Fandom in a time of turmoil: a how-to guide to dealing with the 2017 Ticats

So here you are, Ticats fan. You find yourself adrift in a sea of negativity and turmoil, wondering what to do next. You have never experienced this pain; all you know is moderate success. You might not remember, or have chosen to block out, the run from 2003-08 that saw the Ticats make the playoffs just once and win a total of 25 games over six years, with nine of those wins coming in one year. You are more accustomed to the 2009-16 edition of the team, that one has missed the playoffs just once and been to four East Finals and two Grey Cups. For you, championship appearances, playoff wins and games mattering after Labour Day are the norm, not 0-6 records and 60-1 drubbings.

So for you, this is uncharted territory or perhaps you had your memory erased by one of the neuralizer from Men In Black and you need to know how to deal with all this losing.

Well good news, because I am here to help. Here is a how-to guide to dealing with a team in chaos.

1. Find happiness in the little things

So your team sucks, but it is OK, because you can still find some happiness in the small things. You can be happy with the play of newcomers like Jalen Saunders and Richard Leonard or how it hasn’t really rained on days the team hosts a game or how that 60-1 loss occurred on the road and not at home. The macro-level stuff will still eat at you, but it is the micro-level stuff that can still bring a wee bit of happiness.

2. Develop a thick skin and a sense of humour

When your team sucks, people are going to crack jokes at their expense. It is the nature of sports fandom. But don’t get upset, play along and grow a thick skin. Like, by now, Roughriders fans probably have skin like Luke Cage and you can be like that too! When someone makes an “Owen” joke – as in 0-and-6 – don’t get mad, laugh and play along. Humour can sometimes be the best defense against trash talk, so while it might pain you to do so, make a joke at your team’s expense. You can’t change what is happening, so you might as well embrace it and have a little fun with it.

3. Think of all the free time you will have

Watching football takes up a lot of time, and if you are reading this, you not only watch all the games, but likely spend a few hours a week talking football on social media and watching the behind-the-scenes videos on the team’s and league’s websites. But when your team stinks, there is no pressure to pay that much attention. You can still watch games or a video or two, but you do not have to immerse yourself in the day-to-day goings-on as much as you would if the team was winning. You can still be a diehard fan if you diversify your interests — as an example, I have seen a lot more of the summer movies this year than I did last year — and do things you might put off until after the season.

4. You can watch games pressure-free

Watching games when they matter is fun, do not get me wrong, but there is also something relaxing about watching a game when there is no pressure on whether the team will win or lose. You can stroll around the stadium and take in a lot of the great amenities at Tim Hortons Field rather than focus intently on the play on the field. You can still cheer and boo and be rowdy, but you can do it with a much more relaxed attitude, like you would a pre-season game.

5. Find alcohol

If all else fails, you will at least have booze.

Josh Smith

Josh Smith

Josh has been writing about the Ticats and the CFL since 2010 and was sporting his beard way before it was cool. Will be long after, too.
Josh Smith
Josh Smith
About Josh Smith (333 Articles)
Josh has been writing about the Ticats and the CFL since 2010 and was sporting his beard way before it was cool. Will be long after, too.

40 Comments on Fandom in a time of turmoil: a how-to guide to dealing with the 2017 Ticats

  1. Eddiefelson // August 9, 2017 at 4:30 pm //


  2. Oskee Wee Wee // August 9, 2017 at 4:35 pm //

    Lol, I will find the booze. And laugh I guess.. And cry, lol…

  3. Stuart Murray // August 9, 2017 at 4:44 pm //

    I was at practice today..the players. ..the coaches. ..the rhythm. .looked good…felt great to have the team back home !!..we will turn things around ..starting this Saturday

  4. Cat Lover // August 9, 2017 at 5:15 pm //

    Hey Stuart, good attitude. Let’s hope you’re right about Saturday. Are we a bunch of fair weather fans? REAL fans will continue to support their team! In any event THF is always a great fan experience. GO CATS GO!!!

  5. Beat the Argos on Labour Day and all will be fine.

    • There’s only one game that matters…Labour Day against the Ar-blows.

      • JoeARGOS81Fan // August 10, 2017 at 11:17 am //

        Ah Yes Aim High Joe H. After all the Tiger Craps don’t win Grey Cups any more. I can’t remember the last time they won Oh Well

    • If we go 3-15, but if we beat theArgos three times, it will be a great season!

  6. jgjagcat // August 9, 2017 at 5:31 pm //

    Anyone that has been a CAT fan for a long time certainly has a thick skin.

  7. Absolutely correct Josh Smith, on ALL points. There isn’t a hell of a lot we Ti-Cat fans can do. Sit back and hope for the best and prepare for the worst. It’s hard having a sense of humour, at this rate, nobody wants to start at 0-6? Injuries, lack of talent replacements, coaching, officiating? Can’t blame all of these factors, but it sure sucks, being last in the CFL in every category. Once a die hard Ti-Cat fan-Always a Ti-Cat fan! I can recall when Ti-Cat’s went 1-17 season. That sucked too! Just hoping for a “180”, but the league strong with parity this year. Battle of the East, as West teams are much superior, but what happened in the 2016 G.C.? Ottawa was below 500 and they best the favourite Stampeders. It’s the CFL, ANYTHING can happen. Keeping the faith, in Steeltown.

    • 1-17 would be 2003. But we had guys like Danny Mac, Troy Davis, Tim Cheatwood, Craig Yeast…who would you compare those star players to today? I admire you keeping the faith but the reality is this 2017 team is going nowhere except into the abyss. When it gets to the point where players are slugging each other on the practice field and can’t compose themselves therein lays the problem…discipline and accountability.

      • Philski: I’m sure Josh wrote this with his tongue firmly in his cheek. But you are absolutely right.
        The other difference this time is that Scott Mitchell pretty well washed his hands of the onfield operations when he went on to other things in Bob Young’s business ventures. He just handed everything over to Kent Austin and made him untouchable. It has turned out to be a major blunder. This team is a disorganized mess as far as I can see. This “old boy’s club” approach by Mitchell is wrong.Nothing is forever in sports. The CFL can’t afford to have the Tiger-Cats like this.The league is fighting for attention against hockey, basketball, soccer and MLB. The only way to compete with that is providing a competitive football team. These so called “changes” are a distraction. Austin is now the problem. The Grey Cup appearances he accomplished are history. This past season and a half is what this team is now.Clinging on to Austin hoping he can somehow change and turn things around is the wrong path. It’s time to bite the bullet and try another approach. That’s just the way the football is.

      • Philski, Angelo and Snake … officially Argo fans. Turn in your black and gold. You are no longer worthy.

        • Ticats fans chill // August 11, 2017 at 2:25 am //

          U listen hear u bacteria or whatever u are, what the hell do u think your doing. U only go on this blog, talk sh*t about others opinions then leave. Like u have no humour, your opinions suck and ur name is the name of my noses bacteria. I go on this blog, to bring some life into it, and sure, I make fun of people too, but atleast I have an honest opinion. WHO ARE U? To say that snake philski and some guy named Angelo are Argos fans? How could u make fun of philski, the man that writes atleast 3 comments or replies on everypost, everyday. I think u are the Argos fan, u are the hater, u take away the life from this blog, I only see u say one sectance every other post, and it’s a hate reply!! Jeez, I bet ur too soft to even respond to this, I’m a proud ticat fan, and I will never change

        • Yo, Amicus, I’ve misjudged all this time…you are actually one hilarious homo sapien…I’m just cracking up man! I got one better though…YOU are not worthy a reply from Angelo, Snake, myself…or Philski Brigade lifers Ticats fans chill and Cfl know it all…now THAT’s funny…ha, ha, ha, ha…!

          • Philski. We judge you by the company that you keep. You and Chill have started your own self-impressed fan club. I bet you have a secret hand shake and everything.

        • Ticats fans chill // August 11, 2017 at 2:28 am //

          since when were u ever worthy? So nose bacteria is worthy but not us? I’m out haha

          • “Chill” my man, what’s up? Imagine this Amicus person preaching about “worthiness”? Hell my 2 pussycats (no pun intended) can probably name more TC players…sheesh!

  8. Angelo Bruno // August 9, 2017 at 5:38 pm //

    Hi Mr. Josh Smith,

    I find your sense of humour is misguided and socially irresponsible. To suggest, even in jest, that one turn to alchcol to deal with adversity sends an immoral and unethical message to your readership, however small it may be, which can be offensive to others. In a time when individuals still make poor choices that result in unfortunate outcomes, we would hope that those with a forum such as your’s would promote responsible behaviour. Truly, your article would have achieved its desired results without your poorly thought out last point. An apology is in order or perhaps, the moderator of this site should consider censuring you.

    • ResponsibleDrinking // August 9, 2017 at 6:32 pm //

      Ayy just because you’ve had a drinking problem doesn’t mean you have to take it out on the rest of us.

    • That’s true, I have always drank socially and never had a problem with alcohol until I started reading Josh Smith articles on 3downnation. Then Drew Edwards admitted to enjoying beer and things got out of control for me. I’m now banned from Tim Hortons Field and I’m so out of control I became a Bombers fan.

    • The Jason // August 9, 2017 at 10:07 pm //

      Angelo, I’ll drink to that!

    • If you’re serious, refer to point #2.

    • Eddy Rayner // August 10, 2017 at 12:11 pm //

      Different folks have different takes on humour. Having said that, Angelo, aren’t you the one who wants to bring Johnny Manziel in to “save” the team? The poster boy for partying?! Mixed messages my friend!

  9. Angelo ..has your mother had you tested?

  10. White Horse // August 9, 2017 at 6:08 pm //

    Angelo…are you for real? Just because of this tongue in cheek article, I now have been influenced to go and get skunk drunk. Shame!

  11. As long as your team is taking the right steps to get things headed in the right direction then the fans should be happy. Have a beer and enjoy the rebuilding process, new players, new coaches, the maturation of a team. In Saskatchewan when we found out that players like Getzlaf and Clark had not only been handed starting jobs but were handed $200,000 contracts as well, that’s when things were grim. People started having flashbacks of the Al Ford era and the “11 is Enough” years in the 80s. But then Jones came and is turning this into a professional team again. I realize that Jones has ruffled the feathers of many fans of other teams, and if I was a fan of another team I probably wouldn’t like him either. But as a Rider fan I absolutely respect is football achievements and how he earned him. This guy wants to win, he runs a meritocracy, he works very hard, and he’s made huge progress in rebuilding this team. To be perfectly frank, our record this year doesn’t even matter very much, because we can see the plan and can see that we’re building towards being a contender next year. Jones won’t stop competing this year, of course, and if a few things go our way we could still be in the playoffs this year, but either way things are headed in the right direction, and as a fan I’m happy and enjoying the ride!

  12. Ha ha Angelo.

  13. Find a second team to cheer for. I picked Winnipeg and their games have been immensely rewarding to watch whatever the result. Like the Ticats they are not great and lag behind in their division but there are big plays on all phases and they can finish games.

  14. Michael O'Shea // August 9, 2017 at 7:37 pm //

    My other team I cheer for is the Argonauts of Toronto. So I’m happiest when we’re playing each other, as we both can’t (Ar) blow it.

  15. IMAN ICE HORSIE // August 9, 2017 at 8:13 pm //

    Yes watch worry free. Take the time to sharpen you knowledge of football and the nuances of what the Ticats do. Ogle the cheer leaders and people watch……riderfans. It’s almost time for you to read this too

  16. As i have said before Angelo is crazy!

Comments are closed.