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RAPIDHAMMER: Wer schimpft, der kauft? (II)

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Wer schimpft, der kauft? (II)

“Players who fail are an insult to the fans’ dignity and deserve to be subjected to their divine wrath”
Peter Jones, The First Post

Kürzlich berichtete ich über angeblich zunehmende Beschimpfungen auf den englischen Fußballplätzen. Nun las ich eine psychologische Erklärung dafür.
Nicht zufällig bezieht sich der folgende Artikel auf Newcastle United, das Team von Kevin Keegan. Seit der Übernahme des Managerpostens durch "mighty mouse" ist "The Toon" in der Meisterschaft noch sieglos.

Watching the Toon from a seat among the Gods
Peter Jones, a university classics lecturer, suddenly understands the abusive behaviour of his fellow Newcastle football fans
Last Saturday Newcastle United were thrashed at home 5-1 by Manchester United, plunging the Toon closer to relegation. The fans on the terraces were outraged. Abuse of their own team and their new manager, Kevin Keegan, filled the air. Was there pleasure at the supreme skills of Manchester’s Rooney and Ronaldo? No.
Why on earth do they come? The answer lies in the tone of voice in which the criticisms are expressed: it is the tone of those who have been personally insulted.
This sense of injured and affronted merit tells one everything one needs to know about the fans’ view of themselves, ie. that they, not the players, are the real gods - and pagan gods at that, who demand respect from their favourites, require offerings, punish disobedience and, most of all, do not countenance failure.
So the fans turn up week after week to ensure that their divine will is done. Players who fail them (forget the opposition, let alone the ref) are an insult to their dignity and deserve to be subjected to the full onslaught of their divine wrath.
These supporter-gods love their players. What more do those ungrateful wretches want? How dare they fail to come up with the right offering - a win?
It is true that the players earn in a week two or three times as much as the average fan earns in a year. But that makes attendance at the match all the more important. For those 90 minutes, every fan personally occupies the heavenly seat of judgment over (in his view) the most privileged mortals on earth, ready to offer them the full benefit of his Olympian advice, graciously to acknowledge his role in the team’s success and to grant them what only a god can - the glory of sporting immortality. All the players have to do is obey - and perform.

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