• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Pity the poor fitba fan on the final day of the season . . .

ROBERT PLUTCHIK -psychologist, scientist, author and professor emeritus at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine - put forward the theory that humans display only eight primary emotions.

'Whit's that? Nah, ah wis never worried. See you in the pub . . .' Picture: SNS
'Whit's that? Nah, ah wis never worried. See you in the pub . . .' Picture: SNS

Clearly the subjects for his research did not include any football fans on the final day of the season.

Whether your team is in a cup final, looking to win a title or trying to avoid the drop, the experience is pretty much the same. You wake with your stomach turning like a washing machine in the middle of a full spin, your nerves jangling and your mind like mush.

Along the way there will be numerous mood swings, moments of joy, hope, fear, sadness, surprise, hurt and excitement. And it will remain that way from breakfast right until the wee small hours when usually enough alcohol has been taken - either in celebration or in mourning - to finally numb the senses.

It is not just the players who feel exhausted by the end of it all. Days like this afternoon for Hibernian and Kilmarnock fans, and St Johnstone and Dundee United supporters next weekend, consume you entirely. For the best part of 24 hours or longer the outside world doesn't exist. There are no moments wondering idly what to have for dinner or whether you left the iron on. There's just no time for any of that as the emotions fluctuate at a dizzying rate.

Fear

If the Scots are perceived as a dour race with a glass-half-empty disposition, then there is good reason for that. Unless you support one of the big teams - ie Celtic - then there is every chance you will end up disappointed more often than not.

Over breakfast on the day of the big match you convince yourself that it's not going to go your way. Your star striker is an injury doubt and their big-mouth midfielder is in the papers saying how confident they are. S***, we're going to lose, aren't we? This whole day is going to be a disaster.

HOPE

Well, maybe you were a bit hasty there. You've had a couple of pre-match pints and are starting to feel a bit more confident. Granted, there's no logic to it but you've got a feeling in your bones that you're going to do it. Maybe sneak a 1-0 or a 2-1. F*** it, we're going to pump them 3-0. Nae bother. It'll be a canter.

despair

Jeez, only two minutes played and we're losing. F***. A simple ball into the box and they couldn't bloody clear their lines. A tap-in. And now their fans are up for it, singing their heads off and we're as quiet as church mice. And the beers are starting to wear off and your mouth's like a sandbox. We're doomed now. We're not coming back from this.

regret

Why do we bother watching this mob? Week in, week out, traipsing all over the country and all they do is let you down. You want them to win one blooming game - just one. The amount of money we've wasted watching this pish. Could have gone on holiday or bought a new motor. That's it. I'm finished with them.

forgiveness

Wait a minute, they've equalised! Out of nowhere. Go on, boys, you can do it! I take it all back. We're in this again. Come on, we need another. You can do it!

euphoria What a goal! A screamer. We're 2-1 up. Never doubted the boys. This is magic. You're not singing any more! This is why you spent all that money, and put in that time and effort to watch them. And you're hugging your pals and smiling at strangers. This is the business!

pain

Come on ref, five minutes of injury time? Get tae! Where's he got that from? Come on boys, hold on. Close him down, don't let him shoot . . . oh, good save. Jeez, I thought that was going in. A corner . . . cleared. Just boot it anywhere. This is agony! His watch must have stopped. Moan ref, get that whistle blown!

disbelief

Yaaas! We've done it! I can't believe it. After all that stress and strain the boys have come good in the end. Stunned, can hardly move. Just staggered, what a day!

inebriated

£10 for a pint? Nae bother, barman, have one yirsel, we're celebrating! Here boys, what about this team? Legends the lot of them. Will name my first born wean after them all. Aye, I'm definitely renewing my season ticket next year. Cannae wait to do it all again. Right, whose round is it?

Contextual targeting label: 
Football

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

232458