- December 7th, 2011
I reserve my right to make passive aggressive lj posts about how if you're going to post mockery on the internet, at least do it with some logic, at least make some kind of sense.
I've had my moments of laughing in Chelsea's face, for sure, but goddamn I have had reasons. I've done it because I disliked the way they played or the way they behaved, because I couldn't respect them as a team. If I criticise Barcelona, I have reasons, and I have thought them through.
As for those of you who have had your teams go out, I'm sorry, for you, because it's awful, and no one else understands - I don't even understand, because it's so personal to you and your team, and it hurts so badly. It's humiliating, and crushing, and you love them bitterly but you're so mad at them for not being good enough because you believe in them, you know they can do better. You've seen them do better! You've watched them play glorious, lyrical football! But they're out of the Champions League, or the League Cup, or they lost the derby, and lyrical football means nothing when it comes to results. No one will remember that perfect pass in five years, they'll remember that you didn't make the cut.
So I'm sorry. Even if I don't like the way your team plays, or I think their disciplinary record is shameful, or I am irritated by the fans. I'm sorry that this week is now going to suck, because I know that feeling and I wouldn't wish it upon anyone. I am pleased as punch that City didn't go through either, but if you're crying into your pint because of it, believe me, I sympathise, and I offer my condolences.
It sounds trite, in the world of football. It sounds naive, and far too nice. Rivalry is a key part of football. Without rivalry, what would be the point of teams and leagues and competitions? And rivalry is all very well, but I would prefer it if that rivalry didn't devolve into cheap shots and misplaced mockery.
It is okay to respect other teams. No one is going to report you to the football police. It is okay to say, actually, I feel for that team, that team that I have no particular affection for, because they are a good side, one who holds up the reputation of our league and with good reason. It is okay to appreciate a good game of football between two sides you hate. It is okay to think one player is wonderful, even if his teammates are a disgrace. You don't have to feel guilty for that, or less of a football fan. The very fact that you see that and can hold it apart from the fierce, unfailing loyalty you feel for your team, that is why you are a football fan.
Be proud of your team, of your league, of the game that you see played. Be fiercely loyal to them all, and defend them wherever you see fit. But don't feel the need to pro-actively seek a superior position, to badmouth teams without reason, or to disregard teams who play better or more exciting or interesting football. Let it play out before you, let yourself enjoy the game, and don't give in to urges to sully it with pointless commentary.
Fans of my team are as bad as the rest, and it saddens me every time.