How to handle defeat:
1) Look at the bright side. Fine, so we're not all optimists. However, if there is ever a time to practice optimism, it is when morale is low following a loss. It offers support at a time when it is needed most, and assists in turning mistakes into lessons. Never, ever give up on our boys.
2) Continue to show your spirit. I wore red on Sunday, and was just as proud to do it as I was on Friday. If an opposing team's fan notices and gloats, tell them that they need to learn how to win like they have done it before. If they are a t-shirt fan, feel free to punch them in the face.
3) Congratulate the opponent. I know that it's difficult to do, especially if the fan has been rude. Still, you have the opportunity to be the bigger person. Whether your graciousness is appreciated or not, you will be able to take comfort in knowing that you handled it well.
How NOT to handle defeat:
1) Whining, complaining, or making excuses. We're not OU fans, so let's act like it. This includes blaming the refs, claiming luck was a factor, accusing the other team of cheating, etc. The scoreboard determines who won and who lost, so deal with it and move on.
2) Playing the blame game. If deriding one or more of our own is what makes you feel better after a loss, consider your qualifications to make such an assessment. Odds are, you can't play better, you can't coach better, and you have no clue what it was like to be in their shoes.
3) Trashing the opponents' university, town, or fans. Everyone's tired of the "____ fan threw rocks at children, urinated on our players, and tipped an elderly woman out of her wheelchair" stories. Also, they are where they are because they like it there, so at least respect that.
Mechanisms to cope:
1) If you are angry, punch something. Whether it is a punching bag at the rec or the aforementioned suggestion of a t-shirt fan, release the anger the old-fashioned way by beating the hell out of something. Just make sure that it is something that deserves it.
2. If you are sad, delight in the struggles of rivals. OU lost to Oregon and A&M nearly lost to Army. Yes, that is the same Army that hasn't posted a winning season in a decade because they have had wars to worry about. If that's not enough, laugh at the latest UT marijuana bust.
3) If you despair, go watch a past game or highlight video to focus on a much better memory. Look back on the good times, and refresh the hope for the future. Most of all, never forget that football is just a game, but being a Red Raider is something that can never be taken from you.
(Questions, comments, praise, and constructive criticism can be directed to Trent within the forums or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org