Unless we are the most homer of homers, we all understand the possibility of our team losing. There are very few teams in the nation that go into every game favored, and the odds are that your team is not one of them. Last year, there was not a single team in the nation that went undefeated.
Losing is tough. It grinds at your core, especially if you’re an alumnus of the school. It’s where you spent four (or five) years of your life, how dare it be desecrated by that inferior school from wherever! Fortunately, not every single loss is your entire team’s fault. Here’s a list of excuses, ranging from weak to strong, that you can shell out if your team loses. If your team goes undefeated, this list still has a function! You can point out the inferior excuses of your friends, co-workers, and inlaws and laugh at them as your team steamrolls them.
Never use these, unless you are completely and totally desperate.
- “If the weather hadn’t been so bad, we would’ve won!”
Why it’s weak: The other team had to play in the weather too, and if it’s regional weather that they’re used to playing in, odds are that it was worse on gameday than in practice. That’s just how these things go. If it wasn’t worse on gameday than in practice, this is still a weak excuse. You’re blaming nature for a loss, an entity that no one has any control over. It’s bad.
- “Them cheatin’ refs kept us from winning!”
Why it’s weak: You have zero evidence to support your hypothesis. None. Zilch. Nada. You do not know for sure that the refs were paid off by the opposing team, and as much as you know deep down in your heart them cheatin’ sons of guns from the other half of the state did it, you really don’t. You can shake your fist at the sky at all the no-calls, but the reality is that you’re more than likely wrong. It’s a dumb excuse, and most people don’t buy it at all. Some will think less of you.
- “If we had played the backup quarterback we would’ve won!”
Why it’s weak: The backup quarterback is always the most popular guy in town, even if it isn’t warranted. The starting quarterback always takes the blame for things that are sometimes outside of his control. If a wide receiver bobbles a pass and gets it picked off, do you blame the quarterback or the wide receiver? If you said quarterback, you’re probably one of those people who wants to burn Tony Romo at the stake. This excuse is the weakest of them all, not because it’s difficult to prove, but because it’s most often completely and totally wrong.
- “If they’d stop wearing all those newfangled uniforms and just focus on playing football we would have won”
Why it’s weak: This is the weakest excuse of all. Do you know how long it takes to put on a different colored jersey? The exact same time that it takes to put on the regular colored one. The players weren’t checking out their new look during practice, they were wearing the same color mesh jersey that they always have been, and they were putting in work. The jerseys do not affect practice time. They don’t affect who starts at quarterback. They’re a way to mix things up and keep them fresh, because not everyone enjoys the same thing year in and year out. I can’t stand some of Texas Tech’s combinations, anything to do with gray in particular. No matter how much I hate them, the jerseys aren’t losing us the game.
- Whatever this jersey story is
These excuses are still bad but not that bad.
- “If the coach had been preparing these boys to play instead of doin’ nothing we woulda won”
Why it’s meh: It sometimes is a very valid complaint. There are coaches that do nothing for the emotional or physical side of football and simply go for the mental, x’s and o’s approach. There are those who go for just the emotional. There are those who go for a combination of just two. You need all three to win consistently. It’s a meh excuse instead of a strong excuse because coaches don’t control every aspect of their players. Sometimes, people screw up. They have bad days. Sometimes the guy having a bad day is the dude who drank too much and is blowing chunks in the stands. Sometimes the guy having a bad day is your cornerback who can’t quite figure out the fade pattern. You can plan for everything, and something will still go wrong. You can work hard and give 100% and make A’s and sometimes, it still isn’t good enough to take home the W.
- “*insert player here* is looking to go pro after this season and get paid, he’s checked out”
Why it’s meh: This is pretty real. There are definitely some who have decided that they’re going pro and will take a few plays off if the season isn’t going how they’d planned it. It’s not easily verifiable, but it’s definitely a thing that happens. If you don’t like it, pay the players in college or start a petition to lower NFL salaries. Good luck with the last part, and don’t forget that the NFLPA is made up of people who are violent for a living.
- “Man, our schedule sucks. If we didn’t play so many tough games back to back to back, we would’ve won”
Why it’s meh: Fatigue is real. It’s not easy to play four ranked teams in a month and win all four. Hell, it’s not easy to win three of those games. There is something to be said for injuries and general exhaustion, especially if these games are on the road. The counterpoint is that everyone with the exception of Alabama and Texas, generally, has tough spots in their schedule. Everyone is playing someone back to back. Schedules that look tough at the beginning of the year become soft. Cupcake walks suddenly look more daunting. It’s all about the timing, really.
You will sound intelligent to your friends and family without saying anything of substance.
- “Dang, if our offensive and defensive lines had just played better, we would’ve won”
Why it’s good: Bear with me here. There is no such thing as a good excuse. However, blaming the offensive and defensive lines makes you look 10x smarter than blaming the quarterback. Football Smart People will point out how the 3-technique and the end’s stunts killed the left side of your line all night, and how they forced the quarterback into throwing picks like days after the game. All you have to do is blame the offensive and defensive lines while walking out of the stadium, and you beat the Football Smart People to the punch! It’s an excuse that seems reasonable, and is likely some form of right, even if it’s not the way you intend it to be.
- “We were still sad about not making it into the CFP”
Why it’s good: I was originally going to put tis in the weak section, but I was immediately informed by every single fan of a team in the South Eastern Conference that not only is this excuse actually good, it’s verified truth. No one likes to have their national title dreams crushed, and it only makes sense for them to be sad about it for the next two entire months, affecting their play against a plucky upstart team who doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt.
Of course, if the South Eastern Conference team wins, the rest of us can always claim that they were just too pissed off for us to handle after not making it into the College Football Playoff, so it evens out in the end.
- “We’re in a rebuilding year”
Why it’s good: It allows you to deflect from the fact that somehow you weren’t able to recruit or develop players for several years. How convenient! Here’s a tip, if you’re typically a ten win team, a six win season isn’t a rebuilding year. Your team is just bad.