There are two types of people in this world. There are those who support their footy team through thick and thin and through the good times and the bad. There are then those fans (they are not supporters) that leave before the end of the game, even when things are going well and then try to defend themselves with various irrelevant excuses. If the latter sounds like you, I urge you to take a good hard look at yourself and the real reasons as to why you partake in such silly behaviour. It is simply wrong.
Footy and indeed sport is not always going to make us happy. As nice as it would be if it did, it is actually the losses and hard times that make the good times as great as they are. Without the feeling of pain, how would we know what the feeling of satisfaction is? This is a notion that is so often forgotten by most of us who simply think that our team has to win every week, no matter what. The reality is that this just is not possible.
Long, in-depth thoughts aside, leaving the footy halfway through the last quarter is pathetic and indeed does not make you a true supporter or a supporter at all really. Sure, you have the right to do whatever you would like with your membership or your ticket on the day, but if this is the sort of behaviour you choose to display, you do not get to enjoy any of the spoils when things go right. That is fine though, because even when their side is six goals up, these people are still most likely leaving early.
So why is it done? Why do people leave early from the footy? What are the pathetic excuses that are thrown up week after week?
Is it to catch the bus or the train early or to ensure that you beat the traffic? If that is the motivation, it is clear that you are coming to the footy for the wrong reasons. If you do not like busy public transport or traffic snarls with lots of people, I would suggest watching the game at home on television is for you. There is no traffic there. And if you want to turn the game off, at least the rest of the world does not have to watch you do it. Some of the best conversations I have had about footy have come after a loss on the train ride home with other random supporters who are feeling just as dejected. By the time the train arrives at home, everyone has worked out the side’s problems and is feeling much better about life. It is all part of the experience.
Or do you leave prematurely because you are so outraged at how your team has performed? Sure. That may be the case, but do you think you are personally hurting them by not staying and watching until the end? I do not think the players care one way or the other. The only person you are hurting is yourself, because if we are honest, how much did you pay to get in again? Oh yeah that is right. Surely you would want to squeeze every last inch of entertainment value out of that overpriced ticket.
We all have a story about a mate who left the game before its conclusion only to miss their teams miraculous comeback. In the modern era, teams have an ability to be able to score faster than ever before. Leigh Matthews’ theory that you can score a goal every minute if you really wanted to has never been as relevant as it is in today’s game. You do not want to be that mate who has to hear about the brilliant moments he or she missed, because he or she had left early and given up on a comeback. You will have to carry that with you for the rest of your life.
This is not a problem that is unique to any one AFL club, despite fans always liking to think that their club does not have people who do this. That is rubbish. It happens in every game, every week from supporters of all teams. People who think otherwise are ignorant and know very little about footy.
So, if you come to the game, stay until the end. It is as simple as that. Do not be a bad sport, throw the toys out of the cot or think you are making a point when you leave early. You look like a fool. Support your team through thick and thin. That is what sport is really about. As bad as things can seem at one particular moment, there is always the possibility things might change within a quarter or failing that the week after or perhaps the week after that. It is all worth it in the end.
Do you leave the footy early? Why? Tweet me @liamthompson1.
Picture – afl.com.au