Professional sports are a little strange.  Most fans put their heart and soul into a franchise.  They cheer for this team their entire life and they live and die with the successes and failures of the organization.  There’s a well-known phrases about “cheering for the logo on the front, not the name on the back.”  However, it doesn’t always work out that way.

Most fans have a favourite player and, in most cases, that player plays on their favourite team.  This player could be the team captain or the leading scorer.  He could be a talented forward, a steady defenseman or a solid goaltender.  He could be a third or fourth line grinder who shows a lot of heart and dedication.  Regardless of who this player is, fans take special pride out of watching their favorite player succeed.  However, sports are also a business.  Teams sometimes have to make difficult decisions and sometimes popular players are traded away.

So what do you do if your favourite player is shipped off to another team?

Immediately look for a wife or girlfriend you can blame the trade on

This works especially well if you’re dealing with a player like Wayne Gretzky, Chris Pronger or – most recently – Mike Fisher.  The best part of this strategy is that you don’t have to pick sides.  There’s no need to feel like your team made a bad more and you won’t need to turn your back on your guy.  After all, this wasn’t the team’s fault and it wasn’t the player’s fault.  It was that woman’s fault.  How dare she!?  Who does she think she is interfering with her husband’s career!?  Doesn’t she care about the fans!?  Why isn’t she happy doing exactly what the fans of her husband’s current team want!?

All of those lines will likely make you feel a bit better but, if they don’t, just start calling the wife/girlfriend “Yoko.”  That’ll show her!

Buy a sewing kit and begin your search for another player on your team who wears a similar number

This will involve you being a little creative and very brave, but it definitely works if you do it right.  One of the biggest problems you will face when your favourite player is traded is that the jersey you own will now fell weird to you.  This is especially true if the player left under less than friendly circumstances.  Sure, you could buy a new one, but those things are expensive!  Thankfully, there’s a cheaper solution.

Is Kris Versteeg no longer a Leaf?  Sure he’s not, but Tyler Bozak still is!  Changing that “32″ to a “42″ just involves some fabric, some sewing skills and a little luck.  Note: you may be tempted to fix your jersey with duct tape, marker or chewed crayon, but we would advise against that.  You don’t want to end up in one of Puck Daddy’s jersey fouls posts, do you?

Start A Fire

This is a pretty self-explanatory way to say goodbye to a player who left on bad terms.  Don’t burn yourself/anyone around you.

Stay up all night analyzing statistics until you can prove “He wasn’t that good anyway.”

Sure,  Chris Kelly spent his entire NHL career with the Senators before being traded to Boston, but did you know that he ranks a lowly 341st in power play goals this season!?  LOSER.  He also has zero goals this year when his team is up by three or more goals AND zero goals when they’re down by three or more!  Why did you ever like him anyway!?  It’s a good thing he’s gone!

* Try to avoid sobbing while berating your former hero.  It’s unbecoming.

Instantly become a huge fan of whoever he was traded for

A good way to get over your player is with a rebound.  If your favourite player leaves town, try some of these phrases on for size:
“Joffrey Lupul sucks!  Francois Beauchemin is the man!”
“Who needs Craig Anderson anymore!?  We’ve got Brian Elliot!”
“Screw Derek Joslin! I’m now supporting future considerations!”

Feel better?  Good.

Jump ship along with him

This is a big move and it’s one that shouldn’t be taken lightly.  Sure, in the heat of the moment you may think about all of the times you team has screwed up and hope that they fall apart.  You may think things like “I hope Blake Wheeler proves everyone wrong and lights up Boston the next time he’s here!” but those are just angry words.  You don’t really mean them, do you?

Jumping ship to a whole new team is a huge deal.  You’ll need to buy a new jersey.  You’ll have to start frequenting different message boards and blogs.  You may need to get new friends or prepare to be at odds with them often.  You’ll have to get different coloured body paint for the playoffs.

Sure, it’s tempting to jump ship, but think about it first before you make the plunge.

We hope that the trade deadline is good to you this year and that only worthless scrubs, valuable draft picks and that one guy you have an rational hate for are traded from your team.  However, if your favourite player does end up moving, we hope our tips help.

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