Hey Fed Fans! Think you’re the only one feeling depressed after watching Roger Federer unravel to Novak Djokovic today in the Sony Ericsson Open semifinals? How about passing a Kleenex over to the World No. 1. ? Yep, Rafael Nadal admitted recently that he can’t stand to watch Roger lose – even when he’s losing to Rafa, himself. Big thanks to RiCh at Down the Line for posting on this (click here for the original):
When I beat Roger Federer in January, in Melbourne, in the final of the Australian Open, I felt an animal excitement. But afterwards, I felt an indescribable emptiness and a loneliness. As if I had no more aim/no more purpose. To me, Federer is still the number 1 in the world. I want to meet him again on court. I know he can beat me.
Rafa’s lucky, he can find comfort in playing Roger again (how about losing to him next time, Rafa? Wink, wink.) Mere mortals like us have to rely on lesser forms of coping, like tequila, Vicodin and meaningless one-night stands. But before you hit up the Casual Encounters section on Craig’s List (Fedophile seeking Fedophile), you might want to try something less-drastic:
From the Fedophile Files: Surviving Federer’s Losses (posted February 2, 2009)
We Fed Fans are not a hearty lot. Let’s face it, one of the main reasons we love Roger is that he’s supposed to be invincible. If we enjoyed riding tsunamis of hope and despair, we’d waste our time cheering for the Cubs or Marat Safin. But now that we’ve been smooth sailing with our guy for so long, it just doesn’t seem right to jump yacht as soon as we hit a rough patch.
Federer fans, it’s time to pop the Dramamine.
The first step to long-term survival is learning how to get over a big loss. There’s going to be a lot more coming in the future, and even Roger has hinted that it’s time that we stop expecting perfection. Assuming you’ve already used up your favorite pharmacological form of comfort, I’ve compiled a list of Fed Fan survival tips to get you past the Destruction Down Under and through to at least the Rome Masters:
1. Watch a few travel specials on sunny Spain, hedonistic paradise. There’s a great cooking show on PBS called Made in Spain that follows Chef José Andrés around his favorite foodie haunts. I watched it today, and I discovered that learning more about this beautiful country, its people and their glamorous lifestyles made me feel better about Rafael Nadal, Roger’s GOAT usurper and all around nice guy. Salud, Rafa!
2. Visit Roger’s website and read some of the many encouraging messages posted there by his international fan base. You, of course, are way too busy to write Roger a note on a message board that he’ll never read, but trust me, it’s super-comforting to learn that there are even more freakishly obsessed fans than you. I mean, you don’t address him as “My Roger, my GOD!” do you?
3. Gather all of the assorted Roger Federer paraphernalia that you may have collected over the years, whether it be a home made t-shirt, a “Quiet, Genius at Work” banner or a stuffed cow toy named Juliet, and display these items proudly in a little “Allez Roger!” shrine, especially if there are Roger-haters in the vicinity.
4. If rabid Nadal fans approach you with taunts of “Cry baby!” or “Now who’s one away from the career Slam?” channel Andy Roddick and answer “Roger’s the greatest! He has nothing to prove!” In fact, go tie on that Nike headband right now and repeat this ten times in the bathroom mirror. Feel better? I do!
5. And seriously, it’s time we let go of Roland Garros. Roger might get lucky and pull an Agassi at the tail end of his career, but let’s start thinking of this achievement as extra credit instead of 25% of the final GOAT grade.
6. Remember that even if Roger Federer never wins that 14th Major, he’ll still have many opportunities to kick Pete Sampras’s butt on the exhibition circuit. Macau or bust, Roger!
Hope these ideas help, fellow Fed fans. And please, do share your own coping strategies!