Note: This post was originally going to go up before Game 5 of the Devils vs. Flyers series. Of course, my VFMS colleagues conspired against me (rabble rabble rabble) and made me go watch the game before this was posted. Instead of editing the original post, it is being left as-is, with my new thoughts on the subject highlighted where needed. Enjoy. Or don’t. You are free to choose. No conspiracy here.
We’ve all been there at some point. It happens to lots of fans during the regular season. Your favorite team isn’t doing too well and before you know it, you’re doing complicated mathematical equations to figure out what the probability of your team getting the first overall draft pick is.
At some point, the team has nothing left to play for. A win will not help them. A loss, however, gets them one step closer to that top pick.
But what about the playoffs?
Being a Devils fan (stupid Devils), these first four games of the NJ vs. Philly series has been nothing short of brutal to watch.
As Devils fans prepare for Game 5 tonight (I was pumped for the game!), I’ve heard some say they would rather the team lose than prolong the agony of another first round defeat. I can’t really blame them. If the Devils come out and play the way they have the first four games of this series, another early exit will be complete tonight. I know of some fans who have tickets, but will not be going to the game (lucky bastards). They are that sure of, and pretty much looking forward to, a loss.
But what is the point of wanting the team to lose when there is no high pick involved? I asked a few of those fans and I got basically the same answer from most of them: It will finally show management that the team needs to be blown up and rebuilt…but not go into rebuilding mode.
I thought about that for a while. What if the Devils win tonight? They still need to win another two games, one being on the road, to win this series. Then, they have to face a much better team in the second round. Can they step it up after looking so bad in their first four games? Maybe, maybe not…nobody knows for sure. But they’ve looked bad. (it got worse)
Would it be so bad for them to lose and finally realize they need a few quality defenseman to stop the other teams’ top players?
Would it be horrible for them to lose and get an early start on their off-season plan?
Would another first round exit finally bring some drastic changes?
All answers led to YES! That would be bad! You never root against your team! (I still believe this. Even down 3-0 in the third, and realizing the season was over, I was still rooting for my team) Even when playing for first overall in the draft, who says the 1st pick will be better than the 5th pick? Or the 55th pick? The 1st pick can only be as good as you thought he’d be. The lower picks can always be better. Wins, even when they mean nothing, can only help a team.
In the playoffs, all it takes is one win, even if you’re down 3-1 in a series, to turn things around. Hearing some of these “fans” saying they’d prefer if the team lost, in the playoffs, should be a federal offense.
I’ll be at The Rock tonight rooting for my team. I’ll be hoping they win. I’ll be hoping they carry that momentum into the next game and win that one. Then another…and another. It’s what a fan does. (that was a lot of hope. It didn’t help.)
However, if they lose, maybe it won’t be a terrible thing. (I also agree with this now, interestingly enough) Maybe it will be the last straw. The thing that makes management realize the team needs serious changes…and not just adding pieces to something that was already partially broken. (Hell yeah! Preach it…me!)
But, as shocking as this sounds, I may be in the minority in thinking this way! (I wasn’t, at least not from what I saw. Every fan was cheering the Devils on, even late in the game. There were some tears when they lost. People who want a team to lose don’t shed tears at the end of a season)
So, what do you think? Would you rather lose, even in the playoffs, if you knew your team had no chance of winning it all? Or would you rather keep fighting for that one extra win…just to enjoy that feeling once again?
Now that I’ve had some time to think about it, losing wasn’t so bad. I think it will bring changes. Of course, this is easy to say after the team loses.
When all is said and done, I guess I’m a little jealous of the people who realized what me and so many others were trying to block out…that the team just wasn’t showing heart. Wasn’t doing what it needed to do to win. They stayed home and quietly watched as the team disappointed everyone.
They might have shed some tears, but they weren’t as shocked or disappointed as some of the other fans. They knew what was coming.
They rooted for a loss, to end the pain.
Maybe I would have been better off taking off the blinders and joining them?
I know one thing now: I’m kinda jealous of them.
What do you think?