1. Shock and Denial. Been there, done that.
2. Pain and Guilt. This is the stage in which you use foul language but the moderators are too busy getting drunk to delete your comment.
3. Anger and Bargaining. Who deserves more blame: players or owners, Congress or Obama? Often characterized by long and nasty discussions of the economy and/or the personal hygiene of those you are arguing with.
4. Depression, Reflection, Loneliness. Videos of basketball greatness are embedded, leading to much wailing and gnashing of teeth.
5. The Upward Turn. What f**king upward turn? This s**t has gone to the courts and there is no chance of a season! WTF is wrong with people who think any of this will turn out well. Effing A g*ddamnit!
6. Reconstruction and Working Through. Also known as trying to watch hockey.
7. Acceptance and Hope. Accept that there is no hope, and that basketball as we know it is dead, dead, dead and never coming back.
Go placidly amid the empty arenas and wasted lives and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece of the salvage rights. Speak glowingly of those richer than yourself and heed well their orders even though they be turkeys. Know what to kiss...and when.
Consider that two wrongs never make a right, but that three may lead to a tax break. Whenever possible ignore the arguments of others and act out accordingly. Be comforted that in the face of selfishness and shattered dreams of the season to come and despite the unchanging fortunes of the Lottery, there is always a big future in emptying the wastebaskets of the rich and powerful.
We are the chumps of the sports world. We have no right to games. And whether we can hear it or not, hockey fans are laughing at us behind our backs.
Strive at all times to drink, smoke, pop and inject.
Know yourself. If you need help, call Homeland Security.
Exercise caution in your daily comments, especially with those persons you fight most with. That government informant on your right, for instance.
Be assured that a walk through the ocean of most fans' souls would scarcely get your feet wet. Fall not in love with Harrison Barnes therefore, he will be posterized by the best player available. Surrender gracefully the things of youth: the draft pick we gave to the Clippers, KG, Spree and even Sam Cassell, and let not the rosin of KG get into your alcoholic beverage of choice.
Take heart amid the deepening gloom that India Pale Ales now come in at over 10% alcohol by content, and reflect that whatever misfortune may be your lot, it could only be worse in Wisconsin.
Therefore make peace with your God, whatever you conceive Him/Her to be — hairy knuckled tea partyer or OWSmic muffin. With all its hopes, dreams, promises and league restructuring, sports continue to deteriorate.
(with apologies to Tony Hendra's Deteriorata)