Loyal and humbly named reader World Cup Expert had a slightly different take on my Liverpool post yesterday. He has an interesting thought on a perceived media-fan disconnect when it comes to storied clubs. See what you think ...
What Liverpool is going through reminds me a lot of what my NFL team – the Broncos – are also going through. A franchise with a lot of tradition, with a past full of glory, dealing with a present state of suck. The fans in Liverpool want Kenny Daglish to come do exactly what the fans in Denver are hoping John Elway will do now that he has been appointed "front office saviour." But what is wrong with that? Isn’t that what being a fan of a team is all about? You follow your team, often the same team your dad and your grandfather rooted for, you lived through the past highs, you get mad at the lows and act all kinds of frustrated when things go south. And you instinctively yearn for "past" to come save the present. It’s a normal, human reaction, accentuated by deep feelings and emotions you have for your favorite team, which again, many times is part of your upbringing and family history.
Journalists often criticize fans for having illogical reactions concerning team matters. But do we really want the opposite? Fans who look at sport logically? Would they be "fans" at that point? Do we want fans to follow their teams with their heads instead of their hearts? It’s the media’s job to be objective. But when the media calls for fans to do the same, I say, be careful what you wish for. Because the second fans stop being "fans", I don’t know if the business of "sports" survives.
In sports, history and tradition sometimes matters as much as the present reality. And if that influences the point of view of some fans, so be it. IMO, that is what being a fan is all about. After all, we call ourselves team "fans" or "afficionados," not team consultants or team accountants.