This is how you know a sports loss is different. There are a handful of these in one's life when you really have a conversation with yourself as to why in the hell you do this at all.
I think I've had five such losses in my life: Super Bowl LI, the 10-run first inning in Game 5 of the 2019 NLDS, Game 7 of the 2020 NLCS, Tennessee's OT loss to Purdue in the 2019 Sweet Sixteen and the Vols blowing a 17-0 lead to Baker Mayfield's Oklahoma team and losing in 2OT in 2015. I vividly remember sitting in my hotel room — in Philadelphia, ironically enough — after the Braves blew a 3-1 lead with a trip to the World Series on the line and getting way too deep about life in general and why I was so upset about a group of guys I'd never met losing a baseball game. That is not a fun place to be.
And that's where Philadelphia finds itself today. Sitting at work, angry and irritable, questioning if all of this is worth it. Once you have the epiphany that you're the real sucker for caring about any of this, it gets even worse. You swear to yourself that you're going to stop allowing things like sports to affect your real life and be a more well-rounded person, and it fails every time. You'll be back.
I imagine it's that much worse that it's the Hawks, too. Living in the northeast for two years now, I've noticed that people up here seem to think sports are illegitimate once you get south of Washington, D.C. There's just New York, Boston, Philadelphia and D.C. and that's it. So to have a barely 6-foot, balding 22-year-old Atlanta point guard bring your city to its knees is just that extra little kick to the coin pouch.
But I truly do have an odd sympathy for Sixers fans today. Once you've reached the contemplations about why your dad stopped watching sports, you are definitely down bad.
It's just 3-2, guys. Cheer up.