You love the team. You love the coach. There is so much sentimentality built up in your fandom; history and memories cached in your brain (and heart) since you first became a fan. Your player, your idol. The one whose jersey you own, you wear on game day, you never wash…
The season where your team is supposed to win it all but comes up short.
Your player traded/retires/takes a lesser role. The coach moves on. Player and personnel moves start happening, none of them really making any sense to you. Panic. Identify is being traded away with the team.
Rebuilding… we trust in executives, those who know “the business” to build up another roster that will help us be better. Our team focus has changed. Our point of attack is younger and more athletic. Our strategies have changed to be faster, versatile, cheaper…
Painful. Everything is different. Scores are lower than you are used to. Plays aren’t executed with efficiency. The team chemistry isn’t there. The team record is horrible. The new coach keeps citing “we’re improving every day” and “we have a lot to learn from this loss” and “they’re progressing just as I had hoped for”. And you question the coach (and the management) because no! They’re not progressing. They’re not learning. They’re not winning like they used to. Painful.
So painful. You suffer through season after season. You watch others enjoy success. You are jealous. You even begin to resent your team even more. Perhaps you even consider switching fandom. So painful.
A few years later, you realize that you love the team. You love the coach. There is more sentimentality built up within your fandom.
Your player, your idol, the one whose jersey you own. You wear on game day. You never wash… now has a different jersey number.
Maybe there are more cycles of the above. Or maybe it happens right away but, you start seeing your team be successful again. And you find new, different things to love about them. And you build more memories and experience more joy from more perspectives. You love the game. You love the team.
You just hate the rebuilding process itself.
Note: this is an analogy for my professional career and current/recent events.