THE SKY IS NOT FALLING!

There is always the tendency to assume the worst when bad things happen. To jump to the conclusion that it’s pouring cats and dogs when it’s only drizzling outside. To run around in circles whilst holding our heads in our hands like that Stuart Little character and scream at the top of our voices that the world is coming to an end.

And nowhere is this more evident than in sports. One bad result, one loss, one bad run and panic sets in. The fans start baying for the manager’s blood, the owners overreact and the manager gets the sack. And after some bad results the pattern gets repeated.

The owners sometimes go the route of buying the newest toy on the top shelf, the latest disaffected superstar for a king’s ransom. But of course, that comes with the expectation of instant results and if that doesn’t come their way, then it’s Stuart Little time all over again.

Even if a team undergoes a spectacular collapse such as the one the Arsenal team suffered against Newcastle this past weekend, conceding four goals after being four goals to the good after half an hour, pushing the panic button might not be the best course of action.

And from reading the comments from Arsenal fans online immediately following the match, one would think that the match signaled the implosion of the Arsenal universe rather than what eventually turned out later that weekend to be a point gained in the race to win the Premier League title.

But what if your not so expensively assembled team loses its first match to a relegation candidate in a season where your team has redefined the art of winning ugly and when needed. Do you go ahead a purchase a brand new extra large gavel with which to pound your panic button into smithereens until all that is left is shards and shards of panic button material?

And what to do when your latest expensively bought new toy cum superstar striker makes less than whimper in his debut against his former team even, a match your team goes on to lose and blow out any flickering hopes of retaining the league title.

Do you grab your head with both hands and begin to run around town, along streets, down alleys and across expressways all the while and confirming the doubts anyone could have had as to your sanity and proclaiming to the whole world that you think the sky is going to break up into pieces and begin to drop in little pieces.

I believe the point I’m trying to make is that the reason we think sport is so amazing is that it’s just one very large continuum of time. There will always be one more match to play, one more season to get your hopes up for, and one more league to win. There will always be a new manager, new owners that will not give the new manager enough time and investment and still fire him when he doesn’t deliver to their unwarranted expectations.

And it doesn’t even matter if you have played the biggest game of your season and probably your career and lost. Even if you are one of the Pittsburg Steelers who lost 25-31 to the Green Bay Packers in the biggest game in all of American football; the Super Bowl. Especially when you are massive favourites to win having won the Vince Lombardi trophy two years ago and with the most dependable quarterback in the world; Ben Roethlisberger on your team roster.

Therefore I guess the lesson to take from all this is that no matter the upheavals and changes that happen in sport, there is something that has and will remain constant. The fans will always be there come rain or shine or frozen pitch. The fans will always be there at the stands or on their couches supporting their team.

And the lesson goes especially to the fans. Whenever it seems like it’s the end of the road or the world for your team, always remember that there will always be another match, another season, another league. Because that’s sport for you!

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