March 30, 2014

Through Thick and Thin: Using Manchester United as an example, how happiness doesn't always relate to winning all the time. With real psychology stuff.

posted by owlhouse to soccer at 03:10 AM - 2 comments

Good read. I know some of my favorite teams of the clubs I support (i.e., team year within a particular club/franchise) are ones that maybe came up a bit short of, or not even close to, winning everything or anything, but either had enjoyable personalities, good collective spirit, or other attributes that did not necessarily lead to winning.

posted by holden at 12:45 PM on March 31

Good read.

Interesting stuff, holden. There are numerous examples of what nearly amounts to split personality disorder right here in this northeast corner of the US. Even though they went through 89 years of futility, the Red Sox never lost their true fans. Attendance might not have been great, but the real baseball fans still turned out for the better visitors. Now, after having tasted continuing success, I fear that there will be some wholesale desertions among the 'pink hats' should a few consecutive seasons without championship hopes go by.

The Bruins also never lost their fan base despite the trials and tribulations of the 1960s. It is probably due to the fans being fans of the game before fans of the team. Bruins have always been a 'tough ticket'. In basketball, the Celtics have had some struggles keeping people in the seats after their long run of excellence from the mid-1950s to the 'Big 3' era in the 1980s. Since then, despite some very poor teams and bad luck with the ping-pong balls, the fans have kept coming, and since the championship in 2008, they have been faithful. Even now, after what has to be considered a bad year, there are still a lot of people in the TD Garden. I think many of them might be like this season ticket holder, basketball fans first, long-time Celtics fans second, and not a pink hat in the bunch.

I've left the Patriots out of this discussion because they are a relatively new group. By that I mean they were around for 30+ years but had very little success until the Kraft family acquired the team and began to put a consistently decent product on the field. The football fans came out first, then after the first Super Bowl win casual fans and team fans have packed Gillette Stadium for every game. Here is where I fear the great migration away from the team will come once the era of success is over.

Today's sports' media do not help matters. Even when teams are enjoying success on the scoreboard there is a constant chatter of negativity coming from one or another talking head and so-called expert. I know that these guys have to do something to boost their ratings, and constant home-town boosterism soon wears thin, but how about a little objectivity once in a while. Watch the damn games, understand what is really happening, know that there might be some long-term motivation behind management decisions, and try not to pay attention to those who claim to have some inside knowledge. For fans and the media, the watchword should be "balance, balance, balance".

posted by Howard_T at 05:04 PM on March 31

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