Ireland: when enthusiasm becomes mediocrity
Posted on June 16, 2012 11:43 am
(EDIT: I had written this before reading Bill’s post, it meant no disrespect for him of course, just agreeing to disagree)
89th minute of the Spain-Ireland match, Vicente del Bosque’s biys had feasted with the caricature of team submitted by Giovanni Trapattoni. They had scored four goals, but could have been many more. After waiting ten years, the Irish had left the Euro 2012 by the back door, with two defeats and 7 goals received. A complete disaster.
Nevertheless, their fans were singing as if they had won. And then began the praise for the “best fans in the world,” the ones that travel with the team and support thim unconditionally, that are always faithful through thick and thin.
The problem is that, in my opinion, a fan like that and is far from being the best in the world. To explain why, let me describe a basic behavioral rule . Good actions have to be rewarded, bad actions punished. In this case, awarding such ovations to a performance as unfortunate as that of Ireland in the Euro, their fans only make the team complacent. Why kill yourself on the pitch if in the end it will not matter and you will get your standing ovation anyway?
Until recently, it happened with Spain. The “war song” of the fans at every major tournament was. “Alcohol, alcohol, we have come to get drunk, we don’t care about the result”. Of course, the team never won at that time, and now it’s an understatement that the song has complelely gone out of fashion each time La Roja play.
There is another thing as well. Those same Irish fans, when they home, quickly put their Manchester United or Liverpool shirts and forget about the local game and the local teams. In doing so, they are doing no favours to the generation of new talent and perpetuate the mediocrity of their team. The best fans in the world? I would say they are rather among the worst.