“Don’t lower your expectations to meet your performance. Raise your level of performance to meet your expectations. Expect the best of yourself, and then do what is necessary to make it a reality” wrote Ralph Marston, and how true these words are when you relate it to our favourite rugby teams, and how fine the balance is between supporting your team at all costs, and supporting them blindly to the point of insanity.
Now this post is not aimed at anyone, nor is it a reply to anything specific said on this site, it is merely a thought out opinion, which was formed whilst reading the various other opinions, and then gradually written without any immediate feelings of anger or regret.
The sporting fan is a thing of beauty. At a young age, and we can never fully pin point the exact time or place when this happens, we choose the team we will support for the rest of our lives. Not only do we watch their games with interest, we take a keen interest in the team, the players, the coaches, and game plans, absolutely everything. If I could relate it to anything, I would call it some mild form of drug.
Sometimes though, we tend to take this love that one step too far, and what I want to discuss is where exactly the line is, where exactly we as fans should say our say, and where we should sit back and let the men in charge do what they are paid to do.
The man, or shall I say men, in charge at the Sharks have come in for a lot of criticism, and rightly so, there is a big case for the amount of money and talent available to these men who seem to not put it to good use, what we as auditors call misappropriation of assets. And that is exactly what is happening, they are stealing the talent and money that should go to winning trophies, and instead we are bobbling in mid table, not coming nor going anywhere.
I can go on for days about the Sharks setup, and I have already had my say in previous posts, but I digress from the point of this article. The point here is, what can we as fans do to help/support our team?
As fans, we get up in arms when our favourite players are substituted early, or somehow doesn’t make the starting line-up, when you know, as a fact, that the player in question will improve the chances of your favourite team to win a match. But how do you know?
Yes, there are decisions that are questionable, very questionable if you consider some of the purchases we have seen lately, but we have no idea as to the thought process followed by the decision makers to come up with this idea. Just think back to the purchase of an old Springbok to come back to South Africa after a stint in Europe, who went on to win the Rugby World Cup for South Africa. For those wondering, I am referring to one Percy Montgomery. I am not going to talk up the purchase of any of our recent failed recruits, the point I am trying to make is that we should consider that a decision of this magnitude was not made overnight, I am quite sure it was a well thought out process, that happened to fail.
Technology has opened doors to us as fans to have a say, to put out there exactly what you think. And you have every right to have an opinion, it is what makes us as human beings so unique. Whether our opinions are in fact correct is where the breakdown arises, and where much of the debate starts. We are so set in our ways, so sure that we are in fact right, that we forget to open ourselves up to be convinced otherwise, to read another opinion and accept it instead of attacking it.
I am the biggest culprit when it comes to disagreeing with someone, just because I think I am right, does not give me the right to attack another person’s also well thought out opinion. And this is where the beauty of the blog meets the beautiful fan, and we should all really live happily ever after… but we don’t.
So here’s to disagreeing about team selections, who the coach should be, what the game plan should be, but remember to keep an open mind as to what is right, not only in your own mind, but in reality. But hey, I might be wrong?
I end with another quote: “Toleration is the greatest gift of the mind; it requires the same effort of the brain that it takes to balance oneself on a bicycle.” – Helen Keller.Tweet