The epic upsets at the Champions' League hit home for anyone who's ever felt the agony of defeat

    (CNN)You ever have days where you just want to lie face-down on the ground and hope the earth swallows you whole?

    Yeah, it was that kind of day for Ajax players after Tottenham orchestrated a stunning 3-2 comeback on Thursday to advance to the UEFA Champions League Final on away goals.
    This is definitely a "we let them score three unanswered goals to kick us out of the tournament" look if we've ever seen one.
      Meanwhile, just a day earlier, Liverpool beat Barcelona to advance, when all Barcelona had to do was not let Liverpool win by four goals. Four goals is A LOT.
      They lost 0-4.
      Luis Suarez looks like he's going to be sick.
      For any sports fan, these moments of epic upset hit way too close to home. What we're seeing here is the universal language of defeat, the sudden primal urge to double over in despair, lay flat out on the ground, or otherwise surrender to the Big Sports Sadness.
      Perhaps the most famous of these "I can't believe we lost/are losing" poses is the surrender cobra.
      What causes fans and athletes to suddenly lift their hands atop their head in helplessness when facing a crushing loss? Is it some ancient biological urge? Are we exposing our soft, vulnerable underbelly to our opponent, resigned to death?
      Massive upsets like the recent Champions League victories are prime opportunities to spot universal tableaus of defeat. Observe, a University of Virginia basketball player, physically protecting himself from the crushing weight of the fact his #1 seeded team is about to lose to a #16 seeded team, the UMBC Retrievers, for the first time in NCAA Tournament history in 2018.
      And sometimes, when the unexpected comes to pass and you, the champion, become the loser, there's really nothing left to do but sit and contemplate your place in the universe. Even if the place where you sit is, you know, directly down on the field where you just watched victory slip away.
      New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is especially good at this. Here he is, deep in thought, after the Patriots lost to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI in 2012.
        Is there such a thing as a signature moment of defeat? Because here he is again, after losing to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII in 2018.
        Granted, it's not as dramatic as Ajax players splayed out on the ground like broken marionettes. But in the throes of defeat, there are no rules left to break. Mourn as you see fit.