Saturday, 10 March 2012

Human Technology

Bolton 2 Queens Park Rangers 1

Another week, another loss. Seems that I decided to launch this blog at a bad time. What was light banter and nerves on twitter amongst the fans this morning has now turned in to little spats and lots of understandable anger and disappointment.

Today I was gutted not to be able to make the trip up to Bolton with the fifteen hundred or so Rangers fans. I was waiting for the lovely Thames Water to install a metre at my flat between the convenient hours of 1-5pm. And guess what? They never turned up. I will be having words on Monday morning. And considering this was in response to an already filed complaint I have with them I already feel sorry for the person that will be at the end of the line.

As I had a late one last night I had a nap straight after the match and having since woken (it's now nearly 7pm) I've decided not to look at the league table as it will only make me sad.

Most fans tend to believe that we just aren't good enough and that's why we are losing. And of course, that makes logical sense. At the end of the day the results speak for themselves. But does it really make sense? And why do I have such a feeling uncertainty, as opposed to just pure disappointment?

They say that at a certain level of professional athletics, that the difference between the winner of a race and everyone else is the self belief that they will win. It isn't even a case of thinking they might, or they can, but knowing that the will. And I can believe that, when you're talking about the best of the best - those that make it to the final of the 100m race. Their bodies are trained and honed to the most incredible levels and we can see with our very own eyes that physically there is little to separate the finalists. We're really talking in hundredths of a second. For my own self-worth I like to believe that about the things I do in my life. I like to think that if I have a positive mental attitude and believe I can do something, that I can do it. Every year I swim the Thames in the London Triathlon and last year I finally completed a sprint distance without crashing on my bike (which has happened twice and quite dangerously). While I do not consider myself in any way a serious athlete (absolutely far from it!), I do think it was the belief that I could finally complete the race unscathed that allowed me to do so.

However, consider Usain Bolt. The fact that he is just so physically formidable and incomparable to anyone else who has ever raced, and the fact that even when he doesn't really push himself sometimes and still wins...does make you think that sometimes, people are just really good and it doesn't even require an effort to believe because, well...that's just the way it is. That seems to be (for some people) the 'explanation' for our failures against 'better' teams at the moment.

But consider this: take away all the arguments about the fact that this is still a 'new team', that hasn't had the time to settle in... and really, we're talking about a group of players, each of them with an amazing pedigree. It felt good today when I watched Sky Sports and heard Gary Neville talk about the quality of our squad. But alas, the result would point to the fact that they just aren't playing very well. And indeed most fans believe we have a team of under performers. You know what? It's true. We dominated large parts of the game,  and while we arguably should have finished with a draw if that Clint Hill goal was not disallowed, we didn't take the chances that a team that believes it will win really should have taken. So although I don't agree that we played badly, I do think that a winning team takes the chances that it should and the difference between us and Bolton was purely psychological.

Then again, maybe it's because this is a situation none of us have ever been in before. All components are new: not just new team, but new owners, new management, new league (a Premier league which is at a completely different level to the one we left 16 years ago), and even some new fans.  All of these things impact on how people think, feel, and ultimately behave. I know as fans, we all say that we'll be there if we go down and of course we'll continue to support the Rs, but I am really enjoying (albeit somewhat masochistically) the Premiership life: all the coverage, the battles and passion that surrounds it - whether we are winning or losing. So for those fans that were at Euston this evening abusing the players as they arrived back - do you honestly think that behaviour is actually going to help your team perform better next time? All it does is make us look like thuggish supporters, and apart from it being an embarrassment it simply negative and it 'ain't' going to help the team psychologically.

I look forward to hearing from fellow blogger This is my England about what happened at the station. But the event leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

To end on a lighter note. It's been a lovely week for 'bonding' with the rest of the better fans. I've had so much fun this with the QPR twitter community. A big thanks out to @qprtillidie1882 for their great Thursday night quiz on Facebook. I was so engrossed in answering the questions that I apparently missed a legendary Messi performance (bothered?). And I've found some QPRPinoy QPR fans community. So for all the readers from the Philippines who are interested do contact me @elmodedude and let's see what we can do to help build up Rangers support.

All these wonderful interactions wouldn't be possible without the technology that we have today. If only the FA would hurry up with a very simple type of technology that could have made all the difference on another pretty rough day.

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