Disappointment is the most general reaction in a fan when the team loses. Some others feel anger while anguish, dismay and hurt are also commonly expressed feelings. But then there are those who express disgust, contempt, even hatred, when the team loses. These are people I just don’t understand. They are many, they are loud and they are present in every country be it India or England.
I want to look at this relation: that between the fan and the sport and analyze it. I sometimes feel we act like hypocrites when it comes to winning or losing. When our team wins, we feel proud, happy, make up songs to sing praises and buy posters to attach in our rooms. When the team loses, we do a 180 degree turn and do the opposite, rage heated debates, curse their names and stone their houses. It is nothing but lack of maturity on the fans part to do so.
I feel it is important in one’s life to be constant, to accept failure and success equally and look at the positives in life. It is our responsibility as a fans to imbibe the same principles when it comes to following the sport. I can recall numerous instances when we collectively have failed to do that.
The most recent and most contrasting case is that of Sehwag. Just one month back he broke records by scoring the highest individual score in a ODI. Everybody sang praises of the “Nawab of Najafgarh” being this and that and what not. And now after just one month, we are calling for Sehwag to be dropped from the team because he is not competent enough to play in overseas conditions. Is it just me who finds this contrast bewildering. If we enjoy his success as our own, isn’t it our duty to support him in failure. And its not just Indian cricket. People have been calling for Ricky Ponting’s head for 2 years now. After all that he has contributed to Australian cricket, that is how they treat him.
We might feel football is better. But its not, if anything, its worse. The day after Arsenal lost to Man U this season, the odds of Arsene Wenger being the first to be sacked this season was 6/1. What the fuck? And when Man U lost to Man City in the league, everybody said perhaps its time for Alex Ferguson to step down as manager. Now I am personally not a big fan of Sir Alex, but still.. that is nuts.
The same is the case in every sport. If Federer loses in one grand slam, everybody says he is done, he is too old, he can’t win anymore. Or if Nadal loses, they say he doesn’t have the legs anymore. And most of this kind of talk comes from those so called professional commentators who are nothing but hopelessly stupid old people who think they won’t get paid if they behave like a normal human instead of being smelly assholes all the time. From Gavaskar to Sidhu to Grep Chappel, I hate all of them.
India lost the third match in 3 days yesterday. I feel bad, yes. Disappointed, yes. But I don’t feel that each one of them should be lined up and hanged. Certainly not Laxman. How can everyone forget how he won us a test match against Australia with a disfuctioning back less than an year ago. The least we can do for him is to let him decide when he wants to retire.
I don’t claim to be the perfect fan. But I am mature enough to realize your team can’t win every time. Not even Barcelona can. I hope people make an effort to be that way.