Written on 21 October 2019, 03:02pm
Inspired by this question, I put together a few things that I learned after 30 years of watching football.
- There will always be a next game. So, your team just lost in the last minute of the game. A mix of disappointment and anger fills your head; we all know the feeling. But think about this: there will always be a next time. Always.
- Support your club when it’s down. Especially when it’s down. This is when it needs you the most. “At the end of a storm, there’s a golden sky…”
- Avoid the banter. When your team wins, celebrate and avoid laughing on the others. Remember that things in football tend to be cyclic. Even the best teams will have their bad seasons. Mock now, you will be mocked later.
- Don’t point fingers at players. Yes, at the top of the pyramid they are extremely well paid. But maybe the football players are just ordinary men in their 20s who are really good at footie? Or maybe they are more likely to develop mental disorder?
- You’ll never have the full picture. We tend to form our opinions based on the limited information that we receive from social media, TV, etc. But we’ll rarely know all the tactical/practical/human details. Remember this before complaining that the coach played the player X instead of Y.
- Use facts, not your own beliefs. I get it, football is a subjective matter. But subjective doesn’t exclude rational. See also #5.
- Stay away from the extremes. Remember those ‘fans’ always criticizing and complaining on social media no matter what? Don’t be like them. But also avoid the fanatics, living in their own deluded world; they are just as toxic as the fake fans.
- Be a supporter, not a fan. If you can afford it, support your club financially. Buy a yearly membership or try to find other ways to help your club, especially if it’s local. Volunteers will always be needed.
- Be aware of the negativity bias. Human beings are wired to give more importance to the negative things. This also applies in football. Which means you’ll be more likely to remember the bad games rather the good ones. Try not to.
- Your team can’t win everything. We live in a world where winning a semifinal doesn’t mean anything if it’s not followed by winning the final as well. A good run is no longer enough, people expect their favorite team to win every competition. Well, manage your expectations. Sometimes a historic win will be more memorable than a loss in a final. Enjoy that!
These would be the 10 most important things I would tell my children if they’ll ever be into football. No matter the team they will choose to support 🙂