Attention to all fans San Diego sports teams: Your team sucks.

Yes, Padres fans, I’m including you. You too, Chargers fans.
(And that is the last time I’ll ever refer to the Local NFL Team by their actual name.)

As a community of fans, we need to adopt a new attitude. We have to stop worrying about whether they attempt to kick a field goal instead of going for a touchdown. We need to stop concerning ourselves with the sorry state of the Padres rotation. We need to stop focusing on whether the GM drinks his iced coffee. We need to…

What is “embrace the suck” and what does it mean?

It’s actually a phrase, or milspeak, used by military personnel. NPR’s Morning Edition commentator Austin Bay, a retired colonel of the US Army Reserve, compiled a book called Embrace the Suck: A Pocket Guide to Milspeak in which he describes it as the following:

“Embrace the suck” isn’t merely a wisecrack; it’s a raw epigram based on encyclopedic experience. Face it, soldier. I’ve been there. This ain’t easy. Now let’s deal with it.

Let’s face it. San Diego sports teams suck and have for a long while. Yes, there is the occasional season when they get our hopes up by going 14-2, or occupy 1st place in their division for 161 games, or even get to the Super Bowl or World Series.

But then something bad happens.

They end up facing a 114 regular season win Yankees team. Or Matt Holliday doesn’t touch home plate. Or Steve Young throws 6 TD’s against them. Or they lose 10 in a row in September.

Sunday evening, after the Local NFL Team’s most recent loss and the apparent heartbreak over that fact, I tweeted the following:

Tony Losoya responded. He gets what I’m saying.

And Gavin does too.

However, Aztecs 4 Life brought up an interesting point.

College athletics are different. There’s a difference between a successful college program and a winning program. Aztecs basketball is definitely a successful program. They attract sought after recruits and sell out Viejas Arena, providing much needed money to SDSU. But once the postseason tournaments start…

Mountain West Conference
Season Head Coach Conference Overall Conference Tournament Post Season
1999-00 Steve Fisher 0–14 (8th) 5–23 Lost Quarter Finals
2000–01 Steve Fisher 4–10 (7th) 14–14 Quarter Finals
2001–02 Steve Fisher 7–7 T-(4th) 21–12 Tournament Champion Lost NCAA 1st round
2002–03 Steve Fisher 6–8 (5th) 16–14 Lost Quarter Finals Lost NIT 2nd round
2003–04 Steve Fisher 5–9 T-(5th) 14–16 Lost Quarter Finals
2004–05 Steve Fisher 4–10 (6th) 11–18 Lost Semi Finals
2005–06 Steve Fisher 13–3 (1st) 24–9 Tournament Champion Lost NCAA 1st round
2006–07 Steve Fisher 10–6 T-(3rd) 22–11 Lost Quarter Finals Lost NIT 2nd round
2007–08 Steve Fisher 9–7 (4th) 20–13 Lost Semi Finals Lost NIT 1st round
2008–09 Steve Fisher 11–5 (4th) 26–10 Lost Finals Lost NIT Semi-finals
2009–10 Steve Fisher 11–5 T-(3rd) 25–9 Tournament Champion Lost NCAA 1st round
2010–11 Steve Fisher 14–2 T-(1st) 34–3 Tournament Champion Lost NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2011–12 Steve Fisher 10–4 T – (1st) 26–8 Lost Finals Lost NCAA 1st round
2012–13 Steve Fisher 9–7 T – (4th) 23–11 Lost Semi-Finals Lost NCAA 2nd round
(via Wikipedia)

[I know pointing out “Saint Fisher’s” shortcomings is probably going to get me in trouble with some of you. Oh well.]

My whole point is this: S**t happens. It’s how you deal with it that matters.

Am I the perfect example? Not by any means. I still let Alexi Amarista‘s weird routes to fly balls hit to center field irk me to no end, for one thing. Believe me, it’s taken me a long time to figure this out for myself.

We all need to learn to relax. It’s just a game. In the big scheme of things, it really doesn’t matter. If you let every little disappointment (or loss) get you down, you’re gonna have a bad time.

So sit back, relax, and start embracing the suck.


After taking a week off, I’m back and trying to be more than just a perpetually disappointed San Diego sports fan. Are you? Let me know in the comments. Or tweet at me @GhostofRAK.

You are encouraged to comment using an exisitng Twitter, Facebook, or Google account. Upvote comments you find helpful, and only downvote comments that do not belong. The downvote is not a 'disagree' button.

  • Geoff Young

    With all due respect to Steve Fisher, you could also point to Jim Harbaugh’s 2004-2006 run with the Toreros (29-6). As for the pros, it’s always been the Sockers and Gulls (although the 1992-93 team that went 62-12-8 still managed to lose in the finals).

    • Let’s be honest here, no one is counting the Sockers or Gulls. The Gulls were low minor league team, and they don’t exist anymore. The Sockers are only around until their league folds. Again.

      • Geoff Young

        If you keep throwing facts at me, I’m hosed.

  • We used to say “It all gets better after (whatever the next major ship’s event was)”. Next major events included inspections (engineering, tactical proficiency), deployment, or in extreme cases, change of command. Sometimes, life got better; mostly, it remained the same.

    To put it in Padre terms, ‘It all gets better after Moores sells the team’. Has it?

    • You, sir, need to embrace the suck. Big time.

  • Drew Tweedie

    Embrace the Sock(ers). It saved my sporthood!