My Stages Of Football Grief

As each page in my calendar turns, I frantically pound the keyboard to prepare a column for American Scouser. For the past two years, without fail, I have come up with a bucket of words in a coherent order and sent them to the editors. The end of each month has been a regular celebration of another fun column written and passed in. We all toast each other. We laugh about being heroes and how we should get capes. And it’s usually very jovial. You won’t find much grief in my work.

READ MORE: How Did We Get Here? by Jeff Cutler
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Guess what? That crashed and burned this week with the losses and the realization that Jurgen Klopp is leaving. It’s over for them which means it’s over for us in the stands. The reality of 23-24 being OVER OVER OVER is here. It bites. It hurts. And for each LFC supporter, it hurts differently. The stages of grief are very personal and have widely varying triggers for each of us.

Therefore, I can only talk about my singular grief and my stages regarding Liverpool Football Club 23-24.

DENIAL

When we found out Jurgen was leaving, I discounted it as rumors. Why would he go? He’s young and happy – or so it seemed. The head-to-head battle with Pep and cheating City had to continue. We needed to beat them. Liverpool needed Klopp to beat them. So it couldn’t be real. Why would he go? Where would he go?

See?!! He said in the interview he would never manage a different EPL team. That means he’s staying! What, he’s going? No, he’s not. You can’t fool me. He’s not going. Not Jurgen. Not our gaffer.

BARGAINING

So maybe he said he’s leaving, but that’s probably a bluff. Or it’s strategy. Maybe, he’s trying to get Pep to quit too. Jurgen is really smart. I bet if we fans all let him know how much we like him, he’d stay.

A grass-roots campaign to keep Klopp here….we need that. Everyone go get Lasik surgery! Grow a goatee! Learn German! Perfect the fist pump! Wait!! Let’s name the Kop after Klopp. It’s only a couple of letters. Then he’d have to stay!

ASTV Goes Through The Stages Of Grief Over Jurgen Klopp

Please, if we win the league. What if we come close? OK, what if we finish third? Doesn’t that leave work to do? He’s dedicated so he won’t leave work undone, would he?

Dear deity of the day and your choice – I’ll never swear/drink/compliment Tottenham/wear Nike crap kits – if you keep Jurgen Klopp in Liverpool.

Please, please, please…

ANGER

What the ACTUAL F**K is going on here?! John F’n Henry should step up and pay Klopp to stay. Liverpool has the money!

We didn’t just get to full capacity at Anfield to watch The Normal One wander away! Somebody talk to him! Rebecca Lowe!! Roger Bennett!! Somebody!

The players don’t care. These coddled footie players finally have THE GAFFER to lead them and they are letting him go. I can’t fathom it! It’s insanity. Don’t they realize how important this is?! WHYYYYYY?!!!!

*This carries into depression.

DEPRESSION

WHYYYYYY?!!!!
I could have been a QPR supporter….whine…
Seriously? Does anyone know of a tattoo removal service? What words can KLOPP be turned into?….whine…
And for my birthday we were planning to visit Anfield with Klopp there. It’s just not going to be the same….whine…
Red. I always hated the color red….whine…
Mo Salah, bah. He didn’t carry us the way he should have….whine…
The Saudis stole Henderson and it all fell asunder….whine…
I don’t think I can follow the team next year. Maybe I’ll take a year off….whine…
Does Goodwill have a football gear section I can donate to….whine…
I thought these kids cared about Jurgen and us – I guess not…whine…
And now our first and second choices for a manager have evaporated….whine…
Can anyone tell me with certainty, so I don’t go to bed for three months if Mo, Virgil, and Jota will be here in August?….whine…
It’s not right that City didn’t get points off….whine…
Even the golden sky after the rain makes me choke up and cry about what could have been….whine…

ACCEPTANCE

It comes down to a big fat….”What can I do?” Liverpool is my team. I am Liverpool. With that said, do I love them any less? Certainly not. Klopp was our savior. Now we move forward.

Mo? I hope he stays. He’s quality and a good person. The world needs that – so do Liverpool.

The good things from 23-24? Humility. Maybe our guys need to work a tiny bit harder.

Also, I don’t care if a sovereign wealth fund is paying some other collection of players, we are Liverpool. It means more here, and we do it by the rules.

Do I have a jersey with Virgil on it? Yes. Will I wear it when he leaves? Yes. The TEAM is what matters. Ultimately, when I “picked” a team to support, I was told there was no going back. I accept those terms. It’s Liverpool for life. I have learned and will continue to absorb the team’s history and the events that make Liverpool FC special.

That’s my acceptance. It’s an honor. You pick a team and you stay faithful. The bond is sacred. I learned this from my friend Adam. He is reported to utter “We are Liverpool” in his sleep. He’s right, we are Liverpool and we will experience a fantastic football future.

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Right now this future might be fraught with a horrifying third-place finish and the grief surrounding the departure of a four-eyed savior. But soon we’ll have a stabilized new side. Some names may change, but the effort and the results will be telling. Our gaffer crafted this squad…our hero…our football friend, Jurgen Klopp.

Do I really have to accept his departure and the complete change that will befall the Liverpool Football Club?

Yes.

I do.

And so do you. So get over it. Either jump into counseling or go through the steps yourself. Regardless, do the work. We are Liverpool. Don’t forget that it means more. And wow, we’re going to have some future!

YNWA

Ugly Crying and Tissues American Scouser Podcast

We think there was a game this weekend as well but the main topic of course is Klopp's farewell
  1. Ugly Crying and Tissues
  2. Two Week Notice
  3. Having Fun Again
  4. The Turkish Rodeo
  5. Glimpse of Hope
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