishments, no matter how embarrassing the sport. Baylor has done this recently with women’s basketball, tennis, and most notably, track and field (Olympic gold medalist anyone?). Rumor has it that your men’s club lacrosse team is pretty awesome. Just throwing that out there.

Chapter 5 – Find a couple of solid scapegoats and complain tirelessly about them. Your fan base has already advanced far in this area, with “Shermione” and “$Bill” taking the brunt of this effective relaxation technique.

Chapter 10 – Pick a team to hate and root for their failure. For Baylor fans, this has been you, and look how well it’s worked! It’s like The Secret – the power of positive thinking. It’s very refreshing to change the channel from a frustrating loss and watch your sworn enemy fail. You may have to really dig deep here – you want a team that is average to pretty bad. You losing and them winning is a double whammy, so don’t set your sites too high (UT/Tech). Arkansas is a good start, they’re down this year.

Chapter 11 (THIS IS A BIG ONE) – Focus on moral victories. This chapter has a lot of content, so really pay attention to it. Within the umbrella of the moral victories chapter you’ll find subsections such as: a) Don’t pin your hopes on winning the game, pin your hopes on covering the spread. The spread is key, and beating the spread will bring you years and years of joy. b) Get excited about first downs. These may be harder to come by than you think, so really cherish them. c) Find remote stats that can highlight your improvement. Really dig into improvement. This should be a buzzword to use in the coming years.

Chapter 12 – Talk about the other redeeming qualities of your school. This is tricky, because it’s actually really dorky to engage in academic smack talk, but, if done correctly, can deflect the focus of a conversation away from your school’s crappy football program and onto other areas where the playing field is more level. Now, I’m tailor making this to A&M a little here, but I would recommend you focus on your strong engineering and business school reputation, and don’t forget to bring up your various traditions! People never get tired of hearing about this.

Chapter 14** – Find another school to support on the side. This chapter is very controversial and was only added in later editions. I myself never went down this road, but several of my friends found a great deal of relaxation and comfort in finding a side school. While immediate family connections are the best (father graduated from Penn State or mom and dad met at Florida), it is also valid to dig deep into your family’s history to find that great aunt that went to Alabama or that second cousin who got a masters at USC. The further away the school, the better. Claim that you have been watching them for years, especially as a little kid growing up. This helps ward off eye rolls and front-runner accusations from your friends. **Note: though highly successful, this chapter can be very dangerous, and is probably the only method that will incur hatred from fellow alumni and students. Use Chapter 14 at your own risk. Advanced students only. I’d say you’ll be there en mass around 2013, although seeing how your fan base is bailing after 3 losing seasons out of the past 24, you may be there as early as 2010. Talk about advanced students!

Sounds like it would make the perfect thing for a Vandy fan to give a Tennessee fan.  Just in time for the holidays, too, when Vol folks would have plenty of time for reading.

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5 Comments

Filed under College Football, The Blogosphere

5 responses to “The book of losers

  1. benjamin

    or a UF fan to a UGA fan

  2. Cute – but it’s been a long time since Florida was at the bottom of the SEC, isn’t it? ;)

  3. 81Dog

    this is pretty good stuff. Was it written by a Tech fan? Seems like it follows the typical nerd game plan to a, well……T.

    EIAR, B, pencil necks. It’s coming. You know it. We know it. Apres moi, le deluge.

  4. BP

    You know, I did just that the other day:

    I wanted to share some thoughts from the hit book “How to Handle Being The Worst Team in the SEC East”. This book, originally authored by fans of Vanderbilt University, with foreword by Kentucky, has been a work in progress for 25 something years now.

    Now that we have handed that prestigious torch off to your school, and it looks like it will stay that way for quite some time, you and your Vol friends may want to really get into this material. Here are some highlights:

    Chapter 1 – Bring up past records when discussing your program with friends. The best way to do this is to start from the present and go back through the past until you can find where you have more wins than “x” team. Inconsistencies in time frame does not matter – it can be 5 years for one team and 45 for another.

    Chapter 3 – Find other parts of your athletic program that you can be proud of and meticulously learn and promote their accomplishments, no matter how embarrassing the sport. Vanderbilt has done this recently with women’s basketball, lacrosse, and most notably, men’s baseball. Rumor has it that your men’s club lacrosse team is pretty awesome. Just throwing that out there.

    Chapter 5 – Find a couple of solid scapegoats and complain tirelessly about them. Your fan base has already advanced far in this area, with “Fat Phil” and “We shouldn’t have let Cutcliffe go” taking the brunt of this effective relaxation technique.

    Chapter 10 – Pick a team to hate and root for their failure. For Vanderbilt fans, this has been you, and look how well it’s worked! It’s like The Secret – the power of positive thinking. It’s very refreshing to change the channel from a frustrating loss and watch your sworn enemy fail. You may have to really dig deep here – you want a team that is average to pretty bad. You losing and them winning is a double whammy, so don’t set your sites too high (Georgia/Florida/Alabama). Arkansas is a good start, they’re down this year.

    Chapter 11 (THIS IS A BIG ONE) – Focus on moral victories. This chapter has a lot of content, so really pay attention to it. Within the umbrella of the moral victories chapter you’ll find subsections such as: a) Don’t pin your hopes on winning the game, pin your hopes on covering the spread. The spread is key, and beating the spread will bring you years and years of joy. b) Get excited about first downs. These may be harder to come by than you think, so really cherish them. c) Find remote stats that can highlight your improvement. Really dig into improvement. This should be a buzzword to use in the coming years.

    Chapter 12 – Talk about the other redeeming qualities of your school. This is tricky, because it’s actually really dorky to engage in academic smack talk, but, if done correctly, can deflect the focus of a conversation away from your school’s crappy football program and onto other areas where the playing field is more level. Now, I’m tailor making this to Tennessee a little here, but I would recommend you focus on your strong pharmacy program and the sterling reputation of the supply chain management degree, and don’t forget to bring up your various traditions! People never get tired of hearing about this.

    Chapter 14** – Find another school to support on the side. This chapter is very controversial and was only added in later editions. I myself never went down this road, but several of my friends found a great deal of relaxation and comfort in finding a side school. While immediate family connections are the best (father graduated from Penn State or mom and dad met at Texas), it is also valid to dig deep into your family’s history to find that great aunt that went to Oklahoma or that second cousin who got a masters at USC. The further away the school, the better. Claim that you have been watching them for years, especially as a little kid growing up. This helps ward off eye rolls and front-runner accusations from your friends. **Note: though highly successful, this chapter can be very dangerous, and is probably the only method that will incur hatred from fellow alumni and students. Use Chapter 14 at your own risk. Advanced students only. I’d say you’ll be there en mass around 2013, although seeing how your fan base is bailing after 3 losing seasons out of the past 24, you may be there as early as 2010. Talk about advanced students!

    That’s it folks. I’ll send you a copy for free – we’re so excited to share this with a team not named Vanderbilt. And you may read this and think: “Wow, Vanderbilt is pathetic. This is really sad stuff.” No, no! This is you! This WAS Vanderbilt and now IS your school! I’m talking about what you and your fan base will be and have already started saying and doing.

    I want to leave you with this. This can be your chance to practice, right now. Skim some of the material above, and go ahead and start using it on me. I would say the record route is the obvious way to go, but don’t be afraid to be creative. Angry phrases like “F off” and total dismissal of my thread also work. Have fun, and I’ll critique some of your responses as we go . . .

  5. Carruthers

    I am revising this, printing it, and handing it out to every Gamecock fan I have ever met.