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February 2021

Football’s greatest malaise and what we can do about it

by Don McMahon

In answer to Dr.Billy’s excellent question in his most recent post, (Why do some football supporters get so angry?) here are a few points I’ve discovered over the years of treating mental health issues in angry supporters like DG (aka; something’s rotten in Denmark) and other aaa/WOB cheerleaders:

1) The internet is mostly anonymous…..few know the true character or identity of the vast majority of posters on UA, with the exception of self-revealed information. Therefore it is safe to say the most outrageous and hurtful things without any consequences. Where else in the world can you do that?

2) Being basically negative, angry and irrational, the hard-core aaa adopt the ¨create your own reality¨ paradigm that Trump has profited from with the desperate souls in the US and as the Brexit champions in the UK did as well.

3) There is a general malaise and mental instability propagating worldwide, fed by the genuine desperation, disillusionment and disgust of so many people at those in authority; those one percenters in the shadows controlling monopolies for their profit and our suffering, and particularly those who we were told to trust and respect (clergy, civil servants, referees, etc) who have been revealed all too often to be self-serving in the extreme and perverse in reality. This malaise has been adopted by our plastic fanboys as a raison-d’etre for their aaa mentality and as a justification for their behaviours.

4) There is a culture of blame, whose sole object is to find someone who is ¨at fault¨, responsible or otherwise accountable for ALL our Gooner woes. That means the blamers MUST simplify rather complex issues into a 2-3 syllable meme, like: Wenger out, or We want OUR Arsenal back, etc. without any rational or lucid arguments why.

5) Very few of us who contribute to UA hide our identities. Tony and Walter are both completely transparent (not unlike our favourite German midfielder lately) and other people who use their real names do so without fear of being ¨revealed¨ and do so in the firm conviction that we have nothing to hide.

On the other hand the aaa snipers hidden behind their avatars and safely sheltered at LeGrove and display a certain ¨shyness¨ at having any light shone on them. This is a classical personality disorder and one they must address. IF what they say is true and provable they need have no fear of defending it with facts, figures and rational, logical debate….none of which they espouse on UA.

6) The media (particularly TV, video games and cinema) and on occasion, the music industry, have tended to present ubiquitous and repeatedly gratuitous violence and uncontrolled anger as being a hero’s, ordinary citizen’s or anti-hero’s way of dealing with things they don’t like. Those with less self-understanding and control, see this as an invitation to express themselves in a similar way. The aaa love this laissez-faire, get out of jail free card with passion and use it at will.

7) Psychologists have long known that the ability to humanely express anger and resentment, frustration and aggression in a healthy way is essential to what is known as the homogeneity of our mental processes.

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Simply put, the more one deals with anger and other negative emotions in a safe and positive way, the more one’s mental balance is maintained in equilibrium and the more one can grow effectively and intellectually. The reverse is also true, the more one vents negatively and ineffectually, rages at the injustice of it all and wallows in doom, gloom and a dark need for revenge, the more their psychological state worsens. One only has to look at Trump to see the consequences of uncontrolled narcissism and anger.

Football is supposed to be just a game, a pastime, a distraction from life’s more sombre pursuits. When it becomes a destructive passion, a source of angst and a pursuit of irrational folly, then it is time to take a break……failure to do so can be seen in our aaa whiners darkness and despair.


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11 comments to Football’s greatest malaise and what we can do about it

  • Pat

    Well said, Don, especially your point 6 about the media, a point not often made.

  • Saadman

    You guys should start a podcast

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Don, sorry, I think football has since moved on from being ” just a game, a pastime, a distraction from life’s sombre pursuits’. It maybe so in the past when it was at the amateur level. But since it has been professionalised and assumed the professional status, it has become one gigantic business enterprise in the world on which some people’s livelihood largely depended.

    Due to the unbreakable loyalty of the football fans worldwide who are loyally attached to ther various club sides, in our own case – Arsenal, and in their quests to see their club’s team succeed and win titles regularly and if possible even domininate the regular winning of titles internally and externally like it has been happening in Spain, Germany, Italy and Scotland, as a consequence of this loyalty, football fans have developed a great passion for their clubs and to see them win titles despite the fact that all they get is a passionate entertainment satisfaction which they have paid for or are paying for to get.

    If the loyal fans of a club side who are passionate to see their club’s team winning games which could lead to their club to win titles. But if they don’t see their favorite club succeeding in doing this which they have paid for or are paying for to see happen, it’ll be like one going to the Opera, cinema, circus, live musical show.or one of those singer singing shows and etc to be entertained but did not get the entertainment he has paid for. Will the fan or fans have a right to complain for not getting value for his/their money which they’ve paid for to get? In the case of the outings of their clubs get good results and win titles?

    I believe Arsenal will steady their PL and Ucl campaigns on the roads which are looking to be galloping at the moment with a defining wins soon over Liverpool at Anfield and a knockout blow to Bayern Munich at the Emirates

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Nice 0ne , Don . Agree with your findings . Number 6 is a runway train , on a sharp , slippery slope . Am looking forward to its eventual crash and burn.

    As we get older and hopefully wiser, we try to stand or sit back and try to take it all in at a more leisure pace and with a more benign stance . No more shooting from the hip for us oldsters .

    We try to be more humble and understanding , but sometimes the stupidity and crassness is overwhelming .Sad thing is that they may not be aware that they ARE really that stupid . But rather thinking themselves clever by quoting from poor sources and smaller minds .

    I have tried to avoid direct conflicts , but do admit that I take much pleasure by using humour to bring ‘them’ down a peg or two . That it may not even be understood by them is not at all a deterrent . But then again there are many who feel that sharp pain in the butt !

  • Brickfields Gunners

    ‘Let us choose to see goodness in everything around us and we will soon value our life more .
    Let us choose to see the better side of every event, thing or person in our life , and we will never run out of blessings to count .
    Let us choose to love and embrace our life and we will appreciate life and aspire to be better .’

    God bless you all that choose to make the life of others better .

  • colario

    We try to be more humble and understanding , but
    Brickfields Gunners
    28/02/2017 at 5:04 am
    ”sometimes the stupidity and crassness is overwhelming .Sad thing is that they may not be aware that they ARE really that stupid . But rather thinking themselves clever by quoting from poor sources and smaller minds”

    In other words one man’s common sense is another man’s nonsense.

  • colario

    I didn’t cut and paste that too well!

  • para

    Extremism in any form is harmful hence a balance is needed to keep one’s equilibrium.
    But we still have to remember, that one man’s balance can be another man’s imbalance perspective wise.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ colario – 28/02/2017 at 11:11 am – You seem to got the gist of it well enough !
    I used to be rather diplomatic with my patients , when trying to explain certain things to my patients regarding the choices they were making about their health .I will refrain from calling them names !

    They would ask me about that wonder tea or coffee or over the counter supplements that were being peddle on tv , papers and the internet. You know ,by that skinny actress , or that buff actor or athlete or that never aging yesterday superstar .I would tell them gently that really don’t need it .

    Now I ask them if they could truly verify that they really took that stuff , or if they were just making a buck . And when did they qualify to be medicating others ? I would tell them to ask their children to Google it on the internet to find out if they were really healthy or were themselves having medical issues .

    I can spot a train wreck a long time before they feel the effects as their stubbornness is so glaring . I try to advice their children , but in the end its always the same question , ” Why me ?”

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Misunderstanding ?

    An old lady walked into a pharmacy and asked to see the pharmacist. When he came out she took a little brown bottle from her bag along with a teaspoon, opened the bottle and poured some of its contents onto the spoon n asked the pharmacist to taste it. That he did and immediately spat it out from his mouth.

    “Does it taste sweet?” The old lady asked.
    “Hell no !” replied the pharmacist.
    “Thank God,” said the old lady “because my doctor asked me to let the nearby pharmacist test my urine for sugar !”

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Stamp of approval –

    The postal service created a stamp with a picture of Donald Trump. The stamp was not sticking to envelopes. This enraged the President who demanded a full investigation.

    After a month of testing, the investigation commission presented the following findings:

    1. The stamp is in perfect order.

    2. There is nothing wrong with the applied adhesive.

    3. People are spitting on the wrong side of the stamp.