By Darren Zancan

Losing is one of the hardest things athletes have to deal with. Injuries might be up there as a close second, but losing a game just leaves a bad taste in your mouth.The different levels of games make it even harder. If it’s a preseason game, well, take it as a learning experience. If it’s a regular season, it’s a tough pill to swallow. A playoff or championship, on the other hand, means you need to have the Kleenex ready.

We’ve seen the start of a few losing streaks this year in volleyball and football.

As an athlete, I have been a part of the winning streaks and the losing streaks. I’ve been on a team that’s gone undefeated, and I’ve been a part of a college team that was always defeated. Losing can take an emotional toll on you. Heck winning can take a toll on you.

Just ask Coach Mark Dantonio of the Michigan State Spartan football team. After the dramatic overtime win against Notre Dame (I’m still in tears over that one), Dantonio had a heart attack.

The win may have nothing to do with his condition, but sports can be an emotional rollercoaster.

The football team rides a losing streak of six (dating back to last season). Volleyball is back on the winning track, but they too suffered a few setbacks.

It’s all in the personal approach to the game. Some people give up and never recover. But I don’t believe that’s the case with Eastern teams.

Athletes are humans and sometimes they just want to walk away, throw off the helmet and say (bleep) it.

I am sure after three loses the football team is irritated and displeased with the results, but they’re fighters. With the chance to beat up the OVC, a mere three losses is just a bump in the road. Coach Dean Hood will have his team ready for Kentucky State.

The nice thing about a losing streak is once you win, the monkey is off your back and the game gets easier.

When you lose, you find everything wrong with your game and want to make changes just to make changes. The key is to just take a breath, relax and drink a nice glass of skim milk. Or go out and beat the tar out of your next opponent. It all works itself out in the end.

Sometimes losing is the best remedy. It is the best medicine. It makes you step back and look at what you have. At the end of the day, the rollercoaster ends and you can get off the ride, and get ready to ride the next one.

– My friend Brad and I attended the Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens game Sunday. Here are some random thoughts from start to finish.

As we walked to the stadium, a school bus with the word “candy” on the side of the bus drove by. Let’s just say the crowd of people walking had no idea what to think.

Congressman Steve Chabot, who served as congressman in Ohio’s First Congressional District, stood in front of the admission gates shaking hands and looking for supporters. Cincinnati fans are in attendance to yell “Who Dey,” not shake hands.

I have never seen so many jerseys before. Even my friend made the comment that he thought football jerseys were out of fashion. At least 70 percent of the fans sported jerseys. Great support.

One jersey had “Grandma Who Dey” on the back, custom designed.

The atmosphere was great. I am not a Bengals fan (Packers first) but I must say the fans are pretty die-hard and the pregame festivities are great. Bands playing pregame parties, free food, jets flying overhead and a Cincinnati firefighter singing the National Anthem, capped off an interesting day.

Speaking of interesting, someone owned a Cincinnati Bengals hearse. It was decked out in Bengals colors and logos. Weird.

Drunken people at football games can be one of two things, either extremely funny or irritating. A drunk guy next to us wore a shirt that said “Shittsburgh.” It was custom made and just a slight jab at the Pittsburgh Steelers.