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The 5 Stages of Grief as Told by This Sad, Sad Season of Gator Football

The Gators’ last game of the season is this weekend, and for a lot of people it can’t come fast enough. If being 4-6 wasn’t bad enough, the Gators also aren’t bowl eligible for the first time since 2013. You know it’s bad when everyone was surprised and excited to beat UAB. On our third quarterback and plagued by injuries on both sides of the ball, the most exciting part of the year will be finding out who’s replacing McElwain. Any true Gator fan is already (or will soon be) grieving for the fate of this season, and just like with anything else, there are stages to the grief you will go through:

5.) Denial: They’re not that bad, right?:
Do you think there are some bright spots to this season? Do you think we are going to kick FSU’s ass because they suck this year? Then you are either completely delusional, in the first stage of grief, or both. It’s hard after making it to the SEC championship the last two years to come to grips with the Gator’s being awful, but that’s just how it is.

4.) Anger: Why are there so many holes in the walls?:
There are definitely many broken beer bottles and fist holes in walls around Gainesville made by Gator fans in this stage of grief. It goes without saying that more than a few mothers have had to cover their children’s ears because of someone in this stage shouting “fuck *insert just about any player or coach here*” at the top of their lungs. At this point it just isn’t worth the cardio to get that worked up over it.

3.) Bargaining & prayers to Tim Tebow:
The bargaining stage is characterized by attempting to negotiate with a higher power, who has some control over the situation. But no matter how much you pray or how many goats you sacrifice to our one true God, Tim Tebow, it is too late for this season.

2.) Depression: Tears in your beers:
That grown-ass man sitting at the bar in Balls crying into his PBR is definitely in this sad stage. It’s here that you start to question your very existence as a Gator fan. Football seems to lose its meaning and you just want it to end. Well soon enough it will, and then it won’t be able to hurt you anymore.

1.) Accepting defeat:
Acceptance, the fifth and final stage of grief, can manifest itself in many ways. That slight feeling of surprise you get when the boys do something right. When the refs make a call that would normally have you yelling and cussing at them, but instead you stay silent; that’s acceptance. Not wearing your Gator jersey in front of your friends over break: acceptance. We aren’t good, there’s no denying it, so the quicker you accept it the quicker you can move on.

As a man suffering from a particularly painful kidney stone once said, “This too shall pass.” Soon enough, the season will be over and we can all go back to our lives as usual. Plus, with finals coming up fast, everyone will be filled with so much self-loathing that they won’t have any to spare for things as mundane as sports, and there’s your silver lining.

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