I am now hours removed from this and figured others have gone through with it, others will go through with it in the future. I've never experienced this. This wasn't Robert Morris in the NIT with Nerlens Noel hurt and the team packing it in. This wasn't even losing to Auburn in OT in the Elite Eight or Luke Maye ripping my heart out in the Elite Eight. This wasn't UConn in 2011 or 2014. This was ... different. This was the unthinkable coming true.
Here's what I've learned and a guide to handle this sort of thing.
1. You'll spend hours muttering the name of the person that ruined your life - It's true. I spent basically 4 hours or so just saying St. Peter's. Nothing else. Maybe a St. fucking Peter's. It doesn't help. It just brings back the hurt. Be prepared for this moment.
2. Indulge - Get a beer, High Noon, whatever you may desire. You're going to need it.
3. Get ready for hate - People are going to be mean to you. They will come out of nowhere. Some may be friends, co-workers, podcast co-hosts, DJ's, family members, people on social media. You won't be able to say anything back no matter how wrong they might be because again, you're the one dealing with your heart being ripped out. Just stay quiet for a little bit and let it soak.
4. Swear off everything - This is an important step. Swear off the sport. Swear off the players and coaches. Just let it all out. You'll feel better only to feel worse later on. I suggest hate watching every other game and cheering for everyone else to feel the same way. It won't happen, but it gives you hope for more misery.
5. Give yourself credit - You did everything you could. You believed. You sat in the lucky seat. You had the lucky drink. You continued to work.
6. Whatever you do, don't replay the game. You will though. - That missed free throw? That bad pass? The missed layup? Yeah you're going to remember them the moment you close your eyes. Reliving them is the worst. You keep expecting a different result. It's the same result. You will continue to be mad.
7. Blame everyone else - This is an important step. Find someone else to be mad at. You're going to be full of emotions. Someone may have said the game was a lock. Someone may have talked about futures. Someone may have cursed you. Blame them. Be careful how you blame them, but it's not your fault.
8. Trying to clear your mind doesn't work - Video of a madman
9. If you work for an Internet company, blog through it - Just some advice. People will 100% forget your predictions on the team and the fact you live and die with said team. Surely, a few blogs will help.
Saint fucking Peter's.