October 18: supporting through thick but not thin

Newcastle United F.C. has just been taken over by some arm of the state of Saudi Arabia. Most of the supporters are overjoyed with the promise of incalculable wealth to buy world-class talent on and off the pitch. The fact that Saudi Arabia has a reputation for its unscrupulous dealing with others including well documented evidence of its state sponsored murder of the journalist Jamal Koshoggi seems to worry some but not many. How far is a supporter prepared to go in his undying support for his team? I must admit I am a poor supporter of my team. I refuse to watch Match of the Day if I know they have lost, as they did 2-4 this weekend. I will support them in the good times but not the bad. I support them through the thick but not the thin. Genuine supporters would lambast me, no doubt, but the way I see it is that I sign up to the support thing for fun not for suffering. Is this masochism? If I don’t want to spent 10.30 to 11.45 pm on Saturday night with my head in my hands, why should I? This infidelity to a project has become more general in me in recent times. Time was I would finish a book I had embarked upon whatever, even if I was hating it. Now I’ll give them some of my time, but if it doesn’t please me sufficiently I am unwilling to give the author twenty hours of my life. Why should I? There are plenty of other texts in the ocean swimming around and plenty other football clubs other than Newcastle United, or, in my case, Manchester United. If I am strong enough to disassociate myself from my background which is the reason why I got railroaded into this support phenomenon in the first place, on a strategic temporary basis, then my mental flexibility should be praised not criticised. I’ll come back to Man United when they start winning!


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