The Agony and Ecstasy of Relying on Others

As a football fan, your first and foremost priority is the well-being of your team. That heightens exponentially when that team is languishing at the wrong end of the table and the existential threat of relegation is real.

For those who are lucky enough to support sides that don’t find themselves in the heart of a relegation dogfight, they can’t even begin to comprehend what that pressure feels like.

Every match is crucial, every point is vital and at the end of the season, one goal or one mistake could be paramount in determining whether the season ends with ecstasy or anguish.

Because of this, in a relegation battle, nothing is simple.

Golden opportunities are spurned, games which we may have regarded as straightforward or routine aren’t won. It is these performances that shroud us in disappointment, as we know that at the end of the season, it could prove costly.

In the case of Town, with five games to go, their fate very much remains in their own hands. Luckily, they are in a relatively healthy position; a position where if Town can summon the effort to win their next two games, safety will be all but secured.

However, even though Town’s fate is in their own hands, we as fans will search for comfort in any form.

One of the main forms of comfort is the belief that there are three teams simply worse than Town and that will be reflected in the final league standings. In our search for comfort, we as fans will do anything to confirm that.

We study form tables and analyse the remaining fixtures of the teams around Town, the committed few even produce spreadsheets.

However,  this all contributes towards one of the more unusual quirks as a football fan. This is where you have a vested interest in matches which on other days, in other circumstances wouldn’t be of interest at all.

This particular quirk sees emotions which would only ever be expressed for their own football club transgress across tribal lines as alliances are made.

It can result in a goal scored in North London being celebrated wildly in West Yorkshire.

It can also see each defeat for these sides around Town celebrated like a victory of our own and every subsequent win of theirs (there hasn’t been many for Stoke nor Southampton in recent months) met with unrelenting dread.

However, in our search for comfort, we often find agony. We put our hearts on our sleeves on a weekly basis and we support our club in any way possible, even if that is through relying on others. We do it all because when there is a moment of pure bliss, it is worth it.