"It's just a game." Those are four words I hear regularly - typically after the Buffalo Bills or Sabres flush a win down the toilet.
A close loss can make me want to cancel plans or take a nap. On one memorable occasion, a late-game Bills' fumble caused my TV remote to take flight. It crashed into a wall in my college apartment as the New England Patriots celebrated their victory.
I've tried to adopt a new attitude this year. It's based on experience. I assume the Bills and Sabres are going to lose pretty much every game. More times than not, they do just that, but I've braced myself for the disappointment, making the losses a little easier.
A win now feels like a pleasant surprise. When the Bills beat the Miami Dolphins 19-0 last weekend it was like an early, completely unexpected Christmas present.
My happiness is tied to more than just the records of Buffalo sports teams, of course.
We took a trip to Niagara University last weekend to watch our St. Bonaventure Bonnies win a basketball game. We went to catch up with some old friends around the holidays.
At some point during the game, I changed from my quiet self into a screaming, voiceless super fan whose mood would be determined by the final score.
A loss would've sent us on a long, quiet car ride home instead of heading out to celebrate with our friends. Thanks to a last-second victory, the Bonnies made my weekend.
Should my happiness be determined by wins and losses? Of course not, but as a fan of some typically terrible teams, it's a sickness that isn't going away anytime soon.