I'm not much of a sports fan. I like playing sports; watching other people play I find a lot less interesting. It will not come as a surprise then I hadn't been to a soccer match since 1989. Yesterday a friend invited me to a match between local club FC Groningen and ADO Den Haag. She and her husband have season tickets, and as he was away, I could use his. Just as well, because I was rather surprised to find a ticket costs € 14.50. I mean, hey, the average movie lasts just as long as a soccer match and will cost you half that amount. And you're indoors in comfortable seats, instead of in a drafty stadium either standing or in uncomfortable plastic (hooligan proof) seats.
I'm making it sound as if I had a horrible time yesterday. I didn't actually. The atmosphere in the stadium was quite enjoyable and seeing a game live is a lot more interesting than watching it on tv. I enjoyed applauding good ball handling, and boo-ing the referee if he made a bad decision. I enjoyed being part of the mass, rooting for "our" team. It was also fun to finally see my cousin's boyfriend play, him being FC Groningens' team captain.
One thing really surprised me though. The negative reaction of the supporters. When some player made a mistake they made sure to tell him so: calling him names and asking the coach for a substitute. And when our side let in two easy goals by the other side people boo-ed like crazy. Even as we did in fact win the match. And it was only the second victory of the season. This doesn't seem like a very effective way of supporting your team. I would've thought you'd cheer harder when they need it the most, boost morale etc. Apparantly you should feel indignant when your team doesn't perform at their top every single moment. It's beyond me. I do hope they don't treat their kids the same way...