Joe Posnanski had an interesting nugget in a post on, of all things, the Oakland Raiders, that I thought applied to our collective situation.

There are stages to being a fan of bad teams: Anger first, then numbness, then irrational hope, then renewed anger, then realization, then finally this resting place of compromise where fans will either pull back their support or mock their own teams or call for change or simply decide to enjoy the small triumphs.

What do you think? Does he summarize it correctly and, if so, which stage are you in?

33 Responses

  1. per14

    Probably in realization, although I probably still have some irrational hope for next year.

    The Rolen trade/Volquez injury/continued Taveras infatuation was definitely the renewed anger stage for me.

  2. Mark in CC

    I have always enjoyed the small triumphs. I started watching the Reds in 1961, and even including the 70s, there have been far more small triumphs than big. I especially like the success of developing players.

    As a Reds fan, Dragons fan, and Cleveland Browns fan, all I can say is thank God for Ohio State Football!

  3. John

    Where am I?


    That’s the best answer I can give.

  4. brublejr

    Being a Raider fan as well as a Red fan, I haven’t seen many good years for a while. I am about to the end result on both teams. I basically enjoy the small triumphs, otherwise I would have to stop watching altogether.

  5. Thomas


    I make jokes at the T-Virus’ expense at every opportunity.

  6. Travis G.

    I guess I enjoy the small triumphs, including the irrational hope offered by the first two months of this season, but I realized going into this season that the Reds would be pretty awful.

    Being right is usually more fun than this, though.

  7. GregD

    Angry at myself for mocking the small triumphs while irrationally hoping for the next large triumphs

  8. RC

    As a Bengals fan, What I’m going through with the Reds the same steps on the same scale, delayed by a few years.

    Which means that next year, out of nowhere, the Reds make the playoffs and Votto has an MVP season, only to have his knee taken out in the top of the first in the first playoff game. And we will be asking ourselves, “why was that guy sliding into first, anyway?”

  9. RedBlooded

    I have been a die hard (and I do mean hard) Reds fan since 1952. I have seen it all. The ups and the downs. I’ve been all over that scale. With fun in the ’70’s and the beautiful surprise in 1990. When I was a kid (the 50’s)the Reds were pretty mediocre (and sometimes I’d even cry with frustration) but there was always some players to enjoy, like Big Klu. My typical resting place has been somewhere between irrational hope and realization. I don’t cry anymore (at least not outwardly) That’s where I am today. I know we are obviously not going anywhere this year and probably not next year. Unless. Unless. Unless. But in 2011 if the stars all align just right…??? See, I can’t help myself.

    In the meantime there are still players to enjoy. I love to watch Votto. A real ball player on all levels. It is a thrill to see some of the plays Phillips makes at second. Some of the throws from Bruce in right were inspiring as well as some of Dickerson’s catches.

    So I hang in there waiting for next year. Or the next year. Or….?

  10. Dennis

    I focus on the small triumphs. Even now, when the Reds lose a tough game, I go to bed angry… but then I’m excited the next day when game-time nears. There may not be playoffs or even a winning record in 2009, but you never know when there will be a three-HR game, a walk-off home run, or a no-hitter to make watching worthwhile.

  11. Matt Steele

    I feel like I’ve been through this cycle multiple times this year…. and with the NFL about to kick off, it’s about to get a lot worse

    sigh…. at least the Buckeyes will win 10 games this year

  12. RiverCity Redleg

    I’m actually a Raiders fan, although I’m at the point with them where I’ve pulled back some support and just celebrate the small triumphs. I’ve tried for years to shift my loyalties to the Bengals, but they haven’t made it easy to do so.

    With the Reds, I’m still in the irrational hope stage. Unlike with the Raiders, I could never root for any other team and will never pull back my support, so I am stuck with irrational hope.

  13. RiverCity Redleg

    @BrubleJr #6.. I’m with ya, brother.

  14. GRF

    Isn’t this close to the stages of grief? Denial (we can’t be this bad), anger (we are this bad darn it), bargaining (if only we do x it will get better), depression (we are awful it is hopeless) and acceptance (we may be horrible but at least we can enjoy a Stubbs walk off every now and then).

    I am probably at the depression stage, hoping to move to acceptance. Although I hope I do not lose the ability to mock the team and call for change during the process.

  15. Andy

    As a Bengals fan, I can definitely relate to the above cycle. The same front office (only constant) has failed to produce a consistent winner for 18 years now. Their refusal to make any organizational change in the face of overwhelming evidence that it is necessary is my biggest frustration as a sports fan. I’m pretty apathetic at this point. I still follow them, but I no longer live or die with every game. What’s the point? Every once and a while the planets will align and they’ll have a decent season, but the underlying dysfunctions are always still present to bring reality crashing back down the next year.

    I only wanted to mention this to put the Reds situation in perspective. Yes, we’re looking down the barrel of a ninth consecutive losing season, but the people who were running the team in 2000 are not the same that are running the team now. The Castellini regime has made some questionable moves, but I can’t say I question his desire to produce a “winner” the way I do with Mike Brown. Walt Jocketty is still in his first full year and whether or not you think he’s lost his proverbial fastball, he has a track record. I look at the roster and see a core of talented young players with high-ceilings. I think there is a lot to like about this team going forward and can see a light at the end of the tunnel.

    I don’t know, maybe I’m in the irrational hope stage and don’t realize it. Either way, I’ll take Reds chances of turning it around all day over the hopeless abyss that is the Cincinnati Bengals.

  16. Matt WI

    I’m at irrational hope with a side of anger from time to time. No matter how this year ends, I’ll be looking forward to next spring thinking “maybe it’ll just click and we’ll have a surprise!” I just don’t beleive this team can be this bad for so long. Somehow the Reds are above the Royals and Pirates, even though they compare so well any more. Call for change is a slippery slope because it’s hard not to call for it frequently. Dusty still has to go buh-bye though.

  17. CeeKeR

    I’m firmly entrenched in between “mocking the team” and “calling for change.” After all, as a fellow blogger isn’t that the perfect spot to be for a plethora of writing topics daily?! Like a few others have said, I’m lucky that I’m just a Reds fan and not a Bengals fan too (go Steelers)! At least I have a bit of salvation when football season rolls around (also like Penn State which I might as well throw in there now that everyone hates me anyhow).

  18. Veteran Leader

    Where is the “making money betting against your team” selection?

    2009 Over/Under Cincinnati- 80.5

    I heard people betting the over on the Reds because they “like their offense” along with the young pitching this year. That amused me.

    Veteran leaders don’t bet against their team, but they can suggest others do. 🙂

  19. EKyRedsFan

    So true and very well put.

    I would have to be at the numb and mocking stages all at once. It’s funny because you find yourself mocking the small triumphs. For example: “At least Roy Oswalt didn’t get the decision against us! Wooooo!”

  20. Travis G.

    Shortstop is one step below catcher on the defensive spectrum, Matt. Why must you think inside the box?

  21. pinson343

    I’m mocking but in my heart am hoping for and savoring the small triumphs. I was as happy about yesterday’s win, and how it happened, as I’ve been in a long time about anything concerning the Reds.

  22. RedinFla

    I’m right with pinson #25. Reds’ first walk-off HR since Junior on June 30 ’08…? I’ll take it and squeeze a bit of enjoyment out of it, especially after watching Stubbs in FL over the years.

  23. Travis G.

    Love it:


    Tonight and tomorrow the Reds and Pirates will be wearing uniforms and hats from the 1979 season as the Pirates celebrate the 30th anniversary of their last World Series Championship. The Reds played the Pirates in the 1979 National League Championship series, losing the series 3-0. The Reds won the NL West going 90-71 under Manger John McNamara.

  24. JoseOle

    👿 I’ve pulled back my support and openly mock my own team whenever I get the chance. I tried calling for change but the line was constantly busy.

    I’m at the same stage for the Bengals.

  25. earl

    The Raiders are a mess, but they at least went to a Superbowl and were good at the beginning of the decade. The way football goes though they could be in the playoffs this year if the dice hit boxcars. I’d put more odds on them making the playoffs than the Bengals, who are always going to have to get through the Steelers for a playoff spot.

    Ohio sports fans are crapped on in general, even the one thing they really got going most of the time in Ohio State football generally breaks their heart. I’m not even going to get into the grief coming around the bend when LeBron leaves (and you know it will happen).


    Not good, but hey you have teams.

  26. WillRedsCHI

    I think last stage (not the withdrawing support part) is where we are all at.

    But after reading a lot of these posts…Does anyone have a good sports team to cheer for? I know I don’t
    MLB: Reds
    NFL: Bengals
    NCAA: Missouri Tigers
    NBA: Don’t Care
    NHL: Just a casual viewer


  27. Kevin

    I am definitely at the point of mocking…but crying on the inside.