When the Phillies finally lost after an excruciating series playing the Giants version of fan-torturing small ball, I was at first filled with that peculiarly empty feeling of a sports fan who really wanted it and more or less gave up 3 hours of each day going back to April to watching and loving a team. When all of that caring amounts to nothing it's a really harsh comedown. The second step in the detox, after the emptiness, is a combination of self-loathing and feeling stupid for allowing yourself to care about something as unimportant as sports and giving it that much time and emotional energy.
But another strange thing happened when the Phillies finally lost. I started to feel better. Tonight for the first time since July I watched TV without a sense of obligation or the ulcerated pit in my stomach. It felt wonderful. I felt free.