Any of you old enough to remember the classic television series that was “The Prisoner”? If so, the first half of the title might have rung a bell and you might have quite liked it . (For those that don’t know what I’m talking about, one of the episodes was entitled “The schizoid man”).
Whereas, if you do your own tax returns, you probably won’t like the second half, what with January 31st fast approaching.
Both parts apply to me, so I see good and bad in the title.
Ok, so what does that have to do with football and Aston Villa? I hear you ask.
Well, I want to talk about the positive and the negative sides of being a Villa fan and how we view things. I am going to use myself as an example.
I think it’s generally accepted that as you get older, you become more cynical in all walks of life. It’s not universal of course, as some people will always be optimistic; but it is general, in my opinion. I certainly think that this is what has happened to me. I’m not old, old; but I do have a few years under my belt.
Because you’ve seen many negative things over the years, things that tend to stick in the mind more easily, they tend to surface more strongly, making negativity creep to the fore. Conversely, positive events are easily downplayed.
Take yesterday’s win for example. On face value, it’s a win, simple as. It doesn’t matter who we beat or how we played: It’s a win. So my immediate reaction is to think optimistically. We’re in the hat for the next round, with no replay needed. It has to be a confidence booster for the lads, it’s another few bob in the club’s kitty, we’re on a roll, undefeated this year et cetera.
And then the downside creeps in because it’s so easy, for reasons mentioned previously. Do we really need another game, when we could do with concentrating on the league? We were poor defensively. We’ll probably draw Man Utd away (again!) and so on.
See what I mean? Hence, the experienced side of me says “don’t get carried away, you’ve seen this loads of times”. Even though I am of course extremely happy that the team won, I’m tempering things because if it does go wrong further down the road, my disappointment will be less. It’s probably a self survival thing, that no doubt some psychologist could happily give me a two hour lecture about.
So does this tendency make me seem negative? Probably to some, but I tend to see it as balanced. When I was a youth, I wouldn’t have had that balance. Any win was seen as an utter positive and I never considered the next game or possible future events. We’d beat whoever we played, no problem. Because we’re the mighty Villa. We have a Lion on our badge and we’re invincible.
I have a definition for that; a word that many optimistic fans dislike. Blind. It’s not meant in a derogatory way, but I got past that stage. My experience taught me that it’s not realistic and I’ll end up getting hurt.
And now I’ll use another word that many negative thinkers dislike. Fickle. The definition of the word (courtesy of Dictionary .com) is below;