Author's Note: Throughout the season, I'll be sitting down with my sports therapist to chat about the latest in Wisconsin athletics. We're not going to be touching on much technical info here. This is a safe space, everyone. It's time to open the vents. [G] denotes something I said, [T] denotes something my therapist said.
[G] Ugh. What a week it's been already.
[T] What's bothering you, Greg?
[G] All we've ever done is all we're ever gonna do, Doc. You know who said that?
[T] Des Cartes?
[G] Matthew McConaughey. It's happened like this before. I read the news out of camp. I buy into someone's hype... Allan Evridge, Curt Phillips, Brian Calhoun for Heisman. I'm super on board with the whatever year's team. "This team has what it takes," "Never mind the holes, we're so strong where it counts." All this anticipation and then boom... The worst part, too, is that I feel we were the better team on Saturday! But I left the bar feeling completely inadequate... bordering ashamed...
(terse silence as my therapist nods slowly)
[G]... What? I said it -- ashamed. I don't know, I was embarrassed. We were throttling LSU. Imposing our will, all that good stuff. I'm more bitter after this loss than I am recent string of bowl-game losses. It was really hard to feel so helpless that last quarter-and-a-half. At least in those other games I felt we played competitively to the end... I could blame calls on those games. This time, I felt like we just gave it away.
[T] Maybe you expected things of the team that they were incapable of giving you?
[G] Yeah, well of course I did! What kind of fan am I if I don't expect a lot from my team? I don't know... if you would have told me that the Badgers would lose by four to an SEC powerhouse I probably would have been OK with it a week ago... but things are super cloudy now.
[T] Cloudy? Do you mean the lack of information from Andersen on Melvin Gordon and Joel Stave?
[G] All the above! Why is there so much misinformation and what feels like cover-ups? All you had to do was say "Melvin tweaked his hip flexor, and the trainer said there was a high likelihood he would re-injure it." That's all he had to say! However, the worst answer he could say is, "I don't know." You're the head coach! You have to know! If anyone is gonna know, it's you! Just quell potential distraction! Don't throw gas on my tiny fire of doubt!
[T] Greg, count from three, backwards. You're getting worked up.
[G] It's just... I was such an Andersen enthusiast. Drove his bandwagon, put his glorious mullet as my picture on Twitter... and now he's being weird. And the weirder it gets, the more I invest myself into conspiracy and boy, am I in deep. For example, what if Andersen punished Gordon for being insubordinate... then released that Stave was out "indefinitely" so that there is no QB controversy anymore... but then why would he put Bart Houston as the No. 2? If he's trying to phase out the typical Wisconsin quarterback, why not put D.J. Gillins in at No. 2? Should I spearhead a #LeakforJStave campaign? If Joel has the yips, should we send him on a cleansing hike with Dear Old Uncle Tony? What if Andersen is pulling a Jason Kidd? What if GARY IS A PART OF THE ILLUMINATI!?
[T] Greg, what you're experiencing is "Drama No Knowno." As a Badger fan, you've never really had to experience this before. You feel helpless because you didn't get the result you wanted, and now you are seeing problems without any real evidence to make up for it. Doubt breeds faster than rats. Coach Andersen doesn't seem to particularly enjoy, or have much experience, with the media. Utah State didn't care about football as much as Wisconsinites do. Maybe it really was just bad communication. Your reaction is natural. Even the greatest Captains grow uneasy in the fog.
[G] OK, yeah that may be true, but what about the whole smoke and fire thing? There has to be a shred of truth in all these conspiracies, right?
[T] Well, it was Des Cartes who once said, "If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things."
[G] So you're saying that I'm right?
[T] I'm saying it's OK to doubt, but let it lead you to the truth.
[G] You've left me even more confused.
[T] I prefer to think I've left you with a lot to reflect upon... but, alas, our time is up. We'll pick this up next time.