Aztecs men’s basketball has been a constant in our lives for the last decade and a half. Roughly. There have been ups and downs, but for the latter portion of that stretch, we’ve seen a large amount of success. We’re not used to the kind of utterly hopeless season we’re looking at right now.
Okay, I am. It’s why I’m writing this.
Would you guess that many San Diego State students and alumni did not, in fact, grow up in San Diego? This means they’ve likely seen their team win something. I haven’t. I grew up in San Diego. I love an (historically) incredibly inept baseball team and used to love an even more inept football team.
When we here at the Kabeer Thirty Labs had the idea of how to cover a “lost” season, @lemonverbena_ yelled “SEA” at nobody in particular, @AttemptedChem did that thumb pointing thing to the back of a Tim Salmon shirsey and @AKH_blog showed me three makeshift World Series championship rings and “4TNI NERZ” knuckle tattoos. We like @jodes0405 way too much to put her through the ringer, so I was tasked with torturing my soul once again.
So I’m here to offer you a few strategies for enduring this hoops season like a true San Diego sports fan.
Remember how great the good times were
Never, ever forget the good times. Remember when Leonard, White, and Thomas were running the floor? That’s never, EVER going to happen again. So enjoy that, because that shit is gone forever. When good things happen in San Diego, they either remain and never change (see: Jerome’s) or turf out in historical fashion. Padres in the World Series, Chargers in the Super Bowl, Chargers in the playoffs, Chargers in San Diego. Things never end well. Oh, I think this was supposed to help people deal with losing?
This hellscape is truly endless
Really, this is it. From here on out, you can expect San Diego State to start marketing Viejas Arena to visiting fans. They will literally say “everybody’s money is green,” hang their hat on Viejas Arena being named “Best Arena In The Mountain West”, and turn it into a food court with basketball. Like the ice rink at UTC, but with “The Show” instead of the arcade and Bernie Wilson possibly bro-ing about on press row.
I am so broken.
Find pleasure in the small things
Okay, so the Aztecs are disappointing. What is it you ARE enjoying about this season, though? You have to find small pleasures in the bad seasons, whether it’s doing ridiculous things like roasting Larry Eustachy’s “auditioning for the role of ‘clerk’ in a Discount Tire Company ad”-looking ass or allowing yourself to enjoy a beatdown of a garbage opponent. Don’t think about a prior defeat, or your anticipation of a future frustrating loss, just stay in the moment of beating up on a really bad Air Force Academy. Really, we’re just here to have fun. And even that’s fun, right?
Laugh at everything
Everything. Laugh at all of it. Are the Aztecs losing? Take something factual, run it through the hot take filter, and you have yourself a fake tweet you can attribute to AztecMesa. Point out that Brian Dutcher looks like a high school principal who likes to give pep talks to students in the hallway, and ends his beginning of the year speech with “remember that the last three letters of ‘principal’ spell ‘pal’.” If losing sports teams give you anything in life, it’s the opportunity to hone your dark humor skills. Or dad humor. Or bad humor.
Understand this is probably (hopefully?) temporary
San Diego State has a good program. It’s a transition year, with Steve Fisher stepping aside and Dutcher needing to adjust from all of that time spent in waiting. Or whatever. Point is, now’s not the time to jump ship; this is the first crucial test of what’s become a successful program.
In the words of #AztecForLife Carl Weathers as Apollo Creed, “See that look in their eyes, Rock? You gotta get that look back, Rock. Eye of the tiger, man.”