I’m writing this column with tears in my eyes. In the wake of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ collapse at home, which was more predictable than Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s autopsy results, I fear for my mental hygiene.

This is the worst thing to happen to me since Spike TV stopped airing Miami Vice. I would rather lick the floor of Toad’s than have the Steelers miss the Super Bowl at the hands of the Patriots. I would rather sit through an episode of “Behind the Music: Clay Aiken.” I would rather have my girlfriend go on an ecstasy bender with 50 Cent and his posse. I would rather run on a treadmill for eight hours while attending a discussion section being taught by Tom Brady and Michael Moore entitled “Calculus and the Feminist Movement: a Crossroads in History.”

Why do we let sports do this? For most of us, our teams suck, so it’s rarely fun to watch them. Yet we still do. We don’t enjoy getting sick to our stomachs before the games start. We don’t enjoy getting sick to our stomachs when the inevitability of defeat is finally realized. Yet we continue the habit. And then when the disappointing season is over, there is a void in our lives.

Why? Is this what crack does to people? Can you go through sports detox? If so, sign me up, because my body can’t take this anymore.

It doesn’t make sense. Maybe the people who invented spectator sports are the same geniuses who thought it would be a good idea to have the bathrooms in Stiles also serve as hallways.

I’m sure a disturbingly large number of Yalies have no idea what I’m talking about. So here, I’ll put it into terms you all can understand:

Imagine there is a president that you hate. (I know it’s hard, but just pretend.) And this president that you hate is up for re-election in a few months. So you spend all your time trying to get out the vote so that he will lose. You feel like whatever happens on Election Day will change your life, so you need your guy to win. Leading up to the election, your guy is ahead in the polls, and he’s won the debates. It’s in the bag, right? Then, on election night, your guy loses. But he doesn’t just lose — your guy gets flogged like Angel Face in “Fight Club.”

You can’t fall asleep that night. The next day, you have no appetite. You sulk to class, looking for answers. You ask your friends what went wrong. You feel like there was a death in the family. You lose the will to live. You think the end of the world is approaching.

That is what happened to the Steelers and their fans last weekend. That’s what happens to every sports fan in the throes of loss.

I feel sick, absolutely sick, and not in the lacrosse sense of the word.

(If I had meant it that way, I would’ve said, “I feel siiiiick” and probably would’ve been touching another guy.)

I’m not prepared to withstand more crap from Patriots fans, the ironic Yankees fans of football. I need the Empire Carpet guy, in his soothing but somewhat creepy voice, to tell me that everything will be alright.

I just can’t watch the Patriots in the Super Bowl again; there is no NHL; spring training doesn’t start for over a month (not that it matters, since I root for the Pirates); and Yale teams suck, as always.

Should I read a book? Watch American Idol? Exercise? Get a job? (The thing is, I don’t contribute anything to society, nor do I pretend to in a “resume,” because I don’t even know what a “resume” is. So that option is pretty much out of the question.)

Basically, the only things keeping me going are Mario Kart, beer, Spanish soap operas, Easy Mac and Marisa’s flirtation with her inner lesbian on “The OC.” These vices are oxygen to the lungs of my existence.

In “The Shawshank Redemption,” Andy Dufresne tells us, “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” And that is why we continue going through sports hell. Because hope never dies.

It just hangs around like the hot-but-annoying girl your buddy set you up with, constantly asking you to pour her some more wine. Eventually you just become numb and decide you can’t take it anymore, so you tell her to leave. But that’s when she tells you about the $100 million inheritance her grandfather left her, and then she starts taking off her clothes. And that’s when you’re glad she never left.

Just ask Red Sox fans.

Carl Williott is flirting with his inner lesbian.