A few hours after a loss I get this aching feeling. It’s kind of like a phantom limb; I can’t shake the sensation and at the same time it’s not attached to any real part of me. After a win it’s similar- I feel effusion of well-being, but the source is a weird amalgamation of my interior and exterior worlds.
If your team wins a championship, you are not by proxy also a champion. You’re just a fan of champions. Similarly, if your team is relegated, you are not a bigger loser than you already are. There is a huge element of untruth, of fiction and daydreaming, at work in your relationship with a sport and a team. Your reactive emotions are, on principle, unbalanced.
I’m happy when my team wins because that’s the natural consequence of liking a team. I’m unhappy when they lose. Since I’m unable to undo my passion for my team, the whole formula gets reductive: a win makes me happy because a win makes me happy. I see no personal benefit in winning, no utilitarian gain, just fleeting happiness, and in losses I am charged some hefty melancholy. I’ve made an internal transaction that I can’t take back, and which is circular.