Dukes of Awesome

How Buffalo Sports Fans Cope: A look into Freud’s Defence Mechanisms, Part 2 by pinkjerseyssuck

This continues a four part series on the way Buffalo fans, and Sports fans in general, cope with the ups, downs, and curveballs that inevitably come with the territory of making sports a priority in your life. Find Part one here.

Part two now addresses the “Level 2 Defence Mechanisms.”

Considered to some as the “teenage” mechanisms, the second level defences  lessen distress and anxiety provoked by threatening people or by uncomfortable reality. In adults, however, they become annoyingly immature and out of touch with reality. This would, therefore, constitute your average participant in a Sunday morning tailgate.

These include:

1. Fantasy

Definition: Tendency to retreat into fantasy in order to resolve inner and outer conflicts
Example: Truly believing that the no-huddle offense is what Edwards was born to do! He”s the next Kelly! 15-1 Baby!

2. Projection

Definition: without becoming consciously aware of them, attributing one’s own unacknowledged unacceptable/unwanted thoughts and emotions to another. Wikipedia’s example includes “severe prejudice, severe jealousy, hypervigilance to external danger, and injustice collecting”
Example: This embodies just about every Bills fan’s reaction to both the Dolphins (severe prejudice anyone?) and the Patriots (severe jealousy anyone?!?). As much as I want to pretend I’m not jealous and the Pats really are evil, let’s be serious. And some of you reading are thinking, “no, the Pats really are evil. They cheat. They suck. Blah blah.” It’s okay. Defense mechanisms are healthy.

3. Hypochondriasis

 Definition: Transforming negative feelings towards others into negative feelings towards yourself, thereby causing pain/illness.
Example: The tailgates at games in which the Bills are almost sure to lose always result in more arrests and hospitalizations. Look it up.

4. Passive aggression

Definition: Aggression towards others expressed indirectly or passively.
Example(s): I’m pretty sure this could be a post in itself. But really, there is so much anger pent up at tailgate parties expressed in “savage brews” and playing “pass the charcoal” it’s ridiculous. The question is, who’s it supposed to be directed at? Ralph Wilson? The NFL? Scott Norwood? Whoever thought it was a good idea to but a thruway on the waterfront? Who knows. But it’s definitely inside us, expressing its ugly head every September.

5. “Acting out”

Definition: Direct expression of an unconscious wish or impulse without conscious awareness of the emotion that drives that expressive behavior.
Example: the viral rumor that Ralph had died. Was this our collective subconscious, wishing for some sort of answers as to what will happen when he does kick the bucket? I am ashamed to say, it was both terrifying and exciting when I first heard the rumor. For those of you who frantically texted and facebooked away once you heard it- knowing full well it was only a rumor- perhaps you were acting out.

6. Idealization

Definition: Subconsciously choosing to perceive another individual as having more positive qualities than he or she may actually have.
Example: just about every player we have signed or drafted in the last 17 years. See, Fantasy, above     

Parts 3 and 4 coming soon. 






How Buffalo Sports Fans Cope – A look into Freud’s Defence Mechanisms by pinkjerseyssuck

This starts a four part series on the way Buffalo fans, and Sports fans in general, cope with the ups, downs, and curveballs that inevitably come with the territory of making sports a priority in your life.  

Part one addresses, appropriately, the “Level 1 Defence Mechanisms.”

There are three DMs at this level, which educationally speaking are almost always severely pathological.  These three defences, in conjunction, permit one to effectively rearrange external reality and eliminate the need to cope with reality. 

These are the DMs that cause non-sports fans tho view us sports fans as “crazy” or “insane.”  In other words, these are the “psychotic” defences.  While they are considered healthy mechanisms when occuring in dreams or childhood, I think most would agree that, when employed in an alert state, “nightmare” is probably the more accurate term.  These defences include:

1.   Denial.

Definition: Refusal to accept external reality because it is too threatening; arguing against an anxiety-provoking stimulus by stating it doesn’t exist; resolution of emotional conflict and reduction of anxiety by refusing to perceive or consciously acknowledge the more unpleasant aspects of external reality.

Example: The Bills would have lost Superbowl XXV anyways.

2.   Distortion.

Definition: A gross reshaping of external reality to meet internal needs.

Example: Dick Jauron isn’t that bad of a coach.

3.   Delusional Projection

Definition: Grossly frank delusions about external reality, usually of a persecutory nature.

Example: The plain and simple truth is, the Refs are out to get us

Stay tuned for Parts 2-4 in the coming week.