Please log in to use all the site's facilities
at 17:28 17 Aug 2019
Lost only once in 2019 and that was the Man City robbery.
at 18:33 24 Jul 2019
RIP. "Like tears in rain"
[Post edited 24 Jul 18:46]
|Froome out of TDF|
at 15:19 12 Jun 2019
Ffs, broken leg.
Clears the way for G at least.
|Panorama tonight. |
at 22:25 22 May 2019
Fecking horrendous. I've worked in care with adults with mental health issues. This upsets me no end.
at 20:06 6 Mar 2019
at 16:21 6 Mar 2019
Interesting article in the times.
Most people would probably agree that the success of football is constructed upon tribal psychology. Our ancestors had to protect land to survive, particularly after the agricultural revolution about 12,000 years ago. This required in-groups that were highly cohesive. Groups that tended to fracture or disperse at the first sign of trouble were wiped out.
Doesn’t this ancient history reach into the heart of football’s appeal? Every weekend, tribes make incursions into enemy territory and defend their own. An experiment by Northumbria University found that footballers playing at home registered testosterone levels 40 per cent higher than their opponents, rising to 67 per cent against fierce rivals. This fits the imperative of territorial defence, and probably goes some way to explaining home advantage.
Or consider an experiment by Muzafar Sheriff, the psychologist who took 22 children, aged 12, to summer camp. They were housed in different parts of the park but immediately started marking out territory and forging in-group identities. Within days they had rituals, flags and other identifying artefacts. They also chanted their own songs (Sheriff doesn’t tell us whether “the greatest club the world has ever seen” was among the offerings) and were seized by something close to fury when outsiders came near their “turf”.
What I would like to focus on, however, is an overlooked aspect of in-group psychology: not the desire to combat outsiders, but to combat flaky insiders. This was important in evolutionary terms as a way of deterring treachery. Jonathan Haidt, the psychologist, has noted that while the Koran is full of warnings about out-groups, such as Jews, it reserves its greatest ire for apostates. The same is true of Dante’s Inferno, “which reserves the innermost circle of hell — and the most excruciating suffering — for the crime of treachery”.
So powerful are these instincts that they have spawned a name: horizonal hostility. Studies have shown, for example, that vegans harbour their most intense hatred not for meat-eaters, but vegetarians. Why? Because vegetarians may be a part of the in-group but they lack the “true” commitment to resist animal products such as eggs. Veggies, to vegans, are not sufficiently vegetarian. Adam Grant, the psychologist, notes that when a deaf woman won the Miss America crown, instead of cheering her on as a trailblazer, deaf activists protested. Why? “Since she spoke orally, rather than using sign language, she wasn’t ‘deaf enough’.”
Football is a vivid theatre for such emotions and instincts. We are all familiar with the rivalries between supporters of Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal, or Liverpool and Manchester United, but does anything come close to the detestation of the “plastic fan”? This is someone who stands on the inside, who wears the colours, but isn’t sufficiently committed. He is an insider, but not enough.
Note that the plastic fan cannot be allowed to be a decent person, with a job or family life that make it difficult to attend every single match. No, he has to be a fake. He has to carry the shame of being a member of a tribe without being wholly loyal to it, a vegetarian who hasn’t got the balls to become an out-and-out vegan. Perhaps there is no more hated figure in football.
I remember being in Liverpool a couple of years ago, about the time of the protests over ticket prices. You may remember that some fans staged a walkout in the 77th minute over proposed hikes, while others stayed in their seats. It wasn’t the difference in opinion between those two groups that struck me — those who walked out wished to send a signal to the board, while those who stayed in their seats wished to support the team, and signal to the board in a different way.
No, what shocked me was the sheer animosity between fans of the same club. One person who walked out told me that he would “never forgive” the splitters who failed to stand up for the cause, while another who stayed in his seat said on a forum: “People were bullied to leave, abused that they didn’t, in a highly divisive stunt that left those of us loyally supporting our team and our club, saddened and vilified.” I couldn’t help thinking of the People’s Front of Judea and the Judean People’s Front.
Campbell suffered a torrent of abuse when he returned to Tottenham with Arsenal
Campbell suffered a torrent of abuse when he returned to Tottenham with Arsenal
TOM JENKINS/GETTY IMAGES
Players also run the gauntlet of our highly attuned betrayal psychology. It is noteworthy that language itself undergoes a subtle shift depending on the form of a team. When a team are winning, fans say: “We won today.” When they are not playing so well, however, this suddenly becomes: “They blew it today.” It won’t do for the team to simply play below par. No, they have to be linguistically dispatched to the out-group, even though they are still wearing the same kit.
One notes, too, that while there are many players who have worn the Arsenal strip, none has been so universally hated by Spurs fans as Sol Campbell. His transfer was not seen as a sensible move by a fine player looking for more trophies and a larger income, but as an act of naked treachery. Fans were still holding up signs saying “Judas” more than a decade later.
Think of Ashley Cole (Arsenal to Chelsea), Figo (Barcelona to Real Madrid) and Roberto Baggio (Fiorentina to Juventus). Wayne Rooney is a particularly interesting case, for he “betrayed” Everton by moving to Manchester United, but then returned. “Once a blue, now a red, in our hearts, always dead”, didn’t quite have the same resonance at that point. Even by the end, hardcore fans seemed unsure whether he was a true believer, a traitor, or a prodigal son.
Our politics right now evokes this phenomenon too. You may have noticed that many politicians are not entirely happy in their parties but what is fascinating is the way that MPs do not seek to justify staying or leaving in relation to what is best for the country or even in terms of electoral success, but in the language of treachery. Those who stay say, “I cannot betray my party”, while those who leave say, “I cannot betray my conscience”.
Perhaps modern life can be seen as a prolonged attempt to reconcile and occasionally transcend our tribal instincts. What is certain is that football’s success as a cultural phenomenon reflects its in-group foundations. Most of us can feel the allure of being in a tribe, of standing with people of the same stripe; us against the world. But perhaps there is nothing we like more than raging against plastic fans, and traitorous players. The damn splitters.
at 16:46 28 Feb 2019
at 14:27 26 Feb 2019
Whilst music to the ears of some on here, it's ridiculous to think that the WRU have considered merging them with the Blues, Scarlets or even disbanding altogether!
|All Elite Wrestling|
at 19:16 6 Feb 2019
Going to upset the apple cart? Rumours of a big money, 'too good to turn down' offer for a major WWE star (Randy Orton)
|NSR Douglas Costa|
at 18:52 16 Sep 2018
Should've been knocked out.
World Cup (@FlFAWC2018) Tweeted:
Douglas Costa’s performance against Sassuolo today. This man is crazy, I have lost a lot of respect for him. This is disgraceful 🤮😷 https://t.co/Z1WMONyUjW
[Post edited 16 Sep 2018 18:53]
|Ripping, digitally remastering a cassette tape?|
at 23:07 15 May 2018
I don't know the terminology, but is there a way/company who can convert an audio cassette to digital and improve the quality? I appreciate this may be relatively simple, but I'm inept!
|Forum Votes: ||943|
|Comment Votes: ||0|
|Prediction League: ||0|